Have you ever gazed wistfully at Etsy shops and wondered just how individuals are capable of creating products which look so professional and so unique? Truthfully, it’s easier than you think. We’re living in quite a wonderful age, where the techniques which big manufacturers utilise are available to you and me, and equipment is purchasable at a rate far below what you’d expect.
Take Dye Sublimation Printing, for example – which is the means behind how most people can create custom products and make money selling them on websites such as Amazon, Etsy, etc.
Once quite restrictive in terms of the difficulty of the process, the means available to individuals to use it, and also the cost of the machinery itself, nowadays getting started with Dye Sublimation Printing is a piece of cake – but what exactly is it?
Dye Sublimation Printing – An Overview
Dye Sublimation printing is a procedure that allows the transfer of a full colour graphic or photograph onto a specific object. You’re not limited just to letters or to basic designs – You can create your own artwork using graphics programs on PC or otherwise in order to then print, and heat press onto your object of choice.
The objects of which can be printed include materials such as metal, glass, ceramics and unisub products – such as phone cases, coffee mugs, and so much more. These blank materials are given a special coating to allow them to become sublimation receptive.
The process is described as simple as there are not very many steps that are taken to produce the high quality goods. First, the customer designs the specific piece of artwork on their computer using any graphical design software they desire.
The printer is then loaded with sublimation ink which prints onto Epson photo quality paper with 720dpi (dots per inch) giving the graphic a very high quality appearance. Sublimation inks are basically a formulation of a range of coloured dyes suspended in liquids that are able to pass through a digital printer.
A heat press is then used to transfer the image from the photo quality paper to the desired object, which is later recognised as the finished product. With the heat and pressure applied, the inks convert from a solid to a gas and penetrate into the substrates surface. This method used gives a much more durable finish compared to many other transfer methods used in the industry which simply applies to the chosen image to the surface of the wanted object.
What Can Be Printed?
There are also some certain synthetic fabrics that allow photographs or designs to be printed onto them. These include T-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, mousemats, metals, tiles, mugs, coasters, keyrings and more, however there are some materials that cannot be printed on.
It should be mentioned that with this, some items absolutely cannot be printed on. These items can include cotton – because sublimation printing is always done on polyester, polymer or polymer coated products. Essentially, the sublimated ink just doesn’t bond with cotton fibers as well as it bonds with synthetics.
Should you only be after a one-wear item, you’ll probably be fine, but we always recommend going for sublimation items, otherwise you’ll more than likely be in the situation where something will split and crack after a few washes.
How Can You Make Money Doing This?
Dye sublimation printing is a quick and easy process, considering the quality of the end product. You’ll need sublimation paper, inks, a sublimation printer, as well as a heat press to get started, which is all you need to get going. Even better – as the sublimation equipment is compact, only a small amount of working space is required.
The finished product results are vibrant, glossy, scratch resistance, photo realistic images on a very wide range of promotional goods and personal goods that anyone who receives them will love!
These products make great gifts and have become very popular in recent years – and of course, should your passion be particularly well received – you can always turn it into a business.