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can anyone offer advise with sublimation please?

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Post Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:48 pm

can anyone offer advise with sublimation please?

I have been looking at sublimation printing, we already have a heat press which gets very little use and I thought that the sublimation process may help with some work for it.

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated, ie what price can you expect to charge for products, suppliers for ink and consumables and marketing strategies.

Thanks
Rebecca
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Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 12:33 am

Transfer Materials

We're also looking seriously at sub/transfer printing in our shop. Still looking for a reasonably priced heat press but here's a link to The Magic Touch who provide all the materials you'll need.

http://www.themagictouch.co.uk

Their brochure is pretty good as well, lots of ideas in there.
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Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:04 am

Another one

And just so it doesn't look like I'm plugging The Magic Touch, here's a link to another supplier of similar stuff.

http://www.targettransfers.com
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Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:25 am

Thanks for the links. We already use Magic Touch and also Xpres for heat applied material.

I wondered what general thoughts were on if sublimation is a worthwhile process to get involved with and if it is very profitable, we already have the heat press so advice on what is the best printer would be great.
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Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:40 am

We sell both sublimation tees and digital image tees(paper through a photo copier)

We market the images from the photo copier as a Hen/stag night product. Only suitable for short term use. We have had very limited sucsess with this methoid. our washing tests have shown that they servive only a few washes. We have tried all manufactures of paper, and followed the instructions to the letter. I have yet to be convinced that this methoid has any use long term. If anyone on this board uses this methoid, and says it works, I would be gladly take a finished sample of them to wash @ home to see is if the product last more than 2 washes.

But saying that, we tell this to the customer, we charge £8 a tee shirt, and they are happy to pay this, as we market it as a joke/1 off wear tee.

We also use the sub tees, we tell the customer how the ink actualy penitrates the fibres of the tee, and the end result we last. We charge and extra £4 on top of the paper methoid, due to the tee costing an extra £2, and the time involved in scanning the image, and then printing it out on the epsom 890. ( you have to use a special sublimatiopn tee, these can be obtained from xpress or knovachrome )

becky.
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Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:41 am

Becky,

I used Magic Touch for shirts that I retailed and had very few problems. The main problem is the washing temperature, have it too high and the image will self destruct. You also MUST iron the transfer after each wash to bring back the colour.

I sublimate now but hate the Subli T's, too thick and sloppy and it may be me but the images aren't great through my system either? Great for Plaques, Placemats etc.,

There is a new system I read about somewhere that combines all the attributes of Sublimation but you can use normal Cotton T's.
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Post Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:40 pm

Hi Rebecca,

I now stick with Listawood on both Inks, and supplies. Their mugs I have proven to be dishwasher proof (now testing the Bone China type).

Have recently started subbing onto tiles, they are so easy, and the end result can be stunning.

I currently use an Epson C80 for my subli work (4 individual ink cartridges) there have been a few problems in the past with these, but they now seem to have been sorted.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:34 pm

I have an Epson 950 which is a quality photo inkjet printer, I also have a t-shirt press. What method and suppliers would I best use to be able to print an image on the printer and apply it to the t-shirt? Would I need to use different inks or would Epson inks be fine?

When I apply an image using a pack of paper from PC-World the ink basically soak into a plastic coating on the paper which is then ironed onto the t-shirt, this method leaves a visible A4 transfer unless you take the time to cut the image out which takes an impractically long time.

If I understand correctly the sublimation process transfers the ink from my printer into a similar coating in the t-shirt thus avoiding the transfer of the plastic from the paper to the cloth but then surely the water soluble ink that the epson uses will not last 5 minutes on the t-shirt.

Please help me I'm confused and I have customers asking for t-shirts and asside from cutting images in grafityp grafitex-extra textile vinyl I can't meet their needs.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:26 pm

hi,

the printer you use can be used for sublimation printing and as Sharon says Listawood trade supplies seem to be the best for supplyin substrates and inks.

One thing i will say though is once you use the epson with sublimation inks you can't go back to using it with normal inks, so if its your only printer you'd be advised to get another for your normal printing.

I don't think Listawood sell the t-shirts, but you can get them from xpress, and suppliers like UK Leisurewear also stock them too.

Sublimation prints can only be put onto white garments which are polyester coated, you can't use just normal t-shirts.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:01 pm

You will find some people supplying sublimation ink at better prices and I think I'm right in putting Listawood in this category but if you need or already have colour correction software this is not always compatible. The biggest producers of subli ink etc., are American. Look at the Sawgrass website for some great technical info and advice.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:50 pm

Yes Sawgrass have lots of tech info and advice. BUT their inks have a habit of clogging in the print head. I know this from experience, having used SG inks for 3 years believe me I was glad to see the back of them. Yes, they supply colour correction software for free, BUT then again every time you buy any of their cartridges due to their high pricing you're paying for this software.

It is possible to sub onto 50/50 T-shirts but the image will not be as well defined as those with a full polyester coating.

If you want to stay with non subli inks you can obtain better transfer papers than what is available at PC World. Quite a few suppliers now do these,
ie. Merlin Transfer Papers
Xpres
Graphityp

I would recommend getting some Archival Inks for your printer and sticking to these if it's only T-shirts that you want to produce.

Lyson do an ink called Lysonic - I got cartridges for my Epson 1200 from Cartex Limited they cost
Black - £9.99
5 colour £12.99 + VAT of course.

It is also possible to obtain papers for printed onto dark fabrics, the trick there is to apply an outline area in a similar colour to the T-shirt you are using then cut and apply with the heat press. With using this outline you don't need to be too acurate in your cutting as it will blend into the background.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:53 pm

Sorry Ruth,

Just noticed the end of your topic. What plotter do you have?

When I spoke to xpress last it is possible to print onto their t-shirt transfer paper then kiss cut using your plotter.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:08 pm

I've put a picture of one of the tiles I've done in the "Show us your stuff" section.

It does give you an idea of what can be done with sublimation.
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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 7:58 pm

As at this time i have not found away to contour cut printed transfers produced a normal inkjet or laser printer. The two companies that have the ability to do this are The Magic Touch and Xpres. these two companies use slightly different methods, the magic touch method is done via their software Magicut, you print your image with 3 reg marks then load into the plotter and using the software you move your blade to each of the marks and the software records these positions, for this method you need their sofware around £495+vat, made by the guys that make signgo, and a plotter that will talk back to the program. so older plotters might not work.

The xpres method involves the reg marks too, xpres provide a corel draw template with the reg marks on them, the plotter they sell, a rebadged roland cam-1 has a sensor on which picks up on these reg marks.

I've been doing some tests with regard to this method of printing but have not come up with a suitable solution as of yet!!!

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