How To Start A Heat Transfer Business

Are you thinking of starting a heat transfer business that specializes in using heat press? If you do, you only need to secure some things to get you started in running and making money from your business. Start with the research process.

Research

The research process entails knowing more about your market, which is a vital step in starting any business. The more you conduct research about your prospective market and your business plan’s feasibility, the more detailed the information you obtain. This helps in lowering the risks you encounter in starting a business. Researching also entails determining what you prefer your business to do and specialize in, including where it should be based and its size.

You need to determine your target customers and know what their likes are and why they should choose to do business with you. Determining your potential market’s size is also important. Do not forget to determine your competitors together with your company’s strengths as well as weaknesses. The whole point of going through this process is to get a clear understanding of the business and its target market.

Start-Up Costs: Determine All Expenses Needed in Starting Up the Business

These costs and expenses include the remodeling and rental expenses if needed and computers, furniture, software, printers, office supplies and production equipment your business needs. Other business expenses include employee wages, licenses and permits expenses, professional fees, insurance costs and other related ones.

Create the Business Plan

Starting a business requires creating a business plan, which is a document that can be your guide throughout the process. It is also necessary especially if you will need financing. There are several things a business plan should contain, including your market analysis and strategy, business offers, your company’s mission statement, financial projections and its legal structure.

What You Need and Selecting the Right Equipment

Once you are done taking care of the first few steps, you can now proceed to selecting the equipment your heat transfer business needs. There are basic factors you need to consider in selecting equipment and to make sure that it is the right one you need. These are the types of work your business is going to specialize in – your workspace’s size, volume of work and your staff’s experience in operating the equipment. As for choosing a heat press, you need to ensure to pick a reliable one. There are several accessories your heat press should have too, including the cover sheets, heat erasers and heat-resistant tape. Other optional equipment includes heat printing pillows, pads and interchangeable platens.

Benefit of Sublimation Printing

While there are many different names for sublimation printing and the printing tools used themselves to carry out the task, they are commonly accepted to be one of the most effective printing tools out there. Recognized because of the high general quality of the photographic output from surface to surface, it leaves a hugely rich and detailed image on the other side.
It also takes very little time to do, and the setup and management costs of sublimation printing are quite low – this makes it a favorite with many designers who want to create enticing advertising campaigns and promotional material.
So, how does the process work? And how can it help you out?

The Process

The process itself is fairly simple to follow. It starts off with films that within them contain specific dyes. The variation of the colors depends on what is actually being painted, but a common selection is cyan/magenta/yellow/gray pigmented colors. The films which contain the dye are placed on the paper, and then heated up by using the heat printer provided. This causes the pigments to then leave the film they are stored within, and enter into the paper which then causes the dyes to solidify and conjoin with the picture.
You are going through a fairly scientific process – you are first almost vaporizing the films and the dyes, and then reversing the process immediately to re-solidify the colors. Because of the speed and power of the process, though, it all happens very quickly and leaves far less time for any mess that you might expect to see with traditional ink painting processes.

The Benefits

The actual benefits of using sublimation printing are quite easy to spot, as well. It leaves a continuous, detailed tone throughout the picture due to the way in which the colors are added to the image. The quality of the image is easily reflected by looking close-up with magnification at the color. There is a consistency to the entire color scheme, but with traditional painting you can notice different colored “dots” all throughout the color.
Therefore, the actual quality of the color in an image created in this format is going to be far more professional and far more effective. They allow for deeply professional image creation, but keep in mind that using sublimation printers for typical document printing and the like is not advisable at all. Because each pixel is printed using a thermal process, it looks far more effective than it once would have in the past.
If you are looking to create high-end photography that looks consistent and really produces its best form, then sublimation printing is the choice that many people are now beginning to take. When you compare the quality,, though, it’s very easy to see why this has become one of the premium printing methods.

How To Choose The Right Heat Press

Did you ever wonder how that graphic was put on that Tee shirt your friend was wearing?  Or how that cartoon appeared on that inexpensive mug?  Or how that picture was applied to that puzzle on which your child was working? Welcome to the introduction of the mighty heat transfer press.

Chances are you would not be on this site if you did not already have some idea of what a heat press is. The heat press is the bread and butter tool of the heat transferring of images.  However, which press to use can be tricky.  As with most technology today, there is a plethora of choices within the industry.  We will give a brief introduction of the main differences between them.

One of the most important things to look for in a heat press is to make sure it can provide an even and consistent temperature across the platen.  This prevents cold spots from developing and will ensure consistent application of the heat transfer materials.  Having proper application temperature is also critical in producing quality garments.  Therefore, accurate temperature control is essential in whatever type of press you choose.

Some of the other features to look for when choosing either a manual or an automatic press:

  • Make sure it has a digital temperature readout
  • If it is automatic, make sure it has a digital pressure gauge
  • Make sure it has interchangeable platens
  • It should be easy to use

Both manual and automatic heat presses are widely available.  Newly introduced into the market are semi-automatic presses, which allows for a manual closing process with an automatic opening. Presses can run anywhere from $200 for a manual press to over $100,000 plus for the serious entrepreneur and there are many types of heat presses on the market.  Your choice of press will depend on the type of work you plan to do.

An example of one style of press would be the clamshell press that allows the top to open while hinged at the back. A step up would be the swing-away press, also called the swinger, which has the top platen swinging away from the bottom platen. Then there is the draw heat press that slides the lower platen toward the operator where he can apply the material without being exposed to the heat from the machine.  Both the swinger and draw machine would be used for thicker materials like jackets and sweatshirts. There are other advantages and disadvantages to all of these styles.

