Learn how to sublimate a photo gift

sublimated photoSublimation makes personalized gift giving easier than ever. It is a simple process that allows you to give a professional quality gift with your own design. We offer a number of items on our website that you can sublimate on for gift giving including rock slatesphoto frames, magnets, mousepads, mugs, coasters, jewelry, keychains, photo panels, cell phone cases, and even puzzles!

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Wat to create your own photo gift? Here’s what you need:

When it comes to sublimating it is simple. You start by:

  1. Designing your image or design.
  2. Mirror your image and send it to your sublimation printer.
  3. Turn on your heat press and set it to the proper temperature.
  4. Use your thermal tape to adhere your image to your sublimation product.
  5. Place a non-stick sheet or even a blank piece of paper on your heat press to catch any leaking.
  6. Place your item on top and then cover it with a non-stick sheet.
  7. Press your item per the instructions.
  8. Peel the item per the instructions.

If you want to see sublimation in action check out a couple of our Facebook Live videos. You can see us sublimate onto mousepads. 
Or even phone case panels

Have you sublimated any photo gifts recently? Share your creations with us on Instagram or Facebook.

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Last Minute Gift: Sublimated Ornaments

I always like to make a few handmade Christmas ornaments each year. Some for me, and some for friends since they are a nice personalized gift to give, especially when you use sublimation. They are quick to make and don’t require a lot of materials, and since you can sublimate photographs it will leave a lasting impression for years to come.

Want to make your own? See below!

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You Need:
1. Design your ornament with your sublimation software.
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2. Print it out.
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3. Warm your heat press to 400 degrees.
4. Tape your paper to the ornament.
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4. Place your ornament down with the paper on top and your Teflon sheet on top of that. Keep it pressed for 60 seconds.
5. Lift off the paper.
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6. Hang it on your tree.
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Show us your last minute, homemade gifts on Instagram! Tag us at Proworldinc.
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HTV vs Sublimation – What’s the difference?

When it comes to creating custom products, there are a number of different ways to do it. So how do you know which is right for you, your specific project, and your business overall? We’re going to help break it down for you. As you’ve seen from our Friday Facebook Live videos we love to create things and two of the main ways we make our designs is with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and sublimation.

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With HTV you can create an endless supply of personalized shirts, bags, hats, aprons, etc. It is available in a number of different colors, sizes, and finishes, and you can use it alone or layer it for a more dimensional look.

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Sublimation is a great way to add a premium full-color, photographic quality image to your project, especially since it will not crack, peel, or wash away. When sublimation inks are heated to 400*F with a heat press, they turn into a gas and form a permanent bond to white or light colored polyester fabrics, or items with a polymer coating.

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HTV gives you more options when it comes to garments as it works on any color, unlike sublimation which can only be done on white or light colored fabrics. But if you are personalizing phone cases, mugs, frames, etc., sublimation is a more simplified process that gives you more options.

And while HTV and sublimation are each great in different ways and for different projects, they can also be used together. Want to sublimate on a dark colored garment? Create a design using HTV and then sublimate on top of it. Talk about one of a kind!

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For more tips check out our Facebook Live videos.

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Sublimation- What Is It And How Can You Use It To Grow Your Business?

Sublimation printing allows you to create customized full-color products on demand. Using it will allow you to grow your inventory while also offering customers completely personalized, one-of-a-kind products on the spot.

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Sublimation is a process that only works when using sublimation paper, sublimation ink, and a sublimation printer. You also will need a heat source like a heat press (for flat objects) or a 3D vacuum heat press which works like an oven, for objects that will not work under a heat press. When sublimation inks are heated to 400°F, they turn into a gas and form a permanent bond to 100% white/light color polyester fabric or items with a polymer coating. The result is a premium, full-color, photographic-quality image that will not crack, peel, or wash away from the substrate. With sublimation, you can print on clothing, mugs, phone cases, frames, tags, license platespuzzles, and more.

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When printing on garments, the heat from the press causes the pores of the polyester to open up, the sublimation ink turns into a gas and then embeds itself into the garment. Once cooled, the pores close up. Because of this process, the final product is nearly permanent, extremely vibrant, and leaves no texture when rubbing your hand over the garment. You can sublimate on poly-blends, but keep in mind that the ink will only dye the polyester fibers, leaving a distressed look.

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If your primary offering is garments, adding sublimation allows you to offer products like mugs, coasters, custom phone cases, photo panels, bezel pendants, license plates, and much more. Make sure that the product you are customizing is poly-coated, by purchasing blanks made specifically for sublimation. Different products will have varying applications, so be sure to read the instructions for the item you are pressing before you dive in. We also have a growing inventory of instructional videos and Facebook Live videos that you can access for tips anytime.

