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What is sublimation imprinting & how do I start a photo gift business?



Why Sublimation?

With the Dye Sublimation Transfer Process, you can print high quality digital images on a huge variety of items made of any material that is treated or coated or made of polyester. The imprinting is accomplished using a printer, special transfer inks and paper and a heat press.


What is Sublimation (Dye Sublimation Transfer)?

Dye Sublimation Transfer is a process where you take an image - that has been created digitally (either by scanning, downloaded from a digital camera or created on your computer) and then print this image with a printer using special sublimation transfer inks onto transfer paper. Once the image is on the paper you place it under a heat press on top of your polyester or poly coated item (substrate) and heat until the inks turn to a gas and transfer the image onto the item.


What type of printer do I need?

Because of the type of ink that is used you are limited in the type of printer you can print with. Currently you can purchase sublimation inks for specific desktop printers by Ricoh® and Epson®. Condé also offers sublimation solutions for wide-format printers by Epson® and Mutoh®.


What kind of inks do I need?

The ink used in the Sublimation Transfer process is a special mixture of water and heat reactive dyes. For professional results every time we recommend, sell, and support Sawgrass Technologies® Sublimation Inks.


What paper can I use?

For Sublimation there are different papers developed for different substrates. Mousepads, tote-bags, DyeTrans™ Apparel, Vapor® Apparel and fabrics are best transferred using our Jetcol® high release transfer paper. When imprinting items such as ceramics, plastics, jewelry, metal and porcelain (but not glass), we recommend our DyeTrans™ Multi Purpose Sublimation Paper. For glass cutting boards, clocks and coasters we recommend Beaver TexPrint™ or JetCol®.


What type of Heat Transfer Press do I need?

A heat press is the machine that presses a transfer onto an imprintable substrate. Using high temperatures and specified pressures for a certain amount of time, the transfer is permanently embedded into the product. Heat presses are available with various sized platens, with clamshell or swing away heating elements, and with manual or automatic release features. Some heat presses are created just for specific uses, like the cap or mug presses. The maximum print size of your printer should match the platen size of your press.

Heat presses are recommended for professional and satisfying results simply because standard laminating devices and home hand irons can not get near the temperatures required for a reliable transfer. Sublimation transfers require anywhere from 375° to 425° F and demand serious force in pressing often from 40-80 psi. These temperatures and pressures are not possible with other heated devices.

Condé recommends George Knight® Heat Presses because they are simply the best. George Knight Heat Presses have been the backbone of literally thousands upon thousands of businesses over the past four decades, providing a reliable workhorse of a product that stands up to the demands of any imprinting business.


What types of products can I make?

Condé carries a wide variety of sublimatible products. Our agents can supply you with a product catalog or you can browse our line on the website, conde.com. All our exciting items can be produced with DyeTrans™ Sublimation Transfer Systems. These are available ranging from small “Starter” systems that will enable you to make tiles, jewelry and name badges up to “Pro” wide format packages that can provide items 24”-42” wide, like car mats, full bleed shirts and large photo murals.


Why Shop Condé?

Condé stocks everything you need to get into the highly profitable custom imprinting business! Our website has the latest product pricing and is updated in real-time. New products, pricing, and changes shown on our website may not reflect in our catalog immediately so always be sure to check here often. The Condé agent who handles your account will do everything in their power to bring you the latest deals, discounts and special offers.

Remember, Condé is here to help you grow your business by providing premium products, systems, supplies, and support for everything we sell. We are your partner and are devoted to helping you grow your custom personalized product business.




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