Tips for Successful Sublimation
- Using 100% Polyester Fabric will ensure the best color & washfastness.
- Transfers should be removed immediately after the fabric is removed from the heat press.
- Maintain appropriate heat press time, tempurature & pressure
- Shortened pressing times will result in good surface color but the sublimation dyes will not completely penetrate the polyester fibers. This leaves the dyes more susceptible to wash out.
- Longer pressing times and too much pressure will cause the dye molecules to penetrate deeper into the fiber, creating a washed out look.
- The correct temperature setting is vital for achieving desired results. Higher temperatures can damage the polyester fibers to the point that they cannot properly "hold" the dyes.
- To obtain the best results when printing onto metal, place the transfer between the metal and an absorbent cloth or fresh, non-textured paper towel. This will absorb any dyes that pass back through the paper and any moisture released during the transfer process. If you have problems with inconsistently filled areas, this may alleviate the problem.
- When transferring onto ceramic tiles, immediately peel the paper off of the ceramic after removing it from the heat press. Once the paper has been removed, cool the ceramic by submerging it in cool water, or run water over it from the faucet. If paper residue remains on the surface of the ceramic, clean with citrus cleaner. If you experience a significant paper-sticking problem, call your SubliJet reseller for assistance.
- Read the instructions that come with the tiles purchased. Some tiles require the use of a rheat conductive rubber pad, others do not.
- Consult both the reseller & the ink manufacturer for exact transfer times for various types of tiles. There are many different types of tiles & setting requirements depending on which tile you are using.
- If the image being transferred onto the tile runs from edge to edge or is part of a mural it's wise to make your image a 1/8" to 1/4" wider so that no white space is visible after transferring.
- Consult the mug press manufacturer for exact transfer specs & sizes to eliminate mistakes surrounding transfer area & press times.
- Mugs are hot when being removed from a mug press. Becareful not to touch any of the heated area. It is recommended to use a hot pad or heat glove to remove the mug from the press.
- When transferring onto mugs, immediately peel the paper off of the ceramic after removing it from the heat press. Once the paper has been removed, cool the ceramic by submerging it in cool water, or run water over it from the faucet. If paper residue remains on the surface of the ceramic, clean with citrus cleaner. If you experience a significant paper-sticking problem, call your SubliJet reseller for assistance.
Polyester T-Shirts or Performance Apparel
- The presence of moisture in your fabric can lead to bleeding of the image. Remove moisture by pre-pressing your shirt for 10 seconds. Use Teflon® sheets between the front and back of the shirt to prevent the inks from penetrating to the other side of the shirt. If dye residue from your heat press is being deposited on your shirts at any time, heat press a paper towel or similar absorbent material to remove it.
- Using a lint brush before pressing can greatly reduce lint or debris on the shirt.
Moisture & Humidity Problems
The addition of moisture to the sublimation process can cause unwanted results. Under normal circumstances, the small amount of moisture that can accumulate in your paper is absorbed directly into the transfer substrate; however hard substrates like metal and ceramic are unable to absorb excess moisture. Some of problems that are attributed to moisture include: color shifting (colors lose accuracy), bleeding of the image, and uneven transfer of solid filled areas.
To avoid these problems
- Keep your paper in a dry place.
- If you suspect moisture, set the paper on your press for a few seconds. Do not press it. Just expose it to the warmth. The heat radiating from the press should help evaporate most of the moisture.
- To eliminate moisture in fabric, press the fabric for 10 seconds before doing the heat transfer.
- Use an absorbent cloth or fresh, non-textured paper towel behind the transfer sheet to absorb the moisture.