Impressions - June 2018 - 44

think.
make.
do.

Sublimation
like this article? Read more sublimation articles
at impressionsmag.com/digitaldecorating.

Breaking the Rules
of Sublimation
Here's how to skirt some key rules
for this decoration process.
By JIMMy LAMB, ContRIButIng WRIteR

There is nothing like being a rebel.Trust
me, I know. The product-decoration
industry has many longstanding rules
about what can and can't be done. In
many cases, the rules have proven to be
true. But there are plenty of areas in which
rules are not cast in stone; in fact, they are
more like guidelines.
Playing it safe within the guidelines is
perfectly acceptable. If you want to see
just how far you can push the boundaries,
you may end up with some cool, new
applications and techniques that will set
you apart from your competitors.

There are six sublimation rules we are
taught not to break:
1. You can only sublimate on white.
2. Products must have a polymer or
polyester surface.
3. Use very specific time, temperature
and pressure settings.
4. Sublimation cannot be used on
outdoor products.
5. You can only apply sublimation to
flat surfaces (except for mugs).
6. Only use products that are manufactured for the process.

Shown at the top is a 100%
polyester shirt.The print on the
50/50 cotton/polyester blended
shirt at the bottom results in a retro
look because the sublimation didn't
bond with its cotton content.
P.44

i m p r e s s i o n s m a g . c o m JUNE/JULY 2018

Let's take a look at each rule and see
what really gives.
Stick to White
As it turns out, white is the best color
for sublimation, but not the only one.
To understand color limitations when it
comes to sublimation production, you
must first understand more about the
application's chemistry.
Sublimation actually involves a dye -
not ink - that permeates and recolors the
fibers to which it is applied. In addition,
dyes are translucent, which means the
background color can impact the ink color.
In reality, sublimation works fine on
light and even some medium colors,
depending on the design. But as the background gets darker, the range of usable
sublimation colors decreases because you
only can use those that are significantly
darker than the background.
With sublimation and many other digital
processes, image colors are created by mixing base ink colors. In a four-color printer,
that typically is cyan, magenta, yellow and
black (CMYK).You can create thousands
of colors using these four base colors, but
you can't create white.
While this limits your options when
dealing with any surface color other than
white, it isn't as bad as it sounds. It's only
an issue where the design is smaller than
the substrate being decorated, typically
on apparel.
Considering that most sublimation is
done as a full-bleed process - and the
majority of substrates made for this appli-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - June 2018

Impressions - June 2018
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Overheard
First Look
Scene at ISS
On Design
Big Things Come in Small Sizes
Accelerating the Art Department
Screen Printing Production
Shop Talk
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Technique
Sublimation
Ad Index/Classifieds
Impressions - June 2018 - Intro
Impressions - June 2018 - CT1
Impressions - June 2018 - CT2
Impressions - June 2018 - Impressions - June 2018
Impressions - June 2018 - Cover2
Impressions - June 2018 - 1
Impressions - June 2018 - 2
Impressions - June 2018 - 3
Impressions - June 2018 - 4
Impressions - June 2018 - 5
Impressions - June 2018 - First Impressions
Impressions - June 2018 - 7
Impressions - June 2018 - 8
Impressions - June 2018 - 9
Impressions - June 2018 - From the Show Director
Impressions - June 2018 - 11
Impressions - June 2018 - Overheard
Impressions - June 2018 - 13
Impressions - June 2018 - 14
Impressions - June 2018 - 15
Impressions - June 2018 - 15a
Impressions - June 2018 - 15b
Impressions - June 2018 - First Look
Impressions - June 2018 - Scene at ISS
Impressions - June 2018 - On Design
Impressions - June 2018 - 19
Impressions - June 2018 - Big Things Come in Small Sizes
Impressions - June 2018 - 21
Impressions - June 2018 - 22
Impressions - June 2018 - 23
Impressions - June 2018 - 24
Impressions - June 2018 - 25
Impressions - June 2018 - Screen Printing Production
Impressions - June 2018 - 27
Impressions - June 2018 - 28
Impressions - June 2018 - 29
Impressions - June 2018 - Shop Talk
Impressions - June 2018 - 31
Impressions - June 2018 - Embroidery Production
Impressions - June 2018 - 33
Impressions - June 2018 - 34
Impressions - June 2018 - 35
Impressions - June 2018 - 36
Impressions - June 2018 - 37
Impressions - June 2018 - 38
Impressions - June 2018 - Screen Printing Technique
Impressions - June 2018 - 40
Impressions - June 2018 - 41
Impressions - June 2018 - 42
Impressions - June 2018 - 43
Impressions - June 2018 - Sublimation
Impressions - June 2018 - 45
Impressions - June 2018 - 46
Impressions - June 2018 - Ad Index/Classifieds
Impressions - June 2018 - 48
Impressions - June 2018 - Cover3
Impressions - June 2018 - Cover4
Impressions - June 2018 - IO1
Impressions - June 2018 - IO2
Impressions - June 2018 - IO3
Impressions - June 2018 - IO4
Impressions - June 2018 - IO5
Impressions - June 2018 - IO6
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