April '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 S U B L I M A T I O N R E P O R T 3 9 press. While you can use an iron or handheld craft press to apply small sublimation prints successfully, it's practically impossible to correctly ap- ply a full front design without a heat press made specifically for printing shirts. You will get best results when using a press that can maintain even heat over the entire platen. Any cold spots in your platen will result in uneven printing results. • Pre-press the shirt. No matter what type of graphic you are heat printing, always pre-press your shirt for a few seconds to remove wrinkles and any moisture in the garment. This helps improve results. • Use bond paper as a cover sheet. Some cover sheets, such as Kraft paper, contain polymers and are a magnet for sublimation dyes. Avoid using any type of cover sheet that has any type of polyester fiber or polymer in it. Silicone sheets can work, but you have to make sure they contain no polyester. Bond paper is usually a safe bet. • Thread the shirt on the platen. Make sure you split the shirt and cover any areas you don't want to print with bond paper. • Cover your platens. Use a Teflon platen cover on both your upper and lower platens to prevent sublimation dyes from ruining them. INK AND PAPER COMPATIBILITY Make sure you work with a reliable com- pany who can help you determine com- patibility between the inks, papers, and products you would like to print. This is especially important if you need to recre- ate specific team or corporate colorways. Look for a manufacturer and ink supplier that provides color profiles for specific pa- pers. You may consider using less expen- sive ink manufacturers, but it can come back to haunt you with color profiles. HAVE FUN It takes a bit of experimentation to become a sublimation expert but it's usually worth the trial and error involved. Remember to have fun with this creative process. Most manufacturers have a lot of how-to videos to help you figure out the best methods for your business. SR Rodney Croes is the general manager at One Step Papers LLC. He has over 23 years of experience in the transfer paper industry for high-volume production and low-volume custom processes. He's an expert in manu- facturing and selling screen print papers, offset papers, inkjet and laser printer papers, sublimation papers, waterslide decal papers, and the new Hybrid PET films and papers. For the past 15 years, he's also sold color laser printers, sublimation printers, and heat presses. PRO TIP: SEPARATE YOUR SHIRT LAYERS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IM- PORTANT TO REMEMBER WHEN LOADING YOUR SHIRT ON THE HEAT PRESS. MAKE SURE YOU SPLIT THE SHIRT OPEN AND "DRESS" OR THREAD THE PLATEN. IF YOU DON'T DO THIS, YOU WILL FIND THE DYES MAY GO WHERE YOU DON'T WANT THEM. Transferring sublimation images onto a flock background allows you to print on any color shirt and gives a great textured effect. (Image courtesy Transfer Paper Experts) Oer your customers eye-catching looks with STAHLS' CAD-CUT ® special eect heat transfer vinyl. Easily heat apply designs using dierent textures and finishes to achieve unique looks perfect for spring and everyday fashion, cheer, and spirit wear. GP0421 STAHLS.COM | 800.478.2457 hijklmn BLING MATERIALS PERFECT FOR SPRING LOOKS SHOP THE SPECIAL EFFECTS LINEUP

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