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A Look at Dye-Sub Printing for Garments

(August 2012) posted on Mon Aug 06, 2012

This article describes effective and profitable ways to integrate a large-format dye-sub printer into your garment-decorating operation.

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By Syd Northup

When it comes to color matching, developing your own in-house set of standard sublimation colors with your machine, imaging resolution, inks, heat press, and decorated product is the optimum way to match and find custom colors. Using a Pantone solid-to-process color wheel can assist you to best match with a customer’s colors; however, having your own internal receipt for that CMYK or RGB color is the key. Using in-house color charts and correcting color on the front end in your artwork will save lots of time and aggravation when the job gets repeated in the future.

Most RIP software applications allow for spot-color replacement in the RIP and allow you to apply it to your file. This can be beneficial for a quick job or a library of colors that have logos that are consistently printed. Over time, you gain an understanding of the dyes, dot gain, and post-heat-press processes that can change everything with color.

In conclusion
Installing and training is your key to success with a dye-sublimation system. Anyone upgrading their system or buying a new system needs to get the purchase in writing and have a qualified technician onsite for installation and training. If you decide not to have a trained technician, profiling your material with your specific heat, time, and temperature will throw off color in a heartbeat. A thorough understanding of how a sublimation system is integrated can go a long way. Learning how your printer works, installing software, storing inks, resetting chips on your bulk ink system, creating on-site profiles, heat-press calibration, can set up your business for success.

Running a sublimation operation is not easy in the beginning, so make certain you get the proper start. Paying a little more at the onset for installation and training package will ultimately lead to a successful start. Having a support team that will answer your calls and supporting your sublimation system can make a break that big job when you software losses connection to the printer.

Having your own equipment and controlling your internal processes is the key to success. Keeping all of your data confidential and your staff well trained is important. Learn as much as possible during the installation. Attend trade shows that have sublimation printers. Over time, you will become successful and profitable using sublimation.

Syd Northup is the inkjet division manager for Gans Ink and Supply Co., Inc. He is responsible for managing and running all facets of the inkjet product line. This includes successfully implementing a digital-to-offset proofing system for the sublimation market. As part of his job, Northup works with turnkey inkjet solutions comprised of installation, color management, and training for sublimation, UV, pigment, and security-inks sectors.


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