If printing on caps is your choice, then we have cap heat presses that have a cap hold-down device with a floating top platen.  This is a specific press just for doing hats.  The last press we want to mention is the king of presses, the rotary drum press.  These presses offer a three-zone heat control with adjustable pressure and an automatic belt tracking system.  They can run anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000 and they are obviously for the more serious minded.

There are a number of different models and brands available to consider within the heat press market depending on what you plan to do and how much you are willing to spend.  If you really mean business, you have to go with the rotary drum press, but be prepared to mortgage the house.

How To Write A Thank You Note

In the modern era of texts, emails, and social media, it has become easy to show your gratitude, and what a wonderful thing to have more gratitude expressed in the world! In the days of yore when everything had to be written would you have told someone that you are obsessed with those brownies they made and then asked for the recipe? Or that their holiday card made you so happy? I doubt it. We can now show our love over the tiniest things, every day. Did someone make you happy today? Go text them. Right now.

But for the big things, a written thank you note is essential. What counts as the big things? 

-Gifts, whether physical or monetary.

-Attending an event, such as a wedding, an important party, or a funeral.

-Special effort, when someone helps you out with something.

For some people dashing off a thank you note is easy breezy, but for some it is a merciless burden. And like any nasty task, you procrastinate and avoid it, and then are slowly crushed by guilt as you pass that stack of stationery waiting menacingly for you on your desk, glowering at you with blank pages.

I am generally one of the easy breezy kind, but even for me at times I cringe away from doing it. I think to myself, “Not today, I’ve got sooooo much to do, like look, I’ve gotta unload the dishwasher! I can do it tomorrow. It’s okay if they’re a little late. Or a lot late. I’ll just stick “belated” somewhere in there so they’ll know that I know I’m late.” 

How long is it okay to let slide a thank you note? Ideally you should do it within a week of an event to allow for postal time, but for some things that’s just not possible—such as weddings, funerals, or births. In that case people will give you two or three months grace. But no matter what, no matter whether it’s two months or six, it’s better late than never! Do not let guilt make you postpone it until it’s the next year suddenly and you feel like a total ass and can’t even bring yourself to call them.

However, there is hope for all—The Crib Sheet.

Thank you notes do not, in fact, have to be brilliant. Nor do they have to be stunningly original. All they have to do is be from the heart. And here is a crib sheet on how to start off. 

——

The Greeting

This is the easiest. Stick with “Dear [insert name]” and you will never go wrong. If it is a dear friend you may address them in a more personal way, that is up to you. “Hi there”, “My darling”, “Bonjour, my dear”, whatever feels personal or even an in-joke between you.

——

The First Line

-Thank you so much for…

-It made my day when…

-I can’t thank you enough for…

TIP: Never use the word “money”, replace with “your generosity” or “your kindness”

——

The Second Line

-For gifts, discuss how you are using or will use the gift. “It is exactly what I wanted and I use it every single day!”

-For attending an event, say how happy or grateful you were to have them at the event. “It meant so much to us that you were at our…”, or “We are forever grateful that you came to the…”, or “I will always remember how you helped me during this difficult time”

-For a monetary gift, mention how you plan on using it—”We will be using it for a helicopter tour on our honeymoon!” “We are putting it towards getting Brandon the tricycle he has been obsessed with for months!”

——

The Third Line (optional)

I believe in the third line, unless you have over 50 thank you’s to write after a wedding or something of the sort. But the third line can still be easy:

-We are so lucky to have such wonderful family…

-I am so grateful to have you as my friend…

-I am so blessed to have you in my life…

-Do you know how awesome you are? You are more awesome than bacon.

——

The Closing Line

Restate your thanks, and mention the future. Feel free to use exclamation marks if it feels appropriate—the only exceptions are for professional colleagues, friends of the family, and old-timers who just aren’t into all that extra grammatical stuff.

-Thank you again for… and I hope we can see each other again soon.

-Again, thanks so much, and I hope to see you soon!

-Thank you again, and I’ll send you a picture of Brandon on his new tricycle!

——

The Sign-Off

Even this can be fraught, but just choose from the appropriate one below:

-Love or With love, (family and close friends)

-Yours or Your truly, (friends or semi-close acquaintances)

-Sincerely, (older family members, professional colleagues, or just to play it safe)

-or draw a heart (yes really, you can, for dear ones I do it all the time, especially when I run out of space (which is frequent))

——

That’s it! Greeting, thank you line, second line, closing line, sign-off. Or another line in there if you’ve got the time and the person really is just the best and deserves some true gushing. Want even more possible sentences? Here’s a great source, Words Of Appreciation

You need never fear the hulking stack of thank you’s again. Attack those cards, brandish your pen like a sword (since it’s mightier than it), and treat yourself to an ice cream afterwards. 

5 Things You Should Still Write By Hand

When I was a kid my best friend moved away to California. But we assiduously wrote each other at least once a month. We started stories for each other that the other would finish and send back, sort of like a long-term exquisite corpse story (but more filled with unicorns and magic and sailing boats) (we were in 4th grade after all). I treasure those letters still, as I know she does as well.

But by the time I was in college there was wonderful, oh so easy email! This kept me in touch with so many friends that I know I would never, ever, have had the stamina to keep up with. There are friends who live in other countries that I have not seen for countless years, but I know what they’re up to. We exchange family war stories, recipes, and we support each other in times of need. I have no doubts when I say they are still dear friends.

However. There are still things I strongly believe should be written by hand.

