Sublimation gives you the ability to reproduce full color photographic design with minimal costs and effort. Currently an $8 Billion/year industry, it is expected to reach over $15 Billion/year by 2026, largely in part to its popular, high quality photogenic results. Let's dive in to the basics on what exactly is Sublimation, what products you will need to begin your business, and more.
What is Sublimation – Dye Sublimation Transfer?
Dye Sublimation Transfer is a process where you take an image that has been created digitally, either by scanning, downloading from a digital camera or creating it on your computer, and printing this with a sublimation printer using sublimation transfer inks onto transfer paper. Once the image is on the paper, you place it under a heat press on top of your polyester or poly coated item (substrate) and heat until the inks turn to a gas and transfer the image onto the item.
What Type of Printer Do I need?
Sawgrass SG Series Printers and Epson® Printers are highly recommended for those who are starting out in the sublimation world. Currently you can purchase sublimation inks for specific desktop printers by Sawgrass® and Epson®.
For Sublimation there are different papers developed for different substrates. Mousepads, tote-bags, DyeTrans™ Apparel, Vapor® Apparel and fabrics are best transferred using our Jetcol® high release transfer paper. When imprinting items such as ceramics, plastics, jewelry, metal and porcelain (but not glass), we recommend our DyeTrans™ Multi Purpose Sublimation Paper. For glass cutting boards, clocks and coasters we recommend Beaver TexPrint™ or JetCol®.
What Type of Heat Transfer Press Do I Need?
A heat press is the machine that presses a transfer onto an imprintable substrate. Using high temperatures and specified pressures for a certain amount of time, the transfer is permanently embedded into the product. Heat presses are available with various sized platens, with clamshell or swing away heating elements, and with manual or automatic release features. Some heat presses are created just for specific uses, like the cap or mug presses. The maximum print size of your printer should match the platen size of your press.
Heat presses are recommended for professional and satisfying results simply because standard laminating devices and home hand irons can not get near the temperatures required for a reliable transfer. Sublimation transfers require anywhere from 375° to 425° F and demand serious force in pressing often from 40-80 psi. These temperatures and pressures are not possible with other heated devices.
Condé recommends George Knight® Heat Presses because they are simply the best. George Knight Heat Presses have been the backbone of literally thousands upon thousands of businesses over the past four decades, providing a reliable workhorse of a product that stands up to the demands of any imprinting business.
Condé carries a wide variety of sublimatible products. Our agents can supply you with a product catalog or you can browse our product line on our website.
All our exciting items can be produced with DyeTrans™ Sublimation Transfer Systems. These are available ranging from small “Starter” systems that will enable you to make tiles, jewelry and name badges, up to “Pro” wide format packages that can provide items 24”-42” wide, such as car mats, full bleed shirts and large photo murals.
Why Shop Condé?
Condé stocks everything you need to get into the highly profitable custom sublimation imprinting business! Our website has the latest product pricing and is updated in real-time. New products, pricing, and changes shown on our website may not reflect in our catalog immediately, so always be sure to check here often. The Condé agent who handles your account will do everything in their power to bring you the latest deals, discounts and special offers.
Remember, Condé is here to help you grow your business by providing premium products, systems, supplies, and support for everything we sell. We are your partner and are devoted to helping you grow your custom personalized product business.