Sublimation Basics for Beginners

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An Essay by: Teresa Stone

      I am new to sublimation, as in only a month actually making sublimated items. Sublimation is an amazing way to make merchandise that is professional quality and show off your talents in designing. If designing isn’t for you there are many files you can purchase at various online shops. With that said its time to choose what substrates you want to make and or sale. There are so many items available that it can be somewhat overwhelming, hence choose a sample box to see what you are comfortable with making and producing for clients.

     I purchased my SG400 from Conde and it arrived in a few days, once it was unpackaged I called Conde tech support and they connected remotely to my Mac Book Pro and set up the color profiles in just a few minutes and I was ready to start printing. Simple as that, the support from the sales reps and tech support is outstanding and very helpful. My first project was to do mugs. I wanted my first to be something I designed and made from start to finish. I use Silhouette Cameo to design (for now) so I downloaded the template from Conde (detrains.com) and started my design. Once it was laid out for a right handed mug I printed and heat taped my print to my mug, (while watching the video from Conde on the process and reading instructions for time and temperatures, that may have been updated since the video was made) I have my mug press heating to 400 degrees once it has reached the desired temperature I wrap my mug with a sheet of paper (plain printer paper or butchers unwaxed paper.) Place it in the press and in a few minutes magic happens.

     While waiting for the timer to beep on the press is an exciting few minutes just anticipating the results and the seeing what you designed come to life. Then BEEP!!! Carefully remove the mug from the press, I use a hooked pen to grab the tape and remove the printed transfer immediately. Once the mug is removed I placed it in front of a fan on my cooling rack to stop the sublimation process. At this point you are seeing the result of your talent and it’s a fabulous feeling. I hope everyone enjoys his or her creations as much as I do.