Create Custom Fabric With Sublimation
One of the tools I have in my studio is a Sawgrass SG400 printer. I have had it for a couple of years and it is really fun to use when making special fabrics. I had a Christmas gift in mind for a family member that loves to ride Indian Motorcycles.
I used McCall's pattern M7139 version C which is a device stand. I have seen these online and thought it would be just about the right size to be able to print my own small piece of fabric. The printer can handle a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of printing paper. It is specialty paper though and is a little different than the transfer paper from an inkjet printer.
If you are thinking of breaking into Sublimation, you will also need a Heat Press. The paper reacts with the printed image and as the heat works on it, a gas is created. That process pushes the image permanently into the fabric or whatever substrate you are printing on. Each item you are sublimating to will need to be treated to accept the pressing also. So Cotton shirts might not be the best thing to work with unless they have been treated. 100% Polyester shirts will work but I have noticed if I purchase shirts off the rack, they sometimes don't have the vibrant colors when pressed. Shirts that are purchased specifically for sublimation do much better. Lighter colors seem to show up better with the paper I keep in stock. I use Texprint R.
For this project I had several yards of 100% Polyester knit fabric in my stash. If you look at Wal-Mart, some locations are now carrying pre-cut fabrics in larger quantities. You can see this yardage was very reasonable and it allowed me to kind of experiment. If you ever purchase something like this, you may notice when the fabric is unfolded, there are stains or even debris in them. I think they must be off cuts from the factory or ends that are not really loved. For my purposes, a small stain won't matter because I am going to cover it up. Just make sure you launder the fabric before you use it.
I designed my fabric in Corel Draw and sent it to my printer.
Here is the printed page and my fabric ready to press. Notice it is printed in reverse.
The fabric is first pressed briefly for about 5 seconds to take out the moisture. Then the image is placed, a paper topping goes on top to help protect your platen and it is imprinted.
These are the settings I used for this particular project.
Here is the fabric once printed. Pretty cool to be able to make that since I could not find any ready made fabric with these logos.
Here is the pattern piece placed on the fabric so I used most of the images.
Here is the device stand all finished.
I made another one in denim. I will advise you to put something in the bottom to weigh it down just a bit. You could use small stones, marbles beans etc. I had some small ceramic tile samples left over from another project, so I used that and it worked really well to maintain a flat bottom.
These are very useful. I have since made a couple more and during the day, I use mine to keep my phone standing upright. I can see emails and texts coming in. I also use it with my I pad turned on it's side. Very helpful while you stream videos. If you are looking for a quick sewing project, this one is hard to beat as most people have some kind of electronic device.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Hi if you dont mind where did you buy your Sawgrass SG400 printer and your Heat press? How long have you been using it? I am trying to buy one but there are a lot out there and can't trust some random seller. Mine didn't work out after few months.
6/10/2021 10:09:30 pm
I purchased the printer and press from HeatPressNation. I have been using them for several years and been satisfied. They are a reputable company. Thank you for stopping by my site and for the kind comment. Good luck with your Sublimation!
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Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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