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Production: Mug Presses vs Ovens & Wraps

Production: Mug Presses vs Ovens & Wraps
Mug presses, ovens, or wraps, which should you use? Here, we outline the key differences and similarities between the three different methods that can be used for sublimating mugs and when to use each process.

Mug Presses

Traditional mug presses have long been the norm for producing one sublimatable mug or stein at a time. The very popular Geo Knight DK3T standard mug press, for example, can press an image up to 5" high and as close as .5" from the handle, depending on the mug's size. Recently, our exclusive Geo Knight DK3T was introduced that can similarly press images onto a broad selection of latte mugs and tapered drink ware. Keep in mind that "as close as .5" from the handle" means that an image cannot be pressed onto the mug's handle or the space on either side of the handle. Because our traditional style mugs have always had handles, this non-imaged area was to be expected.


Ovens, whether a small convection or large conveyor style, are commonly used to produce one or more mugs at a time. When using an oven, a specially made wrap must be used on the mug to apply even pressure to the printed transfer. In addition to mugs, specially made wraps are available for a variety of substrates that won't fit into a press including cat and dog bowls, shot glasses, tankards, and drink bottles. Similar to mug presses, traditional wraps leave an unimaged area where the edges of the wrap don't quite meet - whether the product has a handle or not.

It is important to note that a sublimation oven should never be used for cooking food.


Although traditional wraps have served us well for mugs with handles, they have not been a good fit for the new styles of handleless drinkware. To go along with these advances in drinkware, two new wrap styles have been developed that allow practically complete decoration of handleless mugs. The first new wrap style is a reusable silicone rubber tubular sleeve wrap that is slipped/pulled over the mug's entire imprintable area. The second new style is a plastic bag that a mug can be placed into, shrink wrapped with a heat gun, and then placed into the oven. Both new wrap styles are capable of producing full, all-around imaging on the new handleless drinkware.

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