Sublimation is a very easy process, but like anything else, you may make mistakes while you’re learning. Plan for them ahead of time, instead of letting it hinder you. Learn from your mistakes and watch your business grow. Check out some of the starter packages that we offer to jump-start your new business! Sublimation starter package, mug starter kit,  Expanded sublimation starter package, Super starter package.

You May Also Like:

Would you like to create a t shirt business? See how here:

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Want to see how you can print on phone cases? Watch a recorded Facebook Live.

Here we show you how to decorate a latte mug.

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White Glitter HTV And How To Sublimate On It

Sublimation is a great technique that allows you to create customized and personalized full color products on demand. When sublimation inks are heated to 400*F, they turn into a gas and form a permanent bond to white/light colored fabrics or items that have a polymer coating. The transferred images are full-color, photographic-quality that will not crack, peel, or wash away. Typically, you cannot sublimate directly onto a dark colored garment.

But if you use a white glitter heat transfer vinyl as a base for the sublimated image it gives you the ability to create your designs on more than just light colored surfaces. It also opens the door for using more detailed images and designs without having to weed the vinyl.

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Would you like to try sublimating on white glitter vinyl? Here’s how:
1. Gather your materials and your tools.
2. Print your top image with your sublimation printer.
3. Preheat your heat press to 320*.
4. Design the image or quote for your vinyl. Once you have it set, be sure to mirror the image before you print.
5. Print and weed your vinyl.
6. Once your heat press reaches the desired temperature, place your garment on the heat press, and then place your design, vinyl side down, where you want it. Place your non stick sheet on top of the vinyl and press for 15 seconds, making sure the pressure is adjusted properly.
7. Once it’s done, open up your heat press, remove the non stick sheet and peel off the vinyl backing. Then adjust the heat setting to 400* for sublimation.
8. Once your heat press reaches 400* place your printed image face down over the vinyl, cover it with the non stick sheet, and then press for 60 seconds.
9. Once it beeps, lift the press, remove the non stick sheet, peel the paper off, and admire your work!

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For more details and to see step by step how we sublimated on the white glitter vinyl, check out our Facebook live post. 

Be sure to join us every Friday at 12:15pm ET on our Facebook page for a live tutorial. We have some ideas for the coming weeks, but we would love to know what you want to see. Do you have a project in mind, but you’re not sure how to complete it? Let us know and maybe you’ll see it on a future Facebook live.

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3 Ways to Decorate a Mug!

One way to take your crafting business to another level is to add mugs to your offerings. They’re a fun way to express your personality, they make wonderful gifts, and you can never have too many! There are three ways to decorate mugs- adhesive vinyl, heat transfer vinyl and sublimation. Today we are going to explain the process for each as well as show you how we did it via video! 

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1) To make a mug with HTV we recommend setting your heat press at 360* at 30 seconds. You will want to set the pressure to heavy when applying HTV. Now that your heat press is warming up, use your software to create your design. Then make sure to mirror it before printing. After you print, weed your design. Then place your design, sticky side down, on your mug. Place the mug in the mug press and let it work its magic. When it’s done, it will be hot, so use caution and let it sit for a few minutes. Once it cools a bit, peel the backing off and you’re done!

2) When using adhesive vinyl for mugs, design your image and cut it exactly as you want it to look on the mug. This means that you DO NOT need to mirror your design. Just design, cut and weed it. Then, cut your transfer paper to the size of your image, place it sticky side up on your work surface and place your image face down on top of it. Then, peel the back of the design off and you’re ready to adhere the design to the mug. Place the design where you want it and use your squeegee to adhere it. Once adhered, peel the transfer paper off and you’re done!

personalized mug for bride using FDC sign vinyl

3) To make a mug using sublimation you’ll want to adjust your heat, time and pressure settings. We recommend 400 and 4 minutes. Print your design using your sublimation printer and cut it a bit larger than your mug. Place the paper on the mug and tape it in place. Once your image is secure, place the mug in the mug press, making sure it’s lined up properly, and secure it. Once it’s done, using gloves, remove the mug and dip it into warm water to stop the sublimation process. Do not use cold water as it will cause the mug to crack. After you’ve dipped the mug, allow it to cool a bit longer, and you’re done!

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While we love using vinyl on our mugs, be sure to let your customers know not to put them in the microwave or dishwasher. For long term use and selling purposes, sublimation may be a better method. For more details on mug making, check out our Facebook Live, 

Have you made mugs using any of these methods? Share your experiences and designs in the comments!

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Learn How To Decorate A Rock Slate

If you’re looking for a unique gift that can be enjoyed and displayed all year long, we have the perfect idea for you. By sublimating a photo onto rock slate you are giving a one of a kind, custom gift. I’m sure there are a number of people in your life that would love one, including you!

