Printwear

2020 Sublimation Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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6 The Sublimation Report • Spring 2020 a-e-mag.com • printwearmag.com SG1000 supports both standard size and extended capacity (double capacity) ink cartridges (you can mix and match sizes as needed). To support the new printers, Saw- grass is offering its next generation Ultra HD SubliJet ink that provides excellent color gamut, runnability, and image dura- bility. The inks were designed for both hard and soft (fabric) substrates and are matched to the Ricoh piezo print head using a higher viscosity formula. By my testing, 1 ml of this gel type ink is the equivalent of 3 ml of other brands of sublimation ink. SUBLIMATION RELEASE PAPER The purpose of sublimation paper is to carry the ink from the printer to the heat press and then let go of the ink as it turns into a gas and diffuses into the substrate. Be sure to only use papers that are supported by the printer as some generic papers dry too slowly and create moisture and streak issues. Another bonus of the many genera- tions of these printers is the outstanding family of sublimation release papers supported by them. I recommend the DyeTrans SPP paper as it has minimal dot gain, superior release characteristics, and is available in many different sizes. CONNECTING TO YOUR COMPUTER Sawgrass provides a full-featured driver for both Mac (check for supported versions) and Windows (10 and up). Both printers support three ways to hook your computer to them: USB, ethernet, and Wi-Fi. Sawgrass includes a USB cable. I am suspicious of using Wi-Fi as many networks tend to have erratic data flow and might cause printing to stop and start, resulting in horizonal banding and poor performance. GETTING READY FOR THE ROAD Printer setup is similar to most printers: unpack, install ink cartridges, and turn on. Each printer takes about six minutes to charge its ink system. Your ink cartridges will show reduced levels as ink has been moved from the cartridge into the ink tubes and print head. One of my favorite new fea- tures is the backlit display — it's quite helpful. After the ink lines have been charged, it's time to install the printer software. Driver software is downloaded from the internet, but I recommend you call your sublimation distributor and let them remote in and set everything up. This may seem odd, but it's important to optimize the setup for whatever applications you are using. Paper is loaded with the print side face-down for the built-in tray and any additional bottom trays. For the bypass tray, it's loaded face-up. I do recommend using the bottom trays when possible. Also, don't panic when your first prints look dull and faded. The dyes become vibrant once activated in the heat press. I do recommend hooking the printer up to a UPS/surge protector and leaving the printer turned on all the time. I also recommend doing a test print every few days if you are not using the printer. For those unfamiliar with design software such as Photoshop or CorelDRAW, CreativeStudio is a simple solution to design work. Learn more about CreativeStudio Check out the article by Cheryl Kuchek in the January issue of A&E, page 42.

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