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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're experiencing a pretty specific problem, so I apologize for the long message as there's a lot of detail. It has to do with different brands of sublimation ink reacting with lycra and mystique fabrics.

The business I work for manufactures lycra/mystique athletic performance garments, specializing in custom sublimation and embellishment applications.

We've been printing with a Mimaki TS30-1300 sublimation printer for the last 3 years with great success. We've been able to print and sublimate everything with the same settings, regardless of the fabric type (lycra, glossy mystique, holographic mystique, other foil finish lycras etc). We sublimate the fabric, hotfix any rhinestones or spangle needed with separate settings, then sew the garment together with no issue.

We recently purchased a brand new Epson SureColor F6370 sublimation printer - just in time for our Mimaki to stop working entirely. We've worked out settings and have a system for re-colour testing repeated orders, getting everything matched to what the Mimaki would print.

The problem we're having now is with specifically holographic, metallic, and iridescent finish mystique fabrics and applying embellishments after they're sublimated using the Epson printer. Our embellishment templates already come on a low-tack sheet. What's happening: after the embellishments are pressed and the tacky sheet is removed, the sheet is pulling colour off of the fabric, leaving a faded outline of the sheet. I'll attach an image to show.

Road surface Asphalt Grey Tar Tints and shades

As you can see, there's an outline of the tacky sheet on this sample. We attempted to remove any excess sheet, but it doesn't always help (many of our designs are full coverage, so there'd be a hard line across the panel that's just not acceptable, not mention time consuming).

We've been using Epson Multipurpose paper for both printers and we've tested fabrics from different sources in case it was an issue with the fabric batch. This issue doesn't occur with regular mystique fabric (non-sublimated), nor any lycra or glossy mystique, and it has never happened for anything using Mimaki printed patterns. I'm pretty sure it's the Epson ink that for some reason doesn't want to stick to certain mystique fabrics the same way Mimaki ink does.

I'm hoping someone knows something about the actual chemical(?) difference between these (and other) sublimation inks and if there is something I can possibly try to resolve this.

Any advice is welcome (and additional info can be provided)! Thanks!


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