As with any form of decoration, there are some obstacles that you have to overcome in order to master the craft. Sublimation printing is no different. While there are many challenges that can occur when you begin sublimation printing, there are five common problems that you should know about before you begin. Knowing about these problems before you begin will allow you to handle them quickly when they occur.
Lines of missing ink on your prints indicate a banding issue. This is caused when the print head nozzles are clogged with dried ink. The ink flow is interrupted leading to the common sublimation problem known as banding. Banding occurs when you go several weeks or months without printing anything. The best way to prevent this problem is to periodically run a bit of ink through the heads. This is done automatically in some printers. Running ink through the heads should be a routine that you stick to in order to keep banding at bay.
The transfer paper and blank must be extremely tight during the sublimation process. The paper must be flush against the substrate and must not shift during the process or you will end up with a faded product. The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure the transfer paper and the substrate fit tightly together. Use heat resistant tape to secure the substrate to the transfer paper. Do not place any tape on the area that you are printing an image on. In order to remove the tape quickly, use only a small amount.
3. Problems with Moisture
Moisture and sublimation do not go well together at all. Excess moisture can cause the ink to bleed away from the substrate. Some substrates are unable to absorb excess moisture. Be sure to protect the transfer paper from moisture absorption and store it in a safe place away from water. Also, be careful not to work in humid environments.
4. Incorrect Coloring
The process of transferring colors from the computer to the substrate Is tricky and can often result in mismatched colors. The best way to negate this problem is to use a color management tool. If you are using a PC, the Power Driver will ensure that the right colors get printed every time.
5. Transfer Lines
If you are printing on apparel, nothing is more frustrating than ending up with a permanent transfer line on your product. This can be very frustrating because it completely ruins the substrate. Transfer lines are caused is when the shirt fibers melt against the edges of the transfer sheet. The best way to stop transfer lines is to reduce the heat and adjust the settings. Teflon pillows may also help you eliminate transfer lines.
Sublimation printing can be very rewarding once you work out the bugs. All of these problems can be frustrating but knowing how to handle them puts you one step ahead. You are well on your way to creating your own brand with your sublimation printer.