Impressions - January 2011 - (Page 64)

EMBROIDERY >> HANDS ON DIGITAL DECORATING >> HANDS ON Production SCREEN PRINTING >> HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON >> A sublimation-ready metal license plate is an ideal substrate for creating a photo gift that requires a minimal production investment, yet yields a hefty margin. Use Info•Action #36 at See us at ISS Long Beach $500-$1,500, depending on size. Even then, you’re still only looking at about $2,500 on the top end to get started. Production costs are very reasonable as well. For example, an 8" x 10" T-shirt design can be printed in less than 30 seconds for a cost of $0.73 per print, including ink and paper costs. (Editor’s Note: Data is based on a specific image printed on a Ricoh GXe3300 printer using Sawgrass SubliJet-R inks.) Cost will vary by image size, printer model, printer settings and ink delivery systems, but overall, sublimation is a very low-cost decoration method. If you’re not familiar with the sublimation process, it’s really simple. Create an image using standard graphics software like CorelDraw or Adobe Photoshop, then print it on transfer paper using a printer that is capable of processing sublimation inks. Place that transfer paper over the item to be decorated and, using a heat press, apply pressure for about a minute at a temperature of 400°F. The combination of time, pressure and temperature will cause the sublimation inks on the transfer paper to turn into a gas, which will then permeate any polymer fibers they encounter. The result is a permanent image that won’t scratch, peel or crack. On performance apparel, sublimated images will not fade when washed. Even though sublimation only works on polymer fibers, that’s not a limiting factor. There are many products — from flip-flops, photo panels and ceramic tiles to aluminum water bottles and metal license plates — that have polymer coatings that have been applied specifically for the purpose of sublimation. This means there are many market opportunities for sublimated products, especially photo gifts. 64 Impressions >> January 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - January 2011

Impressions - January 2011
First Impressions
ISS Show Focus
Winning Decorators Focus on Intricate Details
Special Report: The Cotton Crunch
T-Shirts Still an Industry Staple
Worthwhile Projects for the Slower Months
For Screen Printers Only
Use Sublimation to Create High-Value Photo Gifts
Online Directory
Business To Business
Ad Index

Impressions - January 2011