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You Need:

1.  Start by opening Creative Studio, which is located on the Sawgrass website
2. Select your product category – Photo Stone Slates.
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3. Select your product.
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4. Select product color and size, then click start!
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5. To add a photo, click the image button, upload your photo, and resize it to fit the rock slate.
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6. Click “print.
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7. Now that you’ve printed your image it is time to assemble!
8. Cut your image so that it fits your rock slate shape and tape it into place.
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9. Set temperature of your heat press to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Set the heat press timer to 300-400 seconds depending on the rock slate size. The larger the rock slate, the more time you’ll need for the image to set.
11. Set the heat presses pressure at medium-heavy, but use caution as the rock slate can crack with too much pressure.
12. Place the substrate face down on the transfer paper and tape the paper to the substrate using transfer release tape.
13. Then place the substrate face up on the heat press.
14. Cover the substrate with a piece of fabric (cut t-shirt) to protect the coating of the rock slate.
15. Then cover the fabric with a silicon pad.
16. Press at 415 degrees F for 300-400 seconds with medium-heavy pressure.
17. Remove the rock slate immediately from press once finished and peel hot. Use caution as rock slate will be very hot.
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18. Admire your work!
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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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With Mother’s Day around the corner, we thought now was a good time to share our top 5 gifts for the women in your life, including you! This way, when you inevitably get asked what you would like for this special day, you can easily share your wishlist. For business owners, these are also great items to add to your offerings so you can take your custom business to the next level.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to put the iron away for good?  With a heat press, you can do just that! Pictured above is our most popular heat press, the Trans Pro 15 x 15. This easy to use, manual heat press is ideal for applying heat transfers to t-shirts, jackets, mouse pads, tiles, and more! The even pressure and temperature makes creating custom items a breeze!
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Have you been dreaming about owning a Silhouette Machine? Then this is perfect for you! With the Silhouette Cameo Value Package, you will receive a Silhouette Cameo 3, a Vinyl Starter Kit, a Rhinestone Starter Kit, and a Heat Transfer Starer Kit. Plus, you can add a discounted 15 x 15 Heat Press to the package so that you are all ready to get crafting!
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Are you ready to take your custom business to the next level? Great! With the Sublimation Starter Package, you will be able to create one-of-a-kind, custom pieces like mugs, phone cases, frames, license plates, tags, and more. This bundle includes a high-performance sublimation printer, ink, paper, and easy to use creative software. You can add a heat press to this bundle as well!
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Wouldn’t it be nice to open your Mother’s Day gift and find a box full of vinyl? We offer an extensive selection of heat transfer vinyl from all major vinyl manufacturers including Siser, Chemica, FDC, and Specialty Materials. With a wide array of colors and prints your new vinyl stash will surely bring a smile to your face! Plus, your family can can add a mini heat press to their order for ONLY $89 when they spend $199, or add a 15 x15 Heat Press for $99 when they order $399 of merchandise!
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Motherhood is hard work! And nothing says love like the combination of coffee and crafting! With the Pro World Mug Starter Package you will receive a Virtuoso Sublimation Printer, Trans Pro Mug Heat Press, Ink, Paper, Mugs, and more. The perfect way to start your day will always be within reach!
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How To Make Sublimated Magnets

Today we are going to show you how to sublimate multiple magnet designs using the Creative Studio software while printing the images on one sheet of paper!

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1.  Start by opening Creative Studio, which is located on the Sawgrass website.

2. Select your product category.

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3. Select your product.

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4. Select product color, product size and click start!

5.a. If you want to make a photo magnet click on the add image button, upload your image and resize it to fit the magnet.

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5.b. If you want to create a magnet with text, click on the Add, Text button.

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6. Once your image reflects your vision. Click the Print button.

7. If you want to create multiple magnets, click the Print Button after each magnet is created. BUT do not open any downloads. Wait untill all of your designs are finished and then go to the top right corner, click on your email address, and the administration button.

8. Select each image that you would like to print.

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9. Click Print.

10. This will generate a download, open it.

11. Select the Group Images Button.

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12. If you need to increase the distance between the images, change the spacing with the + or – button.

13. Click Print.

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14. Now that you’ve printed your images it is time to assemble!

15. Cut your images so that they fit your magnet.

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16. Preheat your heat press to 400 degrees F.
17. Using heat resistant tape, tape the paper to the magnet so that the image does not move.

18. Lay your magnet with the paper side up on your heat press. Set the timer to 45-60 second, and set your pressure to medium. Cover the magnets with a non stick sheet and press.
19.Remove immediately from press once finished and peel hot.

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20. Apply the magnet strip to the back and you are done!

