For years I have been interested in dye sublimation but what held me back was the cost of purchasing the equipment needed to make items printed on using dye sublimation. This year I decided to add an additional business activity to my existing business, Toys and Clothes Limited t/a Twinkle Gifts. We sell, amongst other things, products printed on using the dye sublimation process such as mugs, coasters and placemats. Here is what I needed to get started:
Dye sublimation Ink – I am delighted to have found a company who are extremely approachable, helpful and knowledgeable, Ink For Inkjet. They helped me with my ICC profile and print settings so that I could get the colours looking the way I wanted them. I am over the moon with the results. They answered my pre purchase queries and when I did place the order for the ink it arrived within a few days. What I like most about this company is that their ink is made here in the UK. Their prices are reasonable and the ink is lasting well.
Printer – After reading up about printers which can be used for dye sublimation, I opted for an Epson ET-14,000. This cost around £575 from Amazon. This is an A3 printer. I am delighted with the quality of its prints and how easy it was to set up and fill with ink.
Heatpress – The mug press cost around £65 on ebay and the heatpress was around £140 on ebay.
Design Software – Affinity Designer cost a one off amount of around £50.00. I find it intuitive to use. There is a fantastic offer at the moment where you can purchase their Mac or Windows software for just £33.99!
Sublimation Paper – 100 sheets of Trupix A4 sublimation paper cost around £10 from MDP Supplies. The print quality and results are excellent.
Sublimation Designs – Most of the designs I use were purchased from the Sublimation Designs facebook group here. The person who runs the group is very helpful and his designs are stunning. He even provided mock ups with a lot of the purchased designs which was very helpful and can save so much time. The designs are sold as a bundle for a very affordable price. Most of the bundles purchased cost £10.00 and with a lot of the bundles sold the designer only sells so many of each design bundle. Here you can see some of the products I have made using these wonderful designs.
I am also lucky enough to have a friend who is a talented Graphic Designer. She designed this stunning placemat and coaster set.
Craft Blanks – I have found MDP Supplies and Xpres to be fantastic when it comes to craft blanks. Some of the craft blanks cost under £1.00.
Other things I have learned
I have learnt a lot even in the short time I have been doing dye sublimation, for example I use A3 silicone application sheets when doing dye sublimation onto coasters and placemats and I found a rubber wrap which you can put around a water bottle so that you can use a mug press to apply the dye sublimation process.