1-800-826-6332

  International: 251-633-5704

Sublimation or Transfer Papers

October 19th, 2010

I get several calls where people are asking me what sublimation instructions to use for cotton shirts.  The correct answer here is that you cannot sublimate to cotton, however a lot of times what they are really asking for is the procedure to using a transfer paper to press to cotton. This is a common miscommunication and when I hear it I usually don’t try to correct the customer.  I just give them the directions for the transfer papers. That way they get the results they are looking and everyone is happy. Terminology is not a big deal to me as long as the customer gets what they need!

Every so often I will hear a customer who actually is printing on transfer papers with sublimation inks. This is a bad idea. Will it work? Probably. You can use duct tape to patch a hole in your jeans but do you really want to?

Transfer papers use an emulsion layer on top of the inks (or toner) to adhere the image to the final product. With sublimation the ink actually goes from a solid form (print out) to a gas form and moves into the substrate. When the material cools it then transforms back to a solid in effect dying substrate.

Condé offers a variety of transfer papers. Each one is designed for specific applications.  Each in turn comes with different procedures, times, temperatures and pressures. The addition of sublimation ink only complicates things. Not only do you have the possibility of the ink actually trying to sublimate during the press but you also have to worry about how the sublimation ink is going to bond to the emulsion layer of the paper. You may even get a great product but it will most likely fade in as little as a few days.

Check out transfer papers on www.conde.com for more information about our transfer papers as well as procedures for how to use them.

In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Condé Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Andy Taylor


What is Dye Sublimation?

October 15th, 2010

I hear this question a lot both from people calling who are interested in starting their own business and from friends who are just curious about what I do. I even remember asking that question when I first came to work for Condé. Most of the customers I talk to do not fully understand what dye sublimation is. Not to mention the customers that are just getting started in it that do not really understand it at all. If you have a question or need to understand something PLEASE give us a call.

In a nutshell dye sublimation is a process in which the ink converts directly from a solid to a gas from the heat of the press. The gas then transfers from the paper to your substrate. Once the substrate cools your image will have moved from the paper to the final product.

Dye sublimation requires a special ink. Condé sells several printers from both Epson and Ricoh that can be used for sublimation. You cannot use the standard inks that come with the printer. There are several different types of sublimation inks. Each printer has a specific ink or a list of inks that will work with that printer for sublimation. 

Hard substrates such as ceramic, metals and hardboards require a special coating for sublimation. You can’t just pick up tiles at your local hardware store! Polyester does not require a coating however cotton fibers will not accept the sublimation inks. When pressing to fabrics I do highly recommend 100% polyester!

The temperature, pressure and time are all important factors as well. Different substrates heat up at different rates and have very different characteristics. Condé has a lab that tests each item we sell before it is released to the customer. We have ironed out the kinks and have developed a set of instructions that will give you the specific instructions for each item. Our technical support department will also be glad to help our customers with any questions or problems you might have when sublimating.

In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Condé Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Andy Taylor


Using the Foam Kit and the Teflon Pillow

September 30th, 2010

Clients who sublimate to textile can find this product to be a worthy investment. Here is why: Have you ever sublimated to a t-shirt, raised the press, removed the transfer and found “paper indention’s” indicating the edges of the paper from the heat and pressure during the transfer process? This is unavoidable if you do not use either the foam kit or the Teflon pillow and develop a understanding of how to correctly transfer with these products included in the layers.

Not to mention, those of you who have just given up and excepted the paper lines on fabrics because you thought there is just nothing you can do to remedy this situation. Or, some of you may have purchased all the “bells and whistles” that were recommended for apparel, tried it and still seen the paper creases after sublimating. That’s even more frustrating because there is more invested to produce a flawless product. Maybe I can help change your mind and perfect the end results.

I have seen these lines in my own work and with the appropriate settings we can reduced the visible creases. Even though the teflon pillow is the easiest to maneuver some people have said that the foam kit is the best because it is the softest. With fabrics the softer the better for “meshing”. I will explain:

The adjustment is the same if using the foam or pillow:

  1. Lay either item on the bottom platinum of the press
  2. With no pressure applied at this time, close the press
  3. Get “eye level” with the gap so you can see the edge of the foam between the plates of the closed press.
  4. Turn the dial, closing the gap 9increasing the pressure) until the foam or pillow is compress about ¼ of its’ height.
  5. Lock it in and raise the press. Now introduce our sublimation instructions and the layers and press away.

You can have success by including these layers in your sublimation process if you understand what to do once you have the foam kit and / or teflon pillow in hand and a some guidance about on how to use it. Conde Technicians wants to get the word out on products like these so that they earn there worth. If you have any questions about this or other products give us a call and we will help to get you informed so that you are getting your monies worth from all purchases.

Video:

Using Vapor Foam

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Things that make you go, Hummm…! Color Issues !?!

September 22nd, 2010

Color Issues !?!
Have you ever printed an image perfectly fine one day and the next day printed the same image and the color be off? I have had this happen to me. If you have been in sublimation business for any length of time then most likely you too have experienced a color shift. As for me, a call of this nature to support is a typical day on the job. The good news is we can often quickly diagnose and resolve color issues with just a few simple processes of elimination. These are the primary reasons for a shift in color:

There are more defined methods for color correction and fine tuning color. However, statistically a color shift will most often be due to one or more of these common reasons. When this happens, these troubleshooting guidelines can often get you back in business with minimum down time. For more information on color issues, visit our documents section from the support / PartnerNet web page and look for “Street Smart”, “Color Matching Tool Kit “ and “101 Tips and Tricks”~by David Gross. Conde Technicians are extremely resourceful at resolving color issues on Conde DyeSublimation systems.

In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Conde TV at www.condetv.com, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Template, No Template?

September 18th, 2010

Having spent a lot of time reviewing templates, making and posting templates for Condé, I have often been asked by our clients, “Template or No Template?”. I translate the question as, “Would it be easier to size the image and print? Or, search for the product template, download, place image, print, and in some cases cut and trim around the template border prior to sublimation?” The answer is based on two questions. How savvy are you in your Digital Imaging Software (ex: CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator)? How good are you using the shape tools or sizing images in those application (ex: circles and squares and entering length and width values)?

Placing an image in a box can be as simple as knowing what size the box needs to be. For instance, a business card has a standard dimension of 2.0” by 3.5”. To place a ready made graphic with text in that area, can be as simple as knowing the size of that area. Then, add .125” for bleed (ex: 2.125” x 3.625”), and print. No template needed!

There are occasions when templates are considered necessary to even the most advanced graphic designers. A lot of Condé products are not perfectly rounded or squared and a template is just easier for image placement. It can be used as a “key hole” for manipulating the exposed area for printing. It provides a “teaser” for how the finished product will look.

For our clients who want to experiment with sizing images for sublimating without the use of templates, Condé Technicians have prepared instructional videos for some common questