Dye Sublimation For Beginners
Dye Sublimation for Beginners helps you from novice to expert to discover unique crafting ideas.
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What is Sublimation? Dye Sublimation for Beginners
Scientifically, sublimation is a process when a solid bypasses the liquid state directly to the gas stage; an example is dry ice.
Have you heard of sublimation as a crafting technique? If you love crafting, you will want to try this without delay.
To start with sublimation, you will need a particular printer. Good options are a converted Epson printer or another option is a special Sawgrass printer.
Follow these simple steps: First – print sublimation dye onto transfer paper. Next – transfer images to sublimation blanks. Lastly, let the item cool. Voila! A custom gift just for you.
Some Sublimation Essentials, Dye Sublimation for Beginners
When creating your unique clothing and accessories through sublimation, you’ll need a few supplies.
- The most important supply is Dye Sublimation Printer. Good options are either a converted Epson or a dedicated Sawgrass sublimation printer. I use a converted Epson.
- Next is special Sublimation ink. I use Cosmos Ink cartridges and sublimation dye for my converted Epson printer.
- Transfer Paper, ideally sublimation transfer paper but copy paper can be used in a pinch. I use A-Sub or Crafting Besties transfer paper.
- Sublimation Blanks, high polyester count fabrics, poly coating, or dedicated sublimation blanks are available online.
- Heat source; heat press, Cricut Heath Press, Cricut mug press, or toaster oven
- Your imagination
Sublimation Supplies, Dye Sublimation For Beginners
As a sublimation beginner, with the following supplies, you can confidently begin your next project knowing that you have everything necessary for success.
Finding a Sublimation Design
Cricut Design Space, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and even Paint can be used to adjust and print your design.
Creative Fabrica is by far my favorite in quantity and quality, Etsy also offers many popular sublimation designs in many types of files, such as PNG, JPG, or SVG. I prefer SVG because the images are easier to adjust and personalize.
Printing Sublimation Images
Once your design is perfected, print it onto the transfer paper, and make sure your image is mirrored.
Printer Settings for Sublimation
- Click on Print/Printer Icon
- Highlight your printer
- Click on the preferences tab
- Set Paper Source
- Set Document Size (I set this to Super B 13X9)
- Set Paper Type to Premium Presentation Matte
- Set Quality to Hight
- Select Options Tab
- Uncheck High Speed
- Check Mirror Image
- Color Correction, click on Custom, Advanced tab, Color Management, Color Controls, click on Adobe RGB, then set Gamma to 2.2, and Click on OK.
- Printing Presets, select Add/Remove Presets, Name your settings, select OK, Apply.
Preparing Your Blanks for Sublimation
Preparing a sublimation blank for sublimation doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming! First, select the type of blanks you would like to use for the project. Next, make sure the surface of the blanks is clean and free from any oils or waxes. Finally, use heat-resistant tape to hold down areas you don’t want to be decorated. This would be labels or buttons
- Using a lint roller, clean off any fuzz and debris
- Heat press the shirt for a few seconds to iron out any wrinkles
- Fold the t-shirt in half lengthwise and press for a few seconds to identify the center
- Carefully fold your transfer paper in half lengthwise, only creasing at the ends to identify the center.
- Line up the centers, tape transfer paper
- to the t-shirt image side down, then cover the full shirt with butcher paper or Teflon sheets.
- Press at 350 degrees for 60 seconds.
- Let cool and carefully remove the transfer paper and enjoy your creation.
- Wipe the mug down with an alcohol wipe
- Once dry, tape the image to the mug, the image side down.
- Starting from the bottom, use heat-resistant tape and tightly tape around the entire cup except for the handle.
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees
- Insert the mug into the toaster oven for nine (9) minutes, turning every three (3) minutes.
- Using heat-resistant gloves, remove the mug, and once cooled, remove the transfer paper
- Remove the lid, and wipe the tumbler with an alcohol wipe
- Once dry, tape the image to the tumbler, the image side down, being cautious about lining up the image.
- Starting from the bottom, use heat-resistant tape and tightly tape around the entire tumbler, double-taping the transfer paper to the top and bottom tumbler.
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees
- Insert the tumbler into the toaster oven for nine (9) minutes, turning every three (3) minutes.
- Accordingly, Using heat-resistant gloves will protect your hands. Use them to remove the tumbler. Afterward, when the tumbler has cooled completely, remove the transfer paper
Sublimation for Beginners Crafts
Mugs, t-shirts, and mousepads are some of the easiest projects for sublimation newbies. Just choose your favorite product type and start designing!
Start with mugs specifically for sublimation, and pick out cute sayings. Next, set up a dedicated toaster oven. Then you are ready to create a coffee cup that matches your personality. Check out my how to sublimate a mug blog.
Do you want eye-popping vivid color? Then you will want to use 100%, Polyester Shirts. Basically, think of sports jerseys. Another option is if you want a more distressed look, you can go with polycotton blends. Check out my how to sublimate a t-shirt blog.
Puzzles are a fun way to create unique gifts for memorable moments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the difference between dye sublimation printers and inkjet printers?
Sublimation printers are used for sublimation printing, using sublimation ink to create specialized sublimation transfers for crafting. Inkjet printers use liquid inks which are best suited to printing documents onto paper. Both types of printers are not easily interchangeable.
What kind of sublimation paper should I use?
There are many types of sublimation transfer paper. Therefore, there are plenty to choose from. Don’t worry if you don’t have fancy sublimation paper. Because regular copy paper can be used in a pinch. Unfortunately, colors will not be as vibrant.
Can I sublimate on a cotton shirt?
Polyester fabrics are best for sublimation – the higher the polyester count in blends, the more vibrant colors. To sublimate on a 100% cotton shirt, you will need a sublimation coating or use glitter heat transfer vinyl to infuse the image.
Good Luck and have fun with your sublimation journey.
This is just the beginning of the numerous projects that will up your crafting game. For more crafting ideas, check out this blog.
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