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3 Troubleshooting Tips for Sublimation

Do you have a sublimation printer? Congratulations! Sublimation printing is a great way to for a businesses to create customized and personalized full-color products on demand. And as you are probably already aware, the production technique is relatively simple. When sublimation inks are heated to 400°F, they turn into a gas and form a permanent bond to 100% white or light color polyester fabric or items that have a polymer coating. The result is a premium full-color, photographic-quality image that will not crack, peel or wash away from the substrate.

As with all good things, there are three common problems that you may encounter at some point. So we’ve compiled a list to help you troubleshoot them quickly.

3 tips for troubleshooting sublimation

1. Banding

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If you encounter lines of missing ink in your printouts, then you are most likely having banding issues. There are two reasons for banding. The quickest reason to troubleshoot is running out of ink, so be sure to check your ink levels. The second, most common cause is from clogged print head nozzles. Like it or not, ink dries out over time. . .  all ink, not just sublimation ink. If this happens inside the print heads, then obviously the flow of ink will be inhibited, which results in streaks of missing ink on the printout.

As long as you are printing on a regular basis – at least several times per week – the ink will not have an opportunity to dry out. However, for long stretches of time with no printer activity, you could have issues.

The simplest way to deal with this is to run a small quantity of ink through the print heads on a routine basis, by using the head cleaning function of your printer. In the case of Virtuoso and Ricoh printers, this is done for you automatically, as long as you leave the printer powered up. However, for Epson printers, you will need to perform a manual head cleaning every few days, which means pushing a button. There are some software programs available that will prompt your printer to perform a head cleaning at specified intervals so that you can set it and forget it as long as you leave everything powered up!

2. Moisture Issues

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The introduction of moisture into the sublimation process can cause unwanted results. During production with a heat press operating at 400 degrees, that moisture can flash to steam and blow away the ink from its intended target. Some of the problems that are attributed to moisture include: color shifting (colors lose accuracy), bleeding of the image, and uneven transfer of solid filled areas.

Under normal circumstances, a small amount of moisture can accumulate in your transfer paper, and it’s usually absorbed directly into the substrate during pressing. However, hard substrates like metal and ceramic are unable to absorb excess moisture. Thus, it’s important that you take steps to minimize the introduction of moisture into the process.

The first step is to protect the paper from moisture absorption. As a preventative measure, you should store your paper in dry place. Avoid using Zip-Top plastic bags as they can trap moisture within.

If you suspect moisture, set the paper on your press for a few seconds. Do not press it. Just expose it to the warmth. The heat radiating from the press should help evaporate most of the moisture.

Another trick is to use newsprint or butcher paper instead of a Teflon sheet. The paper will help absorb moisture from the transfer sheet during pressing (Teflon will not). Be sure to use a fresh sheet of paper on each pressing.

If you are working with garments or fabric, it’s also possible that the substrate may contain a bit of moisture. Pre-pressing the garment for about 3 seconds should remove the moisture and any wrinkles as well. Do not overheat the substrate! Applying a sublimated transfer to a hot surface will start the gassing process prematurely, which may lead to ghosting.

Also, you should focus on your work environment. If there is a high level of humidity present, it may be contributing to the moisture issues. A dehumidifier may be necessary to help control moisture issues. However, reducing it too much can have adverse effects on the inks and your equipment. Thus, you should invest in a hygrometer and take some readings. The ideal operating conditions for sublimation are 70o – 80o F with 35% – 65% relative humidity (no condensation).
3. Ghosting & Gassing Out

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Sublimation requires a tight marriage between the transfer paper and the blank product during pressing. If the paper shifts or is not firmly planted against the substrate, then the result will be ghosting and/or gassing out.

Ghosting is when you end up with a blurry image, typically characterized by a shadow effect along or outside of the edges. Gassing Out is when you end up with a “burst” of ink outside of the image area.

The key to avoiding ghosting is by making sure you have a tight fit between the transfer paper and the substrate. We recommend using a heat resistant tape to secure the transfer to the product. But be careful not to tape across the image area as this can often damage the image quality. Just use a minimal amount of tape along the edges, as you will need to be able to easily and quickly remove the transfer after pressing.

Another option when sublimating apparel is to use “repositionable” adhesive spray instead of tape. Apply a very light mist on the image side of the transfer paper from about 12-18″ away. Do not spray the shirt. If you position it incorrectly, you can lift it off and reposition it. Then press the transfer paper to the product.

Regardless of how you adhere the transfer paper to the product, it’s important that when you remove it, it doesn’t slide along the surface of the substrate, as this may spread sublimation dye into unwanted areas, and cause ghosting. Ideally, with hard substrates, the transfer will be lifted off the surface, quickly and cleanly. With apparel, it may work better to grab one end of the paper and pull it away slowly, while firmly holding the garment down.

These are three of the most common issues encountered when printing with sublimation. Each of them is relatively easy to resolve. If you are still having trouble, make sure you contact your equipment supplier to discuss.

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