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Sublimation - Conde Systems - 27 Years Expert Experience
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It's ALL about Color

It's ALL about Color
Power Driver or ICC Color Profile.
Whether you are using an Epson, or Ricoh/Virtuoso, you will be able to get the job done. It's only a matter of which you are supplied with when purchasing sublimation inks. The brand of inks match particular model printers to effectively create a color correction file. This file should be used by default when printing sublimation items. Ideally, this file will be available from the same distributor that supplied you with the sublimation inks.

Wasting Substrates.
Avoid using more than one item for creating the correct settings – time and Temperature – based on your setup. Your distributor should be able to provide you with initial settings; these are only meant as a starting point to guide you in finding what works best with the items and equipment that you have.

The idea is to setup the correct settings that gives you a nice jet black. Once achieved, the other colors will fall in line and become correct. Print a small checkered pattern onto sublimation paper, then heat press to the item – one at a time – by using the time and temp settings provided. If the color quality needs adjusting, heat press another of the same print to a different area of the same item with different settings.

Repeat as many times as needed until you have a jet black. Make note of time/temp used for all future occasions that you print on this type of item. Repeat entire process for each type of substrate that you will be printing onto. 

Now that you have the perfect color, is the outline of each square perfect, or blurry? If blurry you can correct it by adjusting the pressure.

Time and Temp Relationship.
Sublimation is performed at a temperature of 400°F, but different product types may require various times, due to the melting point of each type (i.e. glass, ceramic, wood, plastic etc.) IF UNSURE - Perform on a scrap/test item first. Not all items printed can manage with a temp of 400°F applied, and this can be lowered to >340-350°F as needed.

Time and temp have an inverse relationship! If you increase the time, then temp must be lowered to produce the same result (decrease the temp - increase time). Therefore, if experimenting, work with a set temperature and only change the time so it is easier to keep track of results.
Look and evaluate the black printed areas within your sublimated image; If you are getting a brown shade instead - Reduce the time used (If you a getting a green shade - increase the time).

Sublimation - Not JUST for White.
Any color can be sublimated! However, because sublimation is dyed into the item, the item color will affect the printed result. If trying to sublimate a black Tee Shirt… forget it! The shirt is black so you will not be able to see any of the printed colors. Stick with light or pastel colored items for your sublimation prints.

This can be better explained with this image printed onto colored items, and to be shown to your customers in giving an example of how their gifts will turn out against colors. It is a good idea to include more shades of Reds, Blues and Golds in your RGB palette. Doing so will help you in selecting the correct shade when creating the artwork.

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