They’re not many. They’re quick to write. And they are the things that can even be treasured for years. 

The things that should still be written by hand:

—THANK YOU NOTES

—NOTES FROM KIDS

—HOLIDAY CARDS

—CONDOLENCE CARDS

—TO-DO LISTS & RESOLUTIONS

You are either thinking, “Why is that necessary?” or, “Well of course!” For the doubters out there, here are the reasons why these things should be hand-written.

THANK YOU NOTES

Often it is fine to email a thank you—for a dinner party, a spontaneous gift from a pal, any little thing that makes you want to reach out. But for larger gifts and huge gestures, a written thank you is precious. Everyone knows that writing things by hand takes longer and more thought. Everyone knows it involves choosing a card, composing your note, addressing, and a trip to ye olde blue poste box. It is old-fashioned in the best way. And to discover a personal note amongst all the junk mail and bills is a great way to make someone’s day a tiny bit brighter. 

One of my best friends once received some hand-me-downs for her son, from a friend of a friend. And we’re talking good hand-me-downs, from Janie & Jack (which can cause sticker shock but lasts for years). My friend promptly wrote a gracious note to say thank you. And here’s the amazing part—the acquaintance was so impressed by such thoughtfulness that she has kept sending clothing for the last 3 years. The kid is the best-dressed little boy ever. 

NOTES FROM KIDS

This is pretty self-explanatory. Because the notes that kids write are adorable! But also, children should always be encouraged to practice their writing skills, and should be taught the importance of gratitude. This is something parents and relatives treasure and as the years go on you can compare their development. Here is a free printable thank you card for kids that you can customize with their names.

Once after a play date my 3-1/2 year old son told us he wanted to write a letter to his friend. Letter by letter we spelled it out for him, which he then painstakingly (and frequently backwards) wrote down. We sent it off and it was met with such delight that our families became incredibly close.

HOLIDAY CARDS

Now, I’m always happy when I receive an emailed card or image from a friend during the holidays, or even a holiday emoji text. But the ones you get in the mail are so much better. You can line them up on your mantle and be surrounded by the glowing faces of loved ones and their personal greetings. 

For holiday cards you should feel free to just scribble your names or pencil in a brief note, like “Hope to see you in the new year!” Even the tiniest personalization can mean something. There is a scene in Orange Is The New Black where a character receives a Christmas card from her ex and estranged son. But the moving part, the part that made tears well up in her eyes, was that this time the son had signed his name by hand, opening the door just a tiny bit. And that made all the difference.

Plus if you do an unusual one people keep them and you feel like the cool kid in school. This is ours from 2014.

CONDOLENCE CARDS

If you can’t visit someone who is bereaved, the next best thing is a hand-written note. There are two reasons: the recipient knows how personal such a note is, the effort that goes into it, and because it is a physical reminder of just how many people care for you. It doesn’t immediately get archived in email.

I have my own anecdote for a condolence card that really meant something to me. My cat of 17 years passed away two years ago, and I was devastated. It is can be very hard for people to understand how heartbreaking such a loss is.

I received a card from my vet that was incredibly cheesy—yet it made me cry anyway. This is what it said:

Somewhere on the other side, our sweet companions play,
certain that we’ll come for them on the appointed day.
So having said our sad goodbyes, let healing thoughts begin,
with memories to cherish until we meet again.

How cheesy is that? And yet how precious is it when your vet, who has so little time, writes in it, “I am so sorry for your loss, Moké was more like a soul mate to you than just a pet. You have my deepest condolences”. I have kept it all this time.

Okay, now I have to stop tearing up and get onto the next one.

TO-DO LISTS & RESOLUTIONS

There are many great apps for lists, like Teux Deux, that make your life easier. But if you want to engrave something into your brain there is nothing better than writing it down. It has been proven that the act of writing imprints the message into your memory far more than typing. The combination of thinking plus motor skills ingrains it much deeper. Plus, there is the extreme satisfaction of scratching out something you’ve accomplished.

Something I’ve done for years is have a pad of paper on my desk, that I write a fresh list in every morning. If something from the day before has not been done it gets rewritten on the next day’s list. An easy thing to do is every time you have a junk piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″, cut or tear it into quarters and clip it together. I never feel bad about then using them up for my to-do’s and grocery lists. 

One step further is to write down your goals and tack them up—here is an excellent article from Forbes magazine that details why. 

Aside from those little 5 things, embrace email whole-heartedly!

Do you have any stories about a time a hand-written note warmed your heart? Or one you’ve written that has meant a lot to someone else? 

How To Print Your Own Stationery

When you want to bring some type of document to print to a stationery you should keep some things in mind:

1 – Probably the stationery will not have the same version of Microsoft Office or Open Office as you.

2 – If you do not have the same version, you will not have the same configuration either.

What problems does it involve?

It can lead to errors from sources and titles different from those of the original document, including changing tabulations or table sizes.

All this can lead to a real disaster, imagine that you have to print 300 pages all with errors, no stationery will be responsible for disaster and you have to pay for the printing.

How to solve the problem

The solution is very simple, simply save the document in PDF. As I understand from Microsoft Office 2010 allows to save in PDF format just select it at the time of saving the document.

Important: Once saved in PDF the document is practically impossible to edit, keep it in mind.

Thinking about printing your stationery yourself? Here’s a guide on how to do it easily and affordably.

