Heat Transfer Paper vs Sublimation Printing: Which is Right For You?


Hi, this is Jamie with Coastal Business Supplies.
Today we are going to talk about heat transfer paper versus sublimation paper, right after
this. And we’re back. Today we are going to talk
about the difference between heat transfer paper and sublimation paper.
So first going into heat transfer paper. There are two different options you have. You either
have inkjet or laser. Inkjet is on the surface as well onto cotton polyester or blend. And
with this paper you can do it with a few different papers that we sell, which is the Jet-Pro
Soft Stretch and Red Grid as well as for darks, the 3G Jet Opaque, the Jet Dark and the Easy-jet.
So with this we have done this on a dark colored shirt. You will notice that you have a background.
One disadvantage to inkjet is that a film will transfer over unless you do a contour
cut or you can use an Exacto knife to get as close as possible to the image or you can
even use scissors to trim around the image as best as possible.
So that’s with inkjet. So again, for lights, if you’re doing a light colored shirt, you
have a film that transfers over as well, but it’s not as noticeable as with a dark colored
shirt. Again, you can always contour cut or use an Exacto knife. With inkjet You also
need to be using a pigment-based ink for the transfer. You can get that really anywhere,
but just always make sure it’s a pigment-based ink versus a dye-based ink. Dye-based you’ll
experience washing issues. It usually washes out within one to two washes, just because
the fabric fibers can’t withstand that ink. Now we’re going to talk about laser. So laser
has a benefit, because you can do light and dark colored garments, as well as hard surface
items with a hard surface paper. So going into laser, for laser, there is self-weeding
and non-self weeding papers. So for light color fabrics, you do have non-self weeding
papers, which basically means similar to inkjet, where you will have a film that transfers
over. And then for darks or even lights there are self-weeding papers where there’s usually
a two-step for a dark color garment or a one-step for light colored garment transfer paper.
So we have an image clip that we sell, forever that we sell that are two steps self-weeding
papers. And that means you basically eliminate the background. So here you don’t see that
there is a background in the image, because there is a two step process so it eliminates
that background for you. So that’s a huge benefit and huge savings in production time.
But another benefit is that you can do a hard surface items. So basically you can have a
hard surface paper that you’ll run through your printer and you can transfer it to a
surface that doesn’t have to have any type of special coding, which is great. So what
we have here is wood. We also have a little wood coaster, but you can do any aluminum
or ceramics. So tiles, things of this nature. So that is laser. And again, laser, you want
a CMYK printer or you can use a white toner printer. We do sell the Okidata version. So
that’s really what we can kind of work with and guarantee. But there are a lot of different
papers out there in the market that work with different printers, you just have to really
be careful. So if you do need additional information on that, just give us a call. We’re more than
happy to assist. But again, we use a Oki. We have the white toner system, which is the
711 and the 8432 and then we have a CMYK, which we have the 831. So that’s all power
based that you can use for this process. So now we’re going to move on to sublimation.
So sublimation is limited in the sense versus in inkjet and laser, is that you can only
do 100% polyester and on white or very light colored garments. The only way to get around
this is that you can do a blend. You just have to do a blend that is higher and polyester.
So the lowest we say to go usually is 60% polyester, 40% cotton. And this will basically
just give you a faded vintage look. So here we’ve done on a garment. We have 100% polyester
and it goes on white. You’re going to get the most vibrant transfer out of white. If
you do a shade like a gray or a pink or a blue, lighter in shade, it’s going to take
on that transfer. So you just always have to be careful. It’s really about your audience.
So what you’re targeting. Basically, with this you have sublimation paper that you’ll
transfer to and you can do things of this nature.
Everything has to have a polyester coating. Again with the heat press. This was done with
sublimation, as well as this. So really options are out there for sublimation, just as long
as something has a polyester coating and it’s ready to go. So again, this 100% polyester,
white, and then again for your substrates. So now that we have covered the basics of
heat transfer paper versus sublimation paper, now we’re going to go into that durability.
So with inkjet and laser, you get around about 25 to 35 washes. It really just depends how
you wash it. We always recommend cold water inside out. Best to hang dry, but of course
