How a sublimation printer can help women
By Beatrice J.
Why should you be interested in sublimation printers? From a very young age I have always been aware of being able to stand out from the crowd, but being a girl has not always been easy in the sense of being unique. Not to even mention trying to find original clothing. Going into clothing stores to find that one outfit that you just know no other girl would have can be a real challenge.
Have you ever tried to get ready for a party or social event having this nagging voice inside your head? You know; that one telling you that someone else will be wearing the same dress or top? Has it ever happened to you? Oh, the humiliation! The ignorant men making snide remarks of how you two could have been twin sisters, yet you do not know her from Adam? Other
When I became a mother I guess this “being unique” trait of mine must have somehow rubbed off onto my son. Although I am not aware of exactly how and when it happened, my 11-year old son is reluctant to wear retail clothing created through mass production. If you walk into a clothing store with your son and you see that guitar hero printed t-shirt you think it would just look super on him…forget about it. As my son told me: “Thomas has one exactly like it. He wears it all the time”.women giving you evil sideways glances as if you have no dress sense at all?
So what do you do? Do you buy the t-shirt and hope he will someday come to his senses and wear it before he grows out of it? Do you buy the t-shirt and order him to wear it? (Your grandparents are coming on Sunday. Wear the guitar printed t-shirt!). It could be a potential dilemma in the making. So, what did I do? I consider myself to be a good mother and, as all good mothers do, I have done some research. Although I am slightly technically disinclined, I do know how to use the internet. By using what little technical skills I possess as a female, I found the perfect solution: A sublimation printer.
If you are even one little bit like me, my fellow females, you will ask: “What on earth is THAT?” Let me tell you. A dye-sublimation printer or simply dye-sub printer, is a printer which is connected to your personal computer; much like your ordinary inkjet printer. The difference is that a dye-sub printer uses heat to convey colour onto textiles including plastic, paper and fabric. Yes, fabric! Can’t you just visualise that transformed t-shirt already?
Because I am a very inquisitive person by nature, simply knowing what it does was not enough for me. I had to know more. I needed to know exactly HOW it is possible for a computer printer to print pictures onto a plain white t-shirt. The process is actually a very clever one and at second glance, fairly straight forward.
Dye-sublimation printers use Cyan, Magenta and Yellow over coating colours. It does not make use of black colour, but rather utilises a clear over coating. It distributes one layer of colour at a time and deposits it onto a cellophane ribbon. Every colour utilised is on its own panel which is the size of the item you wish to print on. Are you with me so far? Good.
Printer rollers simultaneously move the item and a single colour panel underneath a thermal printing head where very small heating components on the printer head quickly changes temperature. Through this process it distributes separate quantities of colour depending on the heat temperature. Heat temperatures can range from anywhere between 180 – 210 degree Celsius (375 Fahrenheit). The colour is ultimately heated to a gas and spread onto your item where it coagulates. The printer will continue with this process until all the needed colour panels are transferred to your item. How amazing is that?
You have to bear in mind: every coloured panel on the ribbon as well as on the printer head, should match the exact size of the fabric you want to print. Once a panel is used, even if you only printed one line of that colour, the rest of that colour panel cannot be used to print another item. Why, you ask? Simply because the line you already used will be absent from your next print and will leave you with empty spots on your garment. Four panels of colour must always be used, even if you do not wish for a specific colour to be printed onto your item. The printer will not operate without the presence of all four colour panels.
Making use of a dye-sub printer has several advantages. A big positive is that your prints will be dry as soon as the printing process is finalised. This means you can handle your item immediately – smudge free. The colour also never goes into a fluid state, allowing for the printing process to finalise without you having to clean up any colour leakages from your printer. Furthermore, the printer is so clever that it can print all the way to the borders of your item without a problem.
Any mother knows all too well: where there is an advantage, a disadvantage is not far behind. Unfortunately the dye-sub printer is no exception, although it is my opinion that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Then again, I may be slightly biased.
The sublimation printing speed of a dye-sub printer is extremely slow, but is it not true that it takes time to produce excellent pieces of quality? You also have to ensure that the item you want to print on is free of any creases. If not, the printer will leave you with blank spaces where the colour could not reach. Pure common sense, don’t you think?
Dye-sub printers are fairly cheap and prices start from as little as $100,00, depending on the size and quality of the printer. Dye-sublimation packs which include ribbon as well as paper, are sold for a precise amount of prints. This ultimately renders you with a fixed cost per item you print.
My fellow mothers, we are creators. We think outside the box. That is part of our job description. Think about the endless possibilities you have at the touch of a button. Imagine the unique outfits you will be able to create for your children. Other mothers will come up to you and ask you where you bought an item, and you can proudly smile and say: “I made it myself”. They do not need to know about the device that helped you: the Incredible Sublimation Printer. You can find more infos here: http://www.sublimationweb.com/