The first things you'll need are a sublimation printer and sublimation ink. A sublimation printer is essentially a standard inkjet printer. However, rather than installing standard inkjet ink cartridges into the printer, sublimation ink cartridges are installed instead. Also, for most printers, rather than using the standard printer manufacturer's driver software when installing the printer to your computer, you would install the specially engineered Sawgrass Print Manager software to your computer. This will ensure proper color management, proper printer pix-elation density and overall excellent prints. One very important thing to take note of is that once a printer is utilized for sublimation, it can no longer be used for regular inkjet printing. Sawgrass sublimation printers are sold with Sublijet-UHD Sublimation Ink install kits.
The next item you will need is sublimation paper. We carry the TexPrint brand of sublimation papers. TexPrint sublimation paper is the world's largest selling desktop paper. It is high quality paper that offers premium definition and color fidelity as well as very high color transfer efficiency. There are two lines of TexPrint that we carry: TextPrintXPHR and TextPrintR. TextPrintXPHR is compatible with water based inks such as the inks used with the Epson brand printers whereas TexPrintR is engineered specifically for gel based Sawgrass printers. The excellent dimensional stability at high speeds with heavy ink loads of the TexPrintR makes it the perfect choice for sublimation use with a Sawgrass printers.
The next item that you will need is either sublimation tape or a spray-on adhesive for sublimation. Sublimation tape is a specially formulated tape that will not melt or leave residue when heat is applied to it. This is especially suitable for hard substrates like ceramic, metal, and plastic sublimation products. The spray on adhesive on the other hand is more suitable for your soft substrates such as polyester fabrics. The spray on adhesive may or may not be needed. However, if you find that your fabric substrates are experiencing ghosting or blurriness caused by movement of the sublimation paper on the substrate, the spray on adhesive will help to fix that issue. For your fabric substrates, we also recommend parchment paper. Parchment paper is used above and below your substrate to protect against staining of the heat press for sublimation requirement edge to edge printing.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to the sublimation process, and we would love to help you in making sublimation printing a sustainable and profitable part of your business. If you have any further questions regarding the sublimation process or heat transferring in general, please call our experts at 1-800-215-0894.