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Heat Sublimation

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Photo Transfer

4.  Heat Sublimation:  Saving my preferred method for last.  Heat sublimation involves the use of a heat press.  A special printer paper is used for one of two processes (see white and dark fabric transfer below)

 A heat press uses a combination of high dry heat and heavy pressure.  Your transfers will come out clear and sharp for either dark or white fabric transfer paper.  Small transfers require only a few seconds of heat and pressure.  Large (8" x 10") transfers can be perfectly completed at 30 seconds of 350 degree heat and constant pressure.  A Hix Brand - Hobby Lite Model is lesser expensive heat press and mine has served me well for over 7 years. There are many brands and sizes of heat presses. Your choice will be based upon your purpose and budget.

NOTE:  You can use a 'pants press' like they use at the dry cleaner.  You can get an inexpensive one from Singer.  HOWEVER,  this is a NO steam process and the steam holes in the press can cause transfer failure or glitches.  If you use a steam press or iron, you must do the transfer in 'quick bits'.  This means either moving the hand iron constantly around the transfer image OR in the case of a steam press, lifting the top and moving the transfer several times.

Heat Sublimation for Photo to Fabric transfer has two variations. 

White Fabric Transfer:   This is my preferred product for all photo to fabric transfer. Perfect for transfer to white fabrics.  Most popular for photo quilts and purses.  This process requires a bit of photo editor and printer manipulation. See our  Photo Prep for fabric transfer.  This process is permanent, washable, produces vivid images and IMMEDIATE gratification for a job well done!  This process cannot be used on any colored fabric (perhaps pastel for artistic effect).  The ink/dye is sublimated down into the fabric fibers. 

Dark Fabric Transfer:  The similarity to white fabric transfer process ends at the need for a heat press for best results.  Dark Fabric Transfer paper works on any solid colored fabric.  It does NOT work on printed fabric.  Photo Transfer Fabric Selection  This process closely resembles the traditional professional photo-lab process of separating color emulsion from the backing.  After printing (no special digital editing required), be sure to allow to dry according to manufacturer recommendations.  The process involves very carefully placing the separated emulsion onto the top of the fabric (printed side up).  Your product will include parchment or silicon paper. 

NOTE: Do NOT attempt to heat press dark fabric transfer without the parchment paper. If you do, you will ruin your iron or heat press. 

Another difference with the dark transfer paper is the 'touch and feel'.  This process FUSES the image to the fabric.  It is vibrant in color and permanent if done properly.  If not done properly, a 2 yr old with a sharp end of a paper clip can damage the transfer.  You should also launder this process by hand.  The dark fabric transfer process feels more like a store bought t-shirt with printed image.  It is a little stiffer than the white fabric transfer process. 

Recommendation:  Both white and dark fabric sublimation processes have great application.  The key to both is high heat and constant heavy pressure.

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Choose Connie's Corner because we are SMARTER, PRETTIER and NICER than all the rest!  Connie's Corner accepts no responsibility for business relationships transacted between Associates, Affiliates, Sponsored Links  and Customers.  There are no refunds or returns on any photo transfer custom art. Connie's Corner and all contents and products are  trademarked and copyrighted by  Constance R. Pottenger in 1997 - 2011