I was very excited to finally be able to buy a Sawgrass printer and discover the word of sublimation. It opens up a crazy amount of possibilities that even has my Husband intrigued which is not something I can say about any of my other crafts!
You may have heard the word bandied around lately or maybe you’ve just invested in a sublimation printer and are a little unsure of some things.
Sublimation printing itself requires a printer with specific ink which turns into a gas when heat is applied. I chose Sawgrass which is designed specifically for the job but you can also buy an Epson eco tank printer which you can convert to a sublimation printer. There’s lots of info on YouTube for this as I haven’t tried it myself I’ll leave the explanation to someone who has!
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Sublimation also requires specific blanks to work on which can sometimes be store-bought items. More on that later 🙂
The benefits of sublimation printing over vinyl.
You don’t need to weed it.
It doesn’t fade.
Mugs and other drinkware is dishwasher safe.
No more rolls of vinyl to store.
Sublimated items sell well.
It’s completely smooth.
Doesn’t peel off over time.
Some Cons for Sublimation Printing
T-shirt blanks need to be 100% polyester which here in the UK is not easy to find in stores and a couple that I have bought don’t have a nice feel to them. 100% cotton shirts are much easier to come by and cheaper. I’m sure I’ll find a shirt I like, Cricut infusible ink shirts are the ones I’d like to try next. There are things that you can treat polyester shirts with which essentially coats them with a sublimatable layer but I’m finding them hard to come by here in England.
If you want to make mugs you’ll need a mug press. I use my Cricut EasyPress for everything else.
It smells! Work in a well-ventilated area.
Sublimation inks are expensive. Around £40 each but mine are lasting very well. I also opted to get the full inks with the printer when I purchased it.
You will need a computer (Mac or Windows) to run the software.
Items are VERY hot after they are sublimated. Protect your work surface and wear heatproof gloves.
What will you make?
I love making mugs and have designed some to sell too. It’s awesome being able to create something perfect for the recipient in no time at all!
Amazon has great deals on mugs.
I highly encourage you to check out Design Bundles for awesome designs at great prices using their Plus Membership
Buy clear heatproof tape. I’ve ruined a few projects with the brown kind.
I promised you some projects you can sublimate using store bought items so here goes.
I went to Primark and picked up a throw blanket (£4) and a cushion cover (£2.50) both are 100% so that’s perfect.
really like am obsessed with Christmas Movies. Look how amazing it turned out though. And that blanket is so snuggly. Pass the hot cocoa.
I’m looking forward to bringing more info on sublimation printing as I learn about it myself so do look out for that.