FAQ for Sublimation

FAQ for Sublimation

Most frequent questions and answers

You must use a high poly (polyester for garments) when sublimating. Some will use a pre-coat that will provide the poly needed to sublimate.

Sublimation is a dye process. While you can sublimate on dark items, you cannot see the colors. As a general rule, you must sublimate on items lighter than your lightest color.

You cannot sublimate white because typically things cannot be dyed white and sublimation is a dye process. Because sublimation does not use white, it is typically best to use a white background in order to give the correct color combinations.

The box around your garment is typically where the paper left an indentation. This can sometimes be removed by brushing the hairs of the garment in a different direction.

The blue lines and dots are caused by lint that is reacting to the sublimation process. The blue lines and dots are permanently dyed and will not come out. To limit the blue dots in the future, be sure to rigorously lint roll your garment.

Strange markings and odd colors can be from a number of things. First of all, the garment may have been treated with something that is only now showing up on the garment. Secondly, the printer may have deposited something on the paper which may now be pressed into the garment. Another possible cause could be the press. IF you are sublimating several items, be sure to check your press and make sure something did not bleed through.

The short answer is that the fibers burned a little. The longer answer is that you could be using an item that does not react well to high heat. Typically, rayon, viscose, lycra and spandex will produce this type of box. Making sure that the garment does not have contact with the heat press and adding a little padding between the press may help.

Sublimation will outlast the garment. Your are dyeing (actually changing) the fabric fibers.

Here’s the deal, sublimation is a dyed process, the fibers are permanently dyed. There is no cure.

The graphic bled a little. This can be caused by too much exposure or  shifting of the graphic transfer. Be sure to tape or spray your transfer before applying so that it does not shift. And, be sure to remove your transfer right after pressing in a swift singular movement.

The short answer is no because if you press over any image twice it will turn out darker than the other image and it will leave a hard line for the difference. owever, depending on the graphic, there are some ways to split some things up where you would no be pressing the larger image twice. This takes knowledge of the graphics, knowledge of sublimation pressing and a bit of practice.

This typically happens when the graphic is pressed too long. If the blacks are not dark enough, there is not enough heat, pressure or time. If they start turning brown, it is too long.

Full garments are pressed in a couple of different ways. Most of the time, the process includes a large format printer and a very large press. Many will sublimate the fabric before the garment is sewn. With skill, some have been able to do a large press with smaller machines.

Some printers may be converted with a CISS system or have the ink tanks replaced. Sublimation printers need special print heads otherwise they will continuously clog. Many times converting a printer requires some level of gambling. While not difficult, the inks are very particular.

You can; however, you really take a risk. The reason someone is selling could be due to a clogged printer head. While some work can be done on unclogging it, typically, it is just trash. Sublimation printers require a bit of upkeep.

I think they all have their plus and minus. We have typically stayed in the Epson line. Siser produced some inks for use in the Sawgrass but I have not personally tried the out.