Awards & Engraving

April '18

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24 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2018 • to create custom metal products that will dazzle your customers (we recommend products made by Accucutter). PROCESS 8. Sublimation inks. Always use brand name inks to ensure consistency from batch to batch and insist on an ICC profile for accu- rate/vibrant colors. Don't use expired inks. 9. Sublimation paper. Choose the right media for the right application to ensure superb transfer quality. Standard paper provides image clarity and color on hard substrates such as ceramic tiles, award plaques, name badges, and coffee mugs. High-release paper is designed to release more sublimation ink in the transfer process, resulting in vibrant transfers on soft (thirsty) substrates including T-shirts, mousepads, towels, and tote bags. Also consider pre-cut mu g p a p e r. T h i s s i m p l e change can help digital deco- rators at all levels of produc- tion eliminate paper waste and drastically reduce the time and effort involved in producing mugs in an oven or traditional mug press. 10. Quality substrates. Not all substrates and coatings are created equal. Mugs are an excellent example of a product that vary greatly among suppliers. Are they dishwasher safe? Do they meet FDA requirements? How well will they hold up in the real world? Be sure to do your homework before making a decision based on a low price. You get what you pay for. 11. Evil Teflon. Avoid using Teflon unless recommended in our instruc- tions, as it traps moisture and will most likely transfer sublimation ink to the next substrate unless it is properly cleaned. I do, however, recommend it for products with adhesive backs such as Rowmark's MATES material and our fabric patches. 1 2 . P r o t e c t ive c ove r p ap e r. Unless otherwise instructed, always use uncoated white butcher paper on the top and bottom of your sublimation sandwich (available from Uline or Sam's Club). The paper, thrown away after each use, protects your heat platen, bottom pad, and substrate from ink and other debris. Poly-poplin fabric is recommended for ChromaLuxe metal and glass. 30 Sublimation Tips and Tricks Tip 7 Tip 8 Tip 13

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