What do you mean by sublimation or the Sublimation process?

Sublimation is when a substance transitions from solid state to gas state without becoming a liquid . This process only happens with specific materials at specific temperatures, times and pressures. The image is printed using specific printers and inks. The image is then secured to the item and either pressed in a heat press or baked in a convection oven. Note: When using a convection oven, you can no longer use the convection oven to cook food.
When creating t-shirts or other items, an image is printed on special paper with special sublimation ink. Once dried, the image is placed onto the t-shirt and pressed at 400 degrees for a specific period of time and pressure. The ink transfers directly into the polyester fibers essentially dyeing the material. The end result has no vinyl layer, leaving the material in its same softness after printing as it was before printing. The result is a quality print that will last a very long time, it will never crack or peel or fade
Items such as Slate, mugs etc. have a special coating which the image is printed on.

Do you offer a vinyl option?

Yes, we use “Siser” vinyl for most projects involving vinyl. We also use a flock based material on our hoodies which has a velvet feel. This material is great for lettering and we can also print images directly onto the flock for a more vibrant result.

Can you sublimate on anything?

The short answer is no but there is a host of products available to sublimate on. material needs to be polyester or a polyester blend and other items have a coating to hold the image. Items range from clothing/material (polyester and polyester blends), drinkware, journals, coasters, bookmarks, photo frames on slate, acrylic and aluminum, ceramics and so much more! Blended materials should be a minimum 65%polyester, but satisfactory results have been achieved with 50%polyester content.
Sublimation does not work on natural fibers such as cotton.

What material works best with sublimation?

Sublimation works best on 100 % polyester, white or lighter colours. White will give you a bright crisp image which will last a very long time. Darker colours start to blend with the ink. Since printers do not print white, any areas in your image which are white will become the colour of your material, however this can still result if a good quality image.

Polyester blended materials work as well however if the polyester content falls below 65% the final image is more a vintage or worn look. The ink only absorbs into the polyester and will wash out of the natural fiber, cotton.

Frames, journals or other items must have a polyester coating in order for sublimation to work well.

Some examples

How do I choose my image or know if it will work?

Most images work well
Image files can be PNG, JPEG, PDF, AI or SVG
Smartphone images usually work very well

High resolution images will work best because of the high dots per inch (DPI). They have more detail so when they are increased in size they do not distort or pixelate. Avoid thumbnail images as they pixelate quickly. Sometimes it just depends on the project.

If you are not sure, send us the image and let us know what you are planning to print on i.e. t-shirt , mug etc. We are happy to help, we can confirm quality as well as make minor adjustments for a better finished product.

We can print a small sample on the colour of your choice.

If choosing a material that is 50% cotton and 50% polyester, avoid fine details as they will not be noticeable after several washes.

We are always here to help and discuss your project.

How can I upload an image of my artwork?

Uploading your artwork will require you to take a photo of the work.

Take your image in daylight conditions, or very bright.

Preferably on a solid background (white), Create a ramp with paper and display your image. This will help for editing out background around your image.

Take the image directly in line with the artwork

Contact us if you require assistance, we may be able to help.

How long will the image last?

For a very long time, the image will not crack. It will not fade under normal conditions. The main enemy of sublimation is heat. If an item is sitting outside in direct sunlight it will fade over time. We use an anti-UV ink to make your image last a very long time. Another thing to be cautious of is the drying cycle in a dishwasher. We recommend using the top shelf of the dishwasher, to avoid being place directly above a heating element.

It also depends on the product when it comes to clothing. Sublimation requires a higher level of polyester.
Clothing items that are 100% polyester will hold the image as well as when it was made. It will not fade, crack or peel.
Blended materials will not hold the ink as well, as it will wash out of the cotton fibers. We recommend 65% polyester minimum for best results.
We do offer hoodies which are 50% polyester and 50% cotton. The result is a less vibrant image. This still works well in many situations for a more vintage worn in feel. We offer a flock/vinyl base for situations when we cannot print directly on the fabric.