January '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J A N U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 7 1 on the substrate. Most fabrics are pressed for 45 seconds with light pressure whereas ceramics require several minutes with me- dium to heavy pressure. During the heat- ing process, the sublimation dyes turn into a gas and look for an oil-loving molecule (polyester) to bond with. At the same time, oil-loving molecules open up to accept the gas. It's important to note that cotton is a water-loving molecule and will not accept the dyes. Once the transfer is complete, we remove the substrate from the press and al- low it to cool, thereby closing the pores of the substrate and trapping the dyes. Once cooled, the results are quite permanent with amazingly bright and vivid colors. SUBLIMATING TO POLYESTER SHIRTS Keep in mind that today's polyester shirts are a far cry from the polyester shirts of the 1970s. In fact, polyester has become the go-to performance fabric for outdoor ac- tivities by offering moisture-wicking prop- erties, SPF protection, and a feel similar to cotton. The ability to transfer full-color, photographic-quality images onto poly- ester has further enhanced its appeal and provides excellent profit potential for gar- ment decorators at all levels of production. Polyester shirts used in sublimation transfer must be white or light colored. Because sublimation ink is not opaque, a fabric's color will always show through the image imprinted on it. Unfortunately, the ink is simply not opaque enough to im- print images onto dark-colored or black fabrics. With white and light-colored fabrics, however, the results are stunning. There are brands in the industry that fo- cus on non-white shirts for sublimation. Some are even sublimation certified and will work with a high percentage of the color gamut without any impact from the color of the shirt. For vector graphics, this can be an ideal way to grow your apparel customer base. As a big bonus, color shirts often bring a continued on page 78 800-826-6332 Find out how producing photo quality gifts & awards can help your business be more profitable... call Condé today! Why shop Condé Systems? Condé offers everything you need to get into the personalized photo gift business including: • Dye-Sub Transfer Systems • Dye-Sub Ink, Paper & Supplies • Heat Transfer Systems • Laser & Ink Jet Transfer Papers • Heat Presses • Blank Imprintable Products • Production Software • Educational Videos • Legendary Technical Support

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