How to print a document in a stationery 

1. Choose Your Printing Method

There are many ways to print your stationery—at home, at a copy shop, with an online printer, a professional printer, or some even with letterpress. Hint: Off the bat I can tell you that often the most affordable way is not at home, but at a copy shop! Why, you may ask? INK. Ink cartridges are not only expensive, they can be terribly annoying to keep consistent, which to me equals emotional costliness. But for those with a kick-ass printer and skills with it, go for it. Just make sure to test out everything first.

2. Choose Your Paper

Paper might be your most important choice, but it will depend on your printing method. Copy shops and home printers can only handle paper up to about 100lb, and to get a feel for that you should definitely go to a paper store (even if you end up ordering your paper online). Paper Source is an easy place to go get your hands on real paper. Hint: linen finish paper is stiffer and can make your stationery feel higher quality. 

Envelopes are the next most important thing. There is a huge variety at affordable prices at Paper And More. And you don’t have to go with plain white! But if you choose a dark envelope remember that you will either need to use labels for the addresses or a light gel pen, such as the Uniball White Gel Pen. 

3. Print Your Stationery

This will again depend on your printing method. To print at a copy shop just bring in the PDF files we provide on a USB key drive or CD, as well as your paper, and let ‘er rip. Hint: For home printers make sure your settings are for HIGHEST QUALITY, your appropriate paper (like matte etc), same size and NOT set to “Scale to fit”. This will make your stationery too small. 

4. Cut Your Stationery

If you are crafty and have good cutting supplies, then it’s easiest to do it yourself. (Hint: Very often copy shops have a paper cutter, or will even cut for you. But make sure to test it all out since some are more accurate than others!)

With an Exacto knife: 

-It’s best to have a cutting mat. They are a great investment anyway!

-Cut within the edges of your paper rather than slicing off the sides. This way you will keep your cropmarks.

-Make sure to keep using new sharp blades. 

With a paper cutter:

-Line up the top cropmarks along the edge and cut (3/4″)

-Flip around and cut off the bottom cropmarks. 

-From top and bottom cut at 5″.

-From sides cut 3/8″ 

That’s it!

And you thought it was going to be so hard.

7 Ideas to Use Your Scrapbooking Stamps

The silicone seals are one of the most used products in scrapbooking. Discover in this post how to use your scrapbooking stamps in  7 different ways .

Hello girls! How is everything? I hope that well .

Today we are going with a post that surely many of you will be interested in: What do we mean by stamps for scrapbooking? How to use silicone stamps in your crafts? How to clean your silicone seals?

How we already commented in this article:

The embossing  seals is a resource that is frequently used in our projects scrap. In this post I will try to solve your doubts about the stamps in scrapbooking , the inks and some idea so that you can get the most out of your stamps.

Also, today I come loaded with 7 great ideas with which you will get the most out of your scrapbooking stamps . Ideas in which you will see the use that can be given to silicone seals on different surfaces.

I know that many want to give more performance to your materials, so I thought that with some practical examples you can make stamps your great ally scrapero, what do you think?

But before telling you my tips and ideas I want to clarify two basic concepts that you must take into account: the different types of   scrapbooking  stamps and inks that exist.

Pay attention that we started!

What types of scrapbooking stamps are there?

In the scrapbooking universe you can find stamps of different materials. The most common are: rubber stamps, wood stamps and silicone stamps .

Anita and her world , for example, has a large variety of silicone stamps , so in this post we will focus on how to use silicone stamps in scrapbooking .

How to use silicone seals?

It is important to know that to properly use the silicone scrapbooking stamps we must put them on a transparent methacrylate base , wet them in the ink of the desired color and stamp them on the paper.

How to clean your scrapbooking stamps?

Its subsequent cleaning is very simple. You can find in the market a lot of cleaners for specific stamps for the ink that remains on the seal after its use. Although you can also clean them with soap and water and they will be just as good 

What inks to use in your scrapbooking stamps?

There are many types of inks in the market . The fundamental difference between the inks for scrapbook stamps  (apart from the colors) lies both in their composition and in the speed of drying .

Depending on this, they could be classified into two large groups:

TYPES OF SCRAPBOOKING STAMP INKS

– Slow drying inks : They may have a pigment, water or chalk base.

The pigment inks offer a much more intense than water color inks . And the chalk inks leave a slate effect .

All are used to stamp only on porous materials such as paper, wood or fabric.

– Rapid drying inks : Its composition is alcoholic. They are great for those scrapbook stamps that have a lot of detail because they offer a super-defined print.

With them we can stamp both porous and non-porous materials , such as glass.

You must have clear what finish you want to achieve when stamping your scrap stamp so you can choose the type of ink that best suits your needs.

Once we know the basic characteristics of stamps and inks, we can now carry out the different ideas that I have prepared for you today .

HOW TO USE SCRAPBOOKING STAMPS IN 7 DIFFERENT WAYS

1. Create your own funds.

Normally we only use scrapbooking stamps to stamp them on one side of the paper as a decoration. This is fine but you can do many more things with them.

For example, we can create a design by alternatively stamping one or more silicone seals on a sheet. In this way we will compose a fund that can be used to give life to the page of an album or to make a card like the one I show you next.

It is made with the stamps of the “Fiesta” collection .

2. Make your own ornaments.

Sometimes we think that we do not have much material to decorate our projects but it is not like that. With a single set of silicone stamps we can make a lot of ornaments that will look perfect on any project.

How? Well, very simple. Stamping our stamps on decorated paper, cutting out its outline and pasting it wherever we like .

Another option is to stamp the silicone seal on white cardboard and then paint it with markers or watercolors and give it a different touch as I show in the photo.

