Sublimation or Transfer Papers

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I get several calls where people are asking me what sublimation instructions to use for cotton shirts. The correct answer here is that you cannot sublimate to cotton, however a lot of times what they are really asking for is the procedure to using a transfer paper to press to cotton. This is a common miscommunication and when I hear it I usually don’t try to correct the customer. I just give them the directions for the transfer papers. That way they get the results they are looking and everyone is happy. Terminology is not a big deal to me as long as the customer gets what they need! Every so often I will hear a customer who actually is printing on transfer papers with sublimation inks. This is a bad idea. Will it work? Probably. You can use duct tape to patch a hole in your jeans but do you really want to? Transfer papers use an emulsion layer on top of the inks (or toner) to adhere the image to the final product. With sublimation the ink actually goes from a solid form (print out) to a gas form and moves into the substrate. When the material cools it then transforms back to a solid in effect dying substrate. Conde offers a variety of transfer papers. Each one is designed for specific applications. Each in turn comes with different procedures, times, temperatures and pressures. The addition of sublimation ink only complicates things. Not only do you have the possibility of the ink actually trying to sublimate during the press but you also have to worry about how the sublimation ink is going to bond to the emulsion layer of the paper. You may even get a great product but it will most likely fade in as little as a few days. Check out transfer papers on for more information about our transfer papers as well as procedures for how to use them. In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Conde by visiting Conde TV, Conde Facebook Page and Conde Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Conde DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks, Conde Systems Inc. Support Technician, 1-800-826-6332 Andy Taylor