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When I first became involved with dye-sublimation in the early 90’s, I made lots of mistakes – cracked ceramic and glass due to too much pressure in the press, incomplete transfers on fabric caused by too little pressure in the press, scorched products that were accidentally left in the press for too long, assorted products with crooked and/or blurry images caused by not being properly secured in the press – I could go on and on! Like most men, the last thing I want(ed) is to be reminded of my mistakes, so I’d always throw those mistakes into the trash once the error was discovered. Out of sight, out of mind? Not really… I could still feel those mistakes in my wallet!

While talking with a friend of mine one day on the subject, she suggested that I not only keep my mistakes, but that I should prominently display them on a wall near my heat press! Her theory was that it would remind me NOT to make the same mistakes again. It worked!

Truth be told, I actually have two “walls of shame” - one at my heat press and the other at my computer workstation. Why two? Mistakes don’t just occur during the pressing stage of the process. Rather, mistakes also occur during the design phase or when printing the transfer, i.e., accidentally “reversing” an image intended for transfer onto a glass tile. As you learn what works for you, write it down. That way, you don’t have to memorize each product’s technique – just post a “cheat sheet” on your wall!

An example of how my wall of shame helps: I recently produced 31 Unisub plaques for a local charity event. My upside-down plaque served as a reminder to properly orient the printed transfer with the plaque’s mounting keyhole before pressing. The results? I didn’t make a single mistake! So, my tip for today is to create your own Wall of Shame!

An example of how easy it is to forget: A few weeks ago, I completed a video on “Sublimating a Vapor® Polyester Shirt Using a Foam Kit”. You can watch that video at:

I created the video to help customers avoid a common “wall of shame” mistake – avoiding paper edge marks on sublimated t-shirts. Well, if you watch the video, you’ll see that I prevented the creases on the shirt but made another typical “wall of shame” mistake – I transferred the image upside down!

After all these years of sublimating, I have compiled my 101 Tips and Tricks for Sublimation Success. You can download your copy at http://www.conde.com/100-Tips-and-Tricks.pdf.

I have also turned many of these tips into short videos that can be found at www.condetv.com.

The video for this tip can be found at YouTube:

I’d like to see a picture of your wall’s best/worst mistakes (depending on how you look at it)! Email a photo of your “wall of shame” to [email protected]Conde.com for a chance to win a $25 Home Depot Gift Card. I’ll also be selecting a single random winner from the submissions I receive!
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