3. Print on cork.

The scrapbook labels can be printed on different materials, not only on paper, as long as we keep in mind the type of ink to be used as I said at the beginning.

For these porous materials it would be advisable to use alcohol-based inks .

Ornaments can be created to decorate our house or to beautify our scrap works . I show you as an example some pretty cup-bearers that I have personalized with one of the stamps of the “travel” collection of Anita and her world.

4. Print on wood.

The previous idea we can also transfer it to the wood and beautify any object of this material.

In this case I have decorated a box to store the photos that I have to scrape.

I have been alternating two silicone stamps: a scrapbook stamp from the “travel” collection and another from the “Mi sol” collection . I have simply stamped them in different colors and obtained this beautiful result.

5. Print on canvas.

Another material on which we can stamp is the fabric. For that we need to use inks that have an aqueous base and that are specific for this function .

This resource will allow us to customize any garment and make very cute gifts like the bib for a newborn that I show you below.

* Tip: Stamped on smooth fabric, because if it has texture you will not have the seal completely defined (as happened to me) .

6. Print on transparent paper or onion paper.

This idea can serve to give a different air to your scrap albums or cards. I personally like it a lot because I think it softens the final finish of the project and, in addition, it can serve to protect your photos.

7. Stamp on a photo.

Another way to decorate our photos is to stamp the scrapbooking stamps directly on them.

eye! I’m not saying that we put a stamp on the whole face, that does not even occur to you! Hahaha.

Let’s take advantage of the “empty spaces” of photography to stamp a motif and give it a point of originality.

I hope it has helped you in something and that some of the 7 ideas you liked . Now you can fully squeeze your silicone seals!

If you have any doubts about the use of stamps and inks you can ask them leaving a comment and we will answer you happy.

In the same way if you know more ideas to take advantage of the scrapbooking stamps, do not hesitate to share them with all of us and so we take note for future projects

 

How to Properly Use Rubber Stamps

You would think it would be obvious, the best way to use a rubber stamp. But have you had your stamped impressions turn out grainy and gray? Have you ever, like me, had to decide whether to chuck that envelope you just stamped? Or tried to decide whether the person you’re sending it to would notice something like that?

I discovered something recently—I’ve been doing it wrong. 

I used to use any old stamp pad, push my rubber stamp into the ink as hard as I could, and then just rub the stamp around on a piece of paper to get some of the ink off. And I used to frown at my envelopes and think, “Did I not press hard enough? I must have not pressed hard enough. Let me try again. Nope, still bad. Okay, let me press even HARDER and try again. WHY DO YOU STILL LOOK AWFUL!”

But there are actually four simple steps to getting a perfect impression, every time!

1. Invest in a good stamp pad, like a lovely stamp pad from ColorBox.

2. Pat the surface of your stamp several times on the ink, rather than pressing it in.

3. Clean off the surface of your stamp after using with alcohol-free baby wipes. If it’s really gunky you can use a toothbrush in mild soap and water (but do this only on the surface, don’t let the water get into the wood).

4. Store your ink pad upside down to keep the ink always at the surface.

Now mind you, I don’t bother with these rules all the time, except for keeping my stamp pad upside down. If I’m running out the door and then suddenly remember I have to send a letter to the bank or something, I simply don’t care what my address looks like. But for holiday cards, invitations, and personal stationery, that’s when it’s worth the extra effort for that extra touch o’ lovely.

What a difference, right?? And this is with a stamp that is at least 6 years old, not a crisp new one. And one that I’m not always good about cleaning. I am trying to be better about that, as not cleaning your rubber stamp can lead to some issues such as:

1. Grainy image.

2. Clogged areas that fill in when you stamp.

3. Transfer of ink color, which is especially frustrating when you have a beautiful new colored ink pad, like a gold one that costs quite a bit.

But if you clean your stamp you can bring it back to life, with just a teensy amount of effort. Teensy! 

I suppose a last lesson might be: Leave your envelope alone for a minute to let the ink dry (particularly with pigment ink, which takes much longer).

So bust out your old stamps, apologize to them for treating them so poorly, and make your envelopes and paper happy.

How to Take Care of Rubber Stamps After Using Them?

There are different varieties of stamps and designs that we can use today in the world of Scrap, stamps do not need special maintenance but, if you keep a simple cleaning routine, every time you use your stamps you will keep them in excellent condition and avoid If your seal hardens or deteriorates rapidly, over time you will find some tricks that will facilitate the handling of your stamp to give it a crisp and clean finish.

  • Red rubber wood seals 

The stamps of wood, unlike the other type of stamps, is that the design they have stamped is very clear although it has many details. There are two forms of red rubber stamps.

– The stamps mounted: adhered to a wooden base

– Unmounted stamps: it is a design that must be mounted on an acrylic base to be able to stamp.

Once you have finished your project with your seals, remove the excess in an absorbent paper such as the kitchen ones, and with a wet wipe (baby wipe) remove the excess until your seal is clean, in case you use pigment paint in your seal Or, if you did some embossing, just use a wet wipe and remove the excess by going over the edges of your stamp. It is not advisable to carve and wet the seal since its base is made of wood and it can swell. Finally, dry the seal if any excess water remains and dry it before storing it.

  • Acrylic Stamps or Clear Stamps

This type of seals are transparent acrylic, are flexible and require an acrylic base to be able to adhere and seal, because without this base you can not seal. The clear seals, unlike the red seals, have designs of various sizes and are more detailed in terms of design and the best thing is that they take up less space. Its cleaning does not require much maintenance, because being flexible you can clean them with wipes without alcohol or if you prefer to wash them with a little water let them dry, they do not lose their adherence to the acrylic so nothing happens when washing them, but if It is important to keep them clean as they eventually turn yellow and become hard.

