Category Archives: sublimation

Sublimation – a guide to your own business

Sublimation products are everywhere without people realising they are sublimation. Phone covers, cushion covers, t-shirts – anything with a print on. There are so many options with sublimation – far too many to write about here, but here is a very quick overview on what sublimation is and a very brief note on what you can achieve in being your own with a sublimation business through Create Your Way To Success

A few notes on Sublimation

Dye Sublimation is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals and polyester cloth, using three main ingredients: sublimation ink, heat and pressure.

Sublimation ink is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. (Just like dry ice.) The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. Items such as ceramic, fibre board, metals, etc. require a special coating to accept the sublimation inks. These can be purchased already coated to make life really simple.

For a chance to explore sublimation products click on the link here and watch our supplier talk about what you can create.

Sublimation: What you would need to beginSublimation Business Start Up Kit

A good quality sublimation printer – we recommend the Isub Education Virtuosa SG400 Sublimation Printer and CreativeStudio Software package. (Gives you great access to 3500 template images set into your design software for you to print straight from or customise with your own pictures and text.)

Professional inks – the ONLY ones we would use are  Sawgrass Sublimation Inks.

Instant Drsublimation cushion covery Sublimation Paper and heat tape.

A TM1 Mug Press and a TC2 Heat Press (again recommended suppliers are ISub Education if you are just starting out).

A guide to times and temperatures and of course a profit calculation sheet!

Any professional sublimater will tell you that Sawgrass sublimation products are amongst the best to use. The saying “buy cheap, buy twice” is particularly relevant for sublimation products. You want to produce products that last – colours need to stay vibrant and not fade or bleed. You want customers to come back time and time again. There are many cheaper alternatives on the market – especially with inks and printers and companies that will promise you the earth if you buy their products, claiming them to be equally as good as the higher cost items. When it comes to inks and printers it really is buyer beware! No matter how high a quality of heat press you have if your printer and inks are not top standard you simply won’t get the quality that you need.

Printer and software

The Virtuosa printer is a high quality printer for sublimation products. We include all the necessary software needed for you to be immediately up and running with your equipment. It is so easy to use. We know the disappointment of ordering all your kit only to find out you need to purchase another £150 worth of software to get it up and running – and then there’s the challenge of trying to install something on your computer that seems impossible to do.

Inks

Sublimation printers use specialist Dye Sublimation inks. Sawgrass ink cartridges fit inside the printer, so no need for the older style external ink feeding systems. The cartridges are filled with the new Sublijet R higher viscosity gel ink formulation, which can cope with installations where the printer may sit unused for longer periods of time, for example between projects or holidays. Cartridges can be replaced in single units. You may see cheap refillable cartridges on the market – beware! As ink mixes with the air it oxidises. As you fill and refill your cartridges, the inks on the inside of the cartridge will oxidise and become like a gel. This gel will then block your printer feeder tubes. Sawgrass inks come in vacuum packed pouches inside the cartridges. As the ink is used the vacuum pack sucks in – no air in here!

Are the inks expensive?

We regularly get asked the question “How much does it cost to do each print?” This is the ultimate “how long is a piece of string?” question. Each print that is printed on a printer is different and uses a different amount of ink. However we can provide you with a detailed guide that gives examples of different types of prints and the cost to do these prints. As a quick example –  if you spend £160 on inks, you could print 3000 mugs. Inks could be around 12p per mug. You sell the mug at £10. £10 x 3000 for £160 set of inks. The cost of the inks should not be a problem!

Sublimation paper

You need sublimation paper to print on – it won’t work with normal paper. Our sublimation paper is designed to specifically match the software colour profile you will have installed on your CreativeStudio software – so expert results every time!

Heat presses

The heat press is used to sublimate the image off the paper and onto your chosen substrate to be decorated. The heat press provides the three components required for the process of sublimation to occur – heat, pressure and time. We offer a top range mug TM1 mug press and a newly designed, more compact TC2 flat bed press. Both are made by Sebacco – a highly reputable and trusted manufacturer. A heat press can take up the same amount of space as a printer.

Sublimation Business Ongoing Support

If you are starting a new venture ongoing support is a must.

Our expert partners  in sublimation are on hand to help you with any technical issues. They are able to remotely log in to your computer after giving you a password and help sort out any techy problems you may have. Just like having a personal trainer always with you but without the additional cost! No need to trail through forums, youtube videos or the likes – unless you want to!

A quick guide to costs

We can not emphasis enough the need to use quality products with quality SawGrass inks. If you use cheap alternatives the products will deteriorate quickly – as will your business reputation. If you use good quality products they will last – I am currently using a mug every day that was printed in 2013. It is still as good as the day my daughter drew the design!

Product Product Price Finished RRP
11oz Durham coated mug £1.27 £12-15
Mug gift box 0.27 Included with mug RRP
Pencil case/make-up bag £2.39 £10
Cuff links (pair) £1.93 £15
Compact mirror with metal insert £1.49 £8-10
40cm x 40cm deluxe cushion cover £3.92 £10 – 12
I-phone 6 plus leather flip case £2.59 £15-18

The final price you charge is completely up to you. That’s the beauty of having your own business. But the prices above are taken from examples within the current market.

Please let us know if we can help any further. https://www.createyourwaytosuccess.com/

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