As dye Sublimation paper is always performed on a polyester, polymer or polymer coated item, materials such 100% cotton are not suitable as the natural fibres have no pores to open to accept the image. Cotton can be sublimated but the image will fade with a few washes making a 50% polyester 50% cotton weave a required minimum.
This is a digital printing system so you firstly select or create your colour image on a computer. Any picture from any software package will do - as long as it will print on a piece of paper it will be fine. Colour correction profile software is available but this is rarely necessary for sublimation paper printing in an education environment.
The image is normally sized so that it is slightly larger than the selected material so it can ‘bleed’ over the edge leaving no white showing. The image is printed on sublimation paper ‘mirror image’ and is then laid onto the sublimation material and secured with a little ‘heat tape’. The two are then placed in a Heat press for typically 1-2 minutes at a temperature between 160°- 200°c. The exact time and temperature depends on the material being used. At the end of the cycle the paper is removed to reveal a bright vibrant scratch resistant colourful image.
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