  • Other stamps

There are personalized stamps or made to order, they can be stamps or phrases stamps, these are in the form of a roller, which cover a bit larger surfaces, is characterized by having symbols, numbers, or some small texts. Unlike other stamps, is that this type of stamp does not have a fixed base because it comes with a handle to put pressure at the time of printing and you can change the phrase or date according to your stamp. The cleaning and / or maintenance is the same, since it has to be cleaned after use to prevent it from deteriorating with time and staining.

The stamps that we find in the world of Scrap are ideal for any type of technique so I’ll leave you some tips of what you should NOT do with your stamps so you can keep your stamps in excellent condition.

What you should not do:

– Do not keep the seal if it is not completely dry. 
– Do not use aggressive products such as detergents. If you prefer to use a chemical, use special seals cleaners. 
– Do not leave your seals in the sun and avoid wet places. Cool and dry places always.

I hope and will be of great help these little tips so you can use your stamps for longer.

Remember that you can find a great variety of stamps and inks in any of our two branches, or, if you prefer our online store, we ship to any part of the republic.

The real cost of sublimation printing

When analyzing the cost of production of their products, many sublimation companies only take into account the cost in ink, paper, substrate and shipping. This approach negatively affects your business, since general expenses and labor are not included in the equation, and this is precisely where the real cost of production lies.

As a result, they can set prices too low to maintain the business and seek to reduce costs in what they believe is the bulk of production costs: ink, paper, media and shipping. It is a common mistake that small businesses and newcomers usually make. Many times, they end up falling into a vicious circle trying to stay afloat.

The alternative is to apply a comprehensive vision when calculating the costs associated with managing a sublimation business and setting prices that cover all production costs to obtain a real benefit on all products.

What are your costs?

Whether your business is a domestic business or you have your own shop, the cost formula is always the same: divide all the operating expenses of a specific period of time by the number of units produced during that period. Operating costs -also called general expenses- include ALL anticipated costs: rent, electricity, insurance, telephone, website, email, advertising, marketing material, quotas of professional associations, depreciation of fixed assets (printers, thermal presses) , computers), accounting costs, etc. It should also include spending on ink, substrates, paper, software and artwork.

And, then, there are the labor costs. Even if you work alone, you have to pay for yourself. Your time and your experience have a value, so it is important to establish an efficient sublimation production system. The time spent on anything other than the production of sublimated products for sale is a missed opportunity to generate more revenue. Remember that people pay for your products.

How are general expenses calculated? Start by projecting all the expected expenses for the year, including the salary you expect to collect. Next, decide how many weeks you want to work each year (usually 48). Finally, divide the expected amount of the annual general expenses by the number of weeks. This will give you the approximate weekly expense, which you should strive to cover. Next, divide this weekly expense by 40 hours to calculate the hourly overhead of your business.

In this example, suppose your cost per hour turns out to be $ 30. If you could print and press 30 products per hour, the production of each would cost $ 1, regardless of the cost of ink, paper, substrates or shipping. If you could only produce two units per hour, the cost per unit would be $ 15.

This example may seem very basic, but it illustrates how important efficiency is in making a profit. The more you print, the lower your costs (taking into account all your expenses). Small or new companies often limit themselves to looking at the margin of profit of a single product based on tangible costs, but do not elaborate a general business strategy that has a global vision of all the costs associated with the management of the business.

The cuts are not the solution

When companies have difficulty taking off or realize they do not have enough income, the first instinct is to cut costs. Although lean production is a good business practice, you should insist that your customers choose their cuts carefully so as not to lose product quality and ensure that they achieve the desired impact on their results.

Many people complain that sublimation inks are expensive or claim that generic inks are a good choice. Surely you have also heard these comments. When you have an expense of hundreds of dollars, it is tempting to think about cutting costs in this way. But the reality is that reducing ink spending has a negligible impact on profit margins and, on the other hand, your customers risk losing much more than they could have spent on high quality inks and printers.

For example, if you had a T-shirt order that needed printing with full bleed at 8.5 “x 11” and used an SG800 with cartridges of expanded capacity, the cost of ink per shirt would be $ 0.44. If you reduced ink costs to 50%, you would save $ 0.22 per shirt on production costs, an insignificant amount if we consider that the actual cost of production is $ 0.50 per minute. Even if we only take into account the cost of the substrate ($ 2.50), the ink ($ 0.40), the paper ($ 0.20) and the shipping ($ 0.12), the costs would only go from $ 3.22 to $ 3, 02.

On the other hand, if it were to improve its efficiency, it could generate more units per hour at a lower cost per unit. When you spend time filling ink cartridges (which can be a dirty job), doing nozzle checks and head cleaning (because lines and stains begin to appear on the printout) and fixing clogged or broken printheads (which affect the printer, so you should spend more on a substitute) instead of printing, those $ 0.22 saved in ink can end up costing you much more.

All this does not even take into account the time, the paper, the substrates and the ink that should be wasted until it reaches the correct color. Generic inks do not include color software designed to work with the printer and ink, an essential factor for obtaining high quality prints that can be sold for a higher price. Many companies do not offer technical attention or offer limited attention, so it will be up to you to make the necessary adjustments and you will end up wasting more material. Sawgrass offers all of these vital products and services to its customers to ensure they drive the success of their business with every print.

