Sublimation can open up many transferring opportunities for crafters and business owners alike, though you may ask how exactly is it possible and what substrates are available for sublimation. As long as the substrate includes polyester or a polymer coat, virtually anything can be transferred onto it with sublimation, leaving many unique items, also known as sublimation blanks, up for grabs. We'll be giving you a rundown of the many popular and unique types of sublimation blanks available at HeatPressNation.com which will give you an idea of how extensive sublimation is as a heat transfer. Now we do want to make it clear that T-shirts are not the only substrate for sublimation, as there’s much more available especially for anyone running a business.
As a quick review, sublimation is technically defined as the changing of a solid particle directly into a gaseous state. Dye sublimation is the method specifically used for heat transferring. Inks designed for sublimation will first be used to print an image into a solid form with sublimation paper; that is then heat pressed onto a polymer-coated substrate, which will form into a gaseous state and permanently transfer onto your substrate. In layman’s terms, the heat press heats up the gas dye which is then pressed permanently into the surface of your substrate. With the aforementioned substrate types, there are a wide variety of applications for sublimation, all of which are perfect for businesses looking to expand their horizons alongside crafters looking for more fun projects to tackle. Firstly, any garments which are 100% polyester or of a polyester blend will work for sublimation, making white polyester T-shirts and similar apparel effective as blanks. Though we must note that cotton garments are not entirely compatible with sublimation transfers. However, sublimation allows you to do more than just clothing.
Some of the most popular sublimation blanks in the market are Mugs and Drinkware. All of these are coated with a special polymer coating, which means that you can’t exactly go to the dollar store and pick up a random mug or glass off the shelf. Drinkware of the ceramic, metal, and glass types are customizable enough to have a vibrant image transferred of either your friends or family, yours or others’ artwork or photography, or maybe your brand’s work or logo! With drinkware ranging from mugs, tumblers, sports bottles, shot glasses, and many more, your sublimation transfers can be applied to any of these items. It really depends on what you prefer to have around, what options are convenient for your clients or customers, or for general business exposure whether as promotional gifts or one-of-a-kind shop items. While many mugs and similarly sized drinkware can be pressed with our Signature Series mug press, the option to sublimate multiple items, notably for shot glasses, is possible with the use of an oven and appropriate wraps. If you intend to use an oven and your oven wraps, we advise to use a separate oven specifically for sublimation purposes.
Another two popular sublimation blanks are Photo Panels and Photo Tiles. While they both serve the same purpose of presenting photos or art on a flat surface, their main differences can be distinguished from their sizes and applications. Photo panels are used to present artwork and photography, and are often sold in common presentation sizes, like 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, and more. On the other hand, photo tiles are ceramic tiles ranging from 1.75” to 6” squares. These smaller sizes allows them to work perfectly as coasters or wall tiles. Both photo panels and tiles have a glossy white finish perfect for detailed images. Aluminum photo panels are offered in matte white and glossy clear finishes, while wood photo panels have a clear coating that allows the natural finish to be seen through the artwork.
Sublimation blanks come in a huge variety of shapes & sizes. Blanks such as Ornaments, Key Chains, Mouse Pads, and much more can be pressed in a traditional flat heat press. Some thicker items like awards plaques will work best with a swing-away style heat press. For certain blanks, such as Pet bowls and hats/caps, specific methods of heat transferring will be required due to their unique shapes. Pet bowls are best sublimated using sublimation wraps and an oven, while caps require either a specific heat press or curved cap attachment. Having the right specialized equipment will allow you to offer a wide variety of fully-customizable products to your customers, which of course adds an incredible value to your business.
While polyester garments are fantastic for sublimating onto, it’s so great to know there’s a whole world of substrates available for sublimation. This makes for limitless creative possibilities for crafters, business owners, or anyone interested in producing fully customizable products. From the super popular coffee mugs to pet bowls, keychains to awards plaques, there’s something for everyone when it comes to sublimation blanks. When you decide to begin expanding your work in sublimation, be sure to not only consider the sample items shown in this video, but also our huge variety of sublimation blanks. Of course, all of these can be found on our site in the link below.