Awards & Engraving

August '19

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A&E AUGUST 2019 • 49 Since traditional-style mugs have always had handles, this unimaged area was to be expected. For the new styles of handle-less drinkware, however, this unimaged gap is less than ideal. Compared to a five-minute dwell time in a mug press, one 11-ounce mug secured with a silicone wrap usually takes about 12-15 minutes in an oven. NEW ON THE SCENE: SHRINK WRAP FILM SLEEVES Recently, the introduction of shrink wrap film sleeves (also known by brand names such as SubliShrink) has changed the paradigm of sublimation transfer. Intro- duced to remedy the challenges of imaging uniquely shaped products, shrink wrap film sleeves give digital decorators the ability to sublimate a new variety of tapered drink- ware and handle-less wine tumblers using a convection oven. The sleeves also provide an alternative way of producing handle-less items typi- cally made with a mug press such as ceramic coin banks and aluminum water bottles. Typically, dwell times for shrink-wrapped items are lower than conventional wraps. This new way of imaging drinkware pro- duces full, all-around images. The new plastic film sleeves are cur- rently sold in five different sizes to accom- modate items ranging in size from shot glasses to pet bowls. To use, simply insert a blank sublimatable product with attached transfer into an appropriately sized sleeve, shrink the sleeve with a heat gun to con- form to the product's shape, and then place it into a convection oven or heat tunnel for that product's appropriate temperature and time settings. When done, remove the item from the oven, remove the shrink wrap sleeve and printed transfer (while hot), and cool using a powerful fan. Note: I no longer recommend cooling ceramic mugs in water as this can cause micro fractures in the ceramic. A variety of odd-shaped drinkware items can be sublimated using the shrink wrap film sleeves.

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