Save efficiently

How can we improve efficiency? Determine how much time corresponds to actual production and how much time to inactivity. When the thermal press is open, when you fill the cartridges and try to understand why your prints do not look the way you want, you are not making money. Look for ways to cut downtime to maximize thermal printing and pressing cycles.

If you use an old printer, you can consider changing to a new model. Technological advances have brought faster speeds and lower ink consumption. For example, the SG800 can print almost twice as fast as the Ricoh 7100, which increases the number of images per hour and reduces the cost per image.

There are many possible points of view but, in reality, material costs can be immaterial to the business as a whole. The cost of the material (not the cost of the blank product) is only a percentage of all the operating costs that you must take into account in your production calculations. Next month, we will talk about how to set prices to guarantee a profit, based on the evaluation of real costs.

What is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation is one of the most used techniques for printing or printing t-shirts, mugs, hats, glass, wood, metal, key chains and much more. If you are looking to print, print or simply customize a mug, shirt, hat or other object, you are on the right website.

We have compiled all the information you need so you can stamp your objects using the sublimation technique. Advice, machines, printers, inks, paper polymers and all the information to facilitate the process.

What is called sublimation printing?

Sublimation has different meanings depending on the context, when we dedicate ourselves to the printing sector, it is the process of printing the image on a paper and later, through heat, the ink is transferred to another material.

In the technique of sublimation it is necessary to take into account that not any material or substrate can be sublimated, it requires certain characteristics to be able to receive the transfer of said ink, as well as to maintain a temperature above 200 ° Celsius.

For many the term printing by sublimation sounds strange but once you investigate a bit you realize that of the practical and easy that is the process of printing by sublimation.

In simple terms, sublimation printing is the printing technique that consists in the transfer of the ink by means of heat. Nowadays it is the most popular printing technique for many types of products such as cups, caps, plates and objects for decoration.

It is also used for rigid materials such as porcelain, glass, metal, rocks etc. One of the great advantages offered by sublimation printing is that technical knowledge is not needed, as it is an easy technique to apply, sublimated objects acquire a great added value and these can be sold at a good price.

Types of Sublimation Printing Methods

Sublimation in Mugs – customize to your liking

Have you ever taken coffee or tea in a personalized cup with the photograph of a loved one, this process is known as sublimation and consist of transferring liquid ink to the cup by using heat is one of the most used technique for customize ceramic mugs.

Sublimation in cups is a very simple technique but with very professional results, one of the advantages of cup sublimation is that no technical knowledge is required since it is an easy process to do.

To sublimate cups you need the following materials and equipment: A printer for sublimation, special paper for sublimation, special ink for sublimation, special ceramic cups for sublimation and a thermal plate to sublimate cups, today you can find a wide range of plates to sublimate choose the most suitable to your needs.

Sublimation in T-shirts – Useful tips

Sublimation in fabric or textile allows to make high quality prints with very professional results. This technique facilitates the printing of photos or images making it possible to personalize garments such as t-shirts and shirts, giving it an added value to the garment.

If you are starting in the process of sublimation on shirts it is very important that you keep in mind the following points.

The best printing results are obtained using 100% polyester shirts, this being synthetic fiber that absorbs better the inks obtaining with this prints brighter and more durable.

Also to obtain optimal results in the prints, better print quality, sharper colors and bright the shirt has to be white or with clear backgrounds, A very innovative alternative is to use 100% polyester garments but cotton contact.

Sublimation is also possible in cotton but to carry it out with satisfactory results it is necessary to implement certain variables in your printing plate. On our website we will explain more in detail the solutions so that you can sublimate in cotton and you can offer your customers a line of cotton sublimated t-shirts.

Sublimation in Cotton – The most correct way to do it

The sublimation in cotton can only be done using some additional supplies, as we know the textile sublimation should always be made in polyester because it has a better absorption of ink therefore provides better prints with more vivid colors.

To sublimate garment made of cotton it is necessary to use additional inputs such as

Sublimable liquid polyester, a polymer made from thermoset polyester resins. A thin layer is applied in the area of ​​the fabric that we are going to sublimate and with this we already have the area ready to absorb the ink.

Polyester sheets: it is another material that you can use to sublimate in cotton. These sheets are activated at a temperature of 200ºC for an approximate time of 12 seconds, using your sublimation plate. Once you have transferred the polyester layer to your shirt you proceed to print the drawing to sublimate and then transfer it to your garment.

Sublimation in cloth or Textile a very lucrative process

Sublimation in fabric or textile sublimation is a technique widely used to customize garments, the fabric to sublimate must meet certain specifications to obtain good results and for the image to be durable. The fabric must have at least 70% Polyester and should preferably be white or a light color to obtain good image quality.

Textile sublimation offers many advantages among the most important: it is easy to make, you have no limit in the number of colors, the quality is superior and you do not need technical knowledge to start in the business of sublimation.

Textile Digital Sublimation: A large industry that is in Auge

Digital textile sublimation is at an industrial level and the plotters used print directly on the fabric. Currently, large textile companies use digital textile sublimation in their processes and are printing on large volumes of cloth. Digital sublimation is very profitable given its low cost which makes it a very competitive process.

The Asian countries and Brazil in the American continent are the leaders in digital textile sublimation. The sublimation plotter is increasingly more efficient and capable of high production volumes, which is why many textile companies are incorporating in their textile printing processes, the new digital textile sublimation equipment. To be more competitive

Sublimation in Caps – Customize to your liking

The sublimated caps are a product that is in great demand, because they are very innovative products because thanks to the sublimation can be customized.

To customize your caps you must have a thermal press that has the module for the sublimation of caps, for this it is recommended that you acquire a multifunctional thermal plate so that you can also sublimate other products.

  • Cap specifications to sublimate
  • The material of the cap must be Polyester
  • Must have a white area to print at least 175mm x 75mm
  • The approximate measurements of the caps should be 260 x 155 mm

Process to Sublimate Hats

  • First: we print our design based on the size of the area where we are going to print, you must print in mirror mode with special inks for sublimation.
  • Second: Remember to remove the cardboard that the new caps bring, then you must pre-heat the 190ºC thermal plate for 5 seconds in the first cap, then put the cap on sublimadora plate, adjust it well with plastic straps so that it is well stretched as best you can. The visor of the cap should not stick on the hot iron.
  • Third: We pre-warm the cap to prepare the surface and correct the wrinkles
  • Fourth: Then immediately after the preheating place the impression are on the cap and proceed to sublimate at a temperature of 190ºC for 20 seconds. You must close the plate very gently so that it closes well and then you must also lift it gently.

Sublimation in Wood for home decoration

The sublimation in wood uses the same principle of transfer of the ink by means of heat, in the same way that when we sublimate cups or T-shirts we need practically the same elements.

The difference between the sublimation of cups and the sublimation in wood is that in the second an additional component is used a polymer for sublimation called commercially “primer for sublimation” which is applied on the porous wood, which after it is dry is a completely transparent.

Then the impression is placed with the drawing to sublimate and the next step is to apply heat with the iron to transfer the design to the wood. This technique allows us to print photos, messages and any image on the wood, creating with this a greater visuality in the pieces of wood.

Sublimation in Glass

Sublimation in glass is very easy to make and you can create glass jars with very innovative designs for either a special gift or for your business. The equipment and materials to sublimate in glass are: iron to sublimate jars, printers for sublimation, jugs to sublimate and special paper for sublimation.

The impression by sublimation is clear and realistic is even better if we compare it with a laser or inkyet printing, sublimation is widely used because it is a very easy technique to apply and is now available to everyone.

How to sublimate keychains

The sublimation keychains should be special key fobs for sublimation, they should be made of medium density fiberboard (MDF) where they are printed with a polymer layer so that we can transfer the image with our heat press.

The first step to make sublimated keychains is to print your design based on the size of the keychain, using your printer and sublimation inks you must print the image in mirror mode and then put to heat the iron according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Then you fix the image with thermal tape to hold the design on the keychain, then you put a sheet of bond paper on the surface of the iron and place the keychain on the iron and set your temperature to 180 ° C for 60 seconds, then close at medium pressure and you start the sublimation process and then it is ready for sale.

Tips to Start Printing Ceramic Cup With Sublimation

Creating original cups by sublimation technique is fast, simple and, best of all, very profitable.

If you are not familiar with the technique of sublimation, we will explain it in a few words:

  • Choose a design or photo from the ones you have on your computer
  • Print it with an inkjet printer that you have the cartridges changed by the ink subli. You need a special paper for subli if you want perfect colors.
  • Then cut the image and stick it to the cup with a special adhesive tape that resists heat.
  • Put the cup on a special iron or oven, wait for the marked time and … ready!

This is the summary technique, but to ensure profitability it would be convenient for you to take some time to listen to a few tips that we detail below.

  • Choose the cups well . There are cups of various qualities and prices and at first glance they look very similar. The secret is that they have a good polyester coating, that covers the entire surface evenly and that resists washing and the passage of time. Also the quality of the colors varies a lot from one another. Unfortunately the differences are only appreciated by doing tests. The seriousness and reputation of the supplier play an important role at this point.
  • The inks and the papers used are also important, not all of them give the same result. You will also have to do tests, but do not change cups when making them: if you have problems you will not know if it is due to the ink or the cup.
  • The correct fixing of the paper to the cup depends on the adhesive tape used and the skill of the person doing it. It is about the paper covering the cup without leaving wrinkles. Any slack allows the movement of the paper and the drawing will be blurred or shaded. Beware of some adhesive tapes, which leave stains on the image or do not resist temperatures.
  • Depending on the usual runs, it is recommended to use a plate of individual cups or a cup oven . In both cases, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding time and temperature. In any case, due to the aforementioned variables (cup, ink, paper), it is advisable to adjust these recommendations to your particular case if you see that you are not achieving the expected results.
  • If you usually have orders of more than 100 cups, you need an oven to achieve a reasonable productivity , or the production will absorb you leaving your business unattended. It is highly recommended that you buy an additional tray and the necessary clamps to fill it, so that you can prepare a tray while you have another one inside the oven. This way you could get to make about 150 cups per hour, almost double what you would do with a single tray, and far from the less than 10 cups per hour that you would make with an iron.
  • When considering the times, take into account the influence of environmental conditions : in winter the cups will be cold when put on the iron and the times will be extended to achieve the optimum sublimation temperature.
  • The pressure should be medium, just to ensure that the paper is well attached to the surface of the cup. If not, the images will lose clarity.
  • When you finish printing the cup, it is recommended to cool it by filling it with water or by submerging it (DO NOT do this with glass ones!). In addition to ensuring that sublimation is stopped and no stains will occur when removing the paper, production is streamlined by facilitating the handling of the cups.

Almost everything said about ceramic cups is also valid for cups and glasses made of glass, plastic or metal , with the exception of times and temperatures, which should be consulted in each case. In the case of plastic cups, it is convenient to use a piece inside the cup that prevents deforming by joint action of temperature and pressure.