Awards & Engraving

June '16

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Page 52 of 83

A&E JUNE 2016 • 51 released coating, which contains poly- ester. This released coating is melted onto the surface cotton fabric to finish the process. Unlike sublimating to polyester, which actually dyes the fabric, Reveal S makes sublimating to cotton a surface decorating technology, similar to screen printing or DTG printing. Because of the selective release of the Reveal S paper, it is ideal for graphics but not a good fit for photographs. This is because photos often have light areas that will not activate the emulsion layer of the Reveal S coating. I've found that it's also necessary to check and possibly darken any light areas within vector art to assure there's enough color saturation to properly transfer onto the fabric. As most folks know, a sublimator's choices are limited to white and light col- ored polyester shirts. This is because dye- sub inks are not opaque and therefore need a light background to look correct (even so, sublimating to colored poly- ester shirts is popular). If we start with a colored shirt, then we have a limited amount of remaining color spectrum available to us, i.e., when sublimating to a yellow polyester shirt, blue is dif- ficult to achieve since the cyan ink plus the yellow of the shirt produces green. The Reveal S paper does not have this limitation. Since the coating that carries the dye-sub ink is somewhat opaque, more accurate colors can be produced on light- colored cotton shirts. As is the case with sublimation, if an area has no ink, you will see the underlying color of the shirt. VIBRANCY AND DETAIL Reveal S decorated shirts look great, in my opinion. Sublimation inks provide unmatched color vibrancy and notice- ably better color reproduction than DTG shirts. In addition, the detail/sharpness of the image is better than screen printing or DTG. This is because those technolo- gies are putting ink directly onto the fibers of the fabric, allowing the grain or threads that make up the fabric to be seen. With the Reveal S paper, the inks live within the emulsion layer melted to the fabric, thus hiding the appearance of individual threads. PRINTER/INK COMPATABILITY So far, I have found the Reveal S paper universally compatible with both desktop and large-format sublimation printers. I have tested the Reveal S paper with Ricoh, Sawgrass, Mutoh and Epson printers and have had success with various brands of sublimation inks including SubliJet and SubliM. Reveal S should not be used in printers with non-sublimation inks such as dye or pigment inks. IMAGES COURTESY DAVID GROSS Reveal S allows sublimators to decorate white/light colored cotton or blended fabrics using almost any inkjet sublimation printer.

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