Sublimation: A Quick and Easy Way to Design Custom Shirts
Sublimation is a popular printing method that allows you to create custom shirts in a quick and easy way. This process involves printing onto transfer paper and then using heat and pressure to transfer the design onto the shirt. Not only does it offer a high-quality, full-color print, but also it has the added benefit of being durable, long-lasting and gives a smooth finish.
If you’re interested in sublimation but uncertain where to start, don’t worry! We’ll be taking you through each step of the process, from equipment to design tips, so you can create your shirt designs with ease.
1. Equipment Needed for Sublimation
Before you can start designing and printing shirts, you need to have the right equipment. Here’s a list of the essential items you’ll need:
– Sublimation Printer: A sublimation printer is different from the typical inkjet printer because it uses dye sublimation ink to print images onto transfer paper.
– Transfer Paper: After printing an image in sublimation ink, it’s then transferred onto the transfer paper. Ensure that the paper matches your printer and your materials for the best results.
– Heat Press: A heat press is used to transfer the image from the transfer paper to the shirt. We recommend investing in a high-quality, durable heat press to ensure the best results.
– Sublimation Ink: The ink used in sublimation printing is different from the usual inks as it is a dye ink that sublimates into a gas when heated, and then adheres to the product without leaving any residue behind.
– Polyester Shirts: Ensure that you select 100% polyester shirts. This material allows the ink to be embedded and absorbed the material.
2. Designing Your Shirt
Once you have all the necessary equipment, you can start designing your shirt. Start simple and work your way up to more complicated designs. It’s easy to get discouraged while designing but keep in mind that like every new skill, it takes practice. Here are some tips to help:
– Choose a high-resolution design that is at least 300dpi. This will give the sharpest and most detailed print.
– Use a mock-up or template. Most shirt manufacturers will have these to provide, which helps you see the final product so that you can design accordingly.
– Keep it simple. Choose a simple design to start and gradually work your way up to more complicated ones.
3. Sublimating Your Shirt
Now that you’ve got your design ready, you’re ready to start sublimating your shirt! Here are the steps:
1. Print your design using the sublimation ink onto the transfer paper.
2. Place the transfer paper on top of the shirt in the exact spot you want the image.
3. Use the heat press to apply heat and pressure to the transfer paper, to embed the ink into the fabric. Be sure to follow the instructions provided with your heat press for the best results.
4. Once the timer goes off, remove the transfer paper to reveal your custom designed shirt.
4. FAQs: Sublimating Shirts
Here are some frequently asked questions about sublimating shirts with answers to help you get started.
Q: Can I sublimate onto any material?
A: No. Sublimation only works best with 100% polyester materials. However, some fabric that has a high Cotton or Spandex / Lycra percentage may work if treated correctly.
Q: How long does the sublimation process take?
A: The printing process is fast, it’s the pressing that takes time. Usually, it takes around 2 minutes in the heat press, depending on the design and colors, and the heat press you use.
Q: What should I do if my design doesn’t come out correctly?
A: This can happen due to a variety of reasons, from a low-quality ink to the temperature being too low or too high for the sublimation process. Ensure that you clean your machine to remove ink residue and avoid contaminating the colors. Additionally, check the temperature and timing instructions in the heat press or transfer paper.
5. Conclusion: Sublimating Shirts
In conclusion, sublimation is an excellent way to create custom shirts that are durable and long-lasting. Remember that, like any skill, practice makes perfect, so keep at it and continue to improve in sublimating shirts. So, invest in the equipment, design your shirt, and start the sublimation process to create your unique custom shirts.
Don’t forget, a professional provider of sublimation ink, transfer paper, and printers is essential for the success of your project. And always, reference instructions and tutorials for the best outcomes.