you’re busy. Washing in the dryer is fine. Washing on cold and in the dryer is fine.
Just really be careful. With sublimation, however it’s in there for
life basically. The life of the garment. It’s not going to fade. It’s not going to crack.
It’s not going to peel. It’s in there. It has a nice smooth feel when you’re running
your hands over it. Where inkjets a little bit rough. Laser is nice because you have
a RIP program that you can always send your image through and kind of lessen that toner
on there and so it has a nice smooth feel as well. Just the durability isn’t as good
as of course, sublimation. So that’s really where that is. And one thing I forgot to mention
is that sublimation is similar to laser where it is self leading because it’s naturally
self-weeding. So you’re never going to have to worry about cutting, trimming, weeding
away at all. So you kind of eliminate that extra step. So it saves you on productivity
time. Now we’re going to dive into startup costs.
So in general inkjet is normally more reasonable in the market, just because basically you
can just use your home printer. Just with pigment based ink. So all you really need
is a inkjet printer, a heat press, and the transfer paper. Moving on to sublimation.
With sublimation you have a little bit more of a startup cost than inkjet, but still at
a very reasonable rate. So Sawgrass has introduced the SG400 and SG800 to the industry, making
it more convenient for customers to buy. So really all you need for sublimation would
be a sublimation printer, your sublimation ink, sublimation paper, your substrates, again,
that has to be a polyester coated, and then a heat press. Now with laser. Laser is a bit
more expensive in the industry just because of the nature of a laser system. Again, if
you have a CMYK versus CMY with the white toner, it’s going to be more of a cost as
well. Again, with laser you have self-weeding options. So paper cost will go up significantly
just based off of that. But again, your productivity time will go down. As well as the advantage
of, you know, the self-weeding and the [inaudible 00:07:07] into it. So that’s really startup
costs right there. And now to wrap things up, we’re just going
to cover all of our bases here. So first we’re gonna start off with inkjet. Inkjet again,
you have very low startup costs. You can do it on cotton, polyester, and a blend, on white
and dark color garments, and you have a wide variety of papers to choose from. So sublimation
is great because again, you do not have a feel to it. The design is basically in the
garment or the substrate for life. So you don’t have to worry about any fading and cracking
issues. Startup costs are reasonably low still for getting into the industry and overall
you’d have a lot of different options as far as transferring goes. You are however limited
to 100% in polyester or again, a high polyester count. So again, we usually recommend as the
lowest a 60% polyester, 40% cotton. So now we’re going to wrap up with laser.
So laser has a higher startup rate just because of the consumables that are involved with
the toner as well as the printer costs and transfer costs. But it can’t go on to hard
surfaces. For fabrics it can go onto cotton, polyester, or a blend, white or dark colored
garments. And you do have a huge selection of papers including self-weeding paper. So
again, that eliminates a lot of project productivity time because you don’t have to send it to
a cutter to weed away the access. You have a lot of time there on your hands, as well
as sending it through a RIP program. With the RIP program, you can rasterize the image,
so that tones down on your yields. So as always, thank you for watching our video tutorial
and we’ll see you next time.

5 Comments

  1. HIPSTER TV September 30, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Is there a printer that can print on sublimation paper and vinyl paper?

  2. Creole & Cajun Living October 10, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve seen people print sublimation on all types of surfaces which included metal and plastic. I’m confused after watching this explanation.

  3. Sunny Show Host October 12, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you so Much! I've been trying so hard to find information on eliminating the weeding issue.🙏🙏🙏😄😄

  4. BD Farmers' News October 16, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for the info…👍

  5. ColdChills01 October 16, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    What printer(s) would you recommend that uses pigment ink

  6. Azaryahu Shalum October 18, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Hi thanks for your video may i ask what is printer that is good cotton polyester and mug cap at the same time because I'm in the process to buy a printer Epson l120 but i want to print in the dark n light garment cotton and polyester can you refers me a printer that i can use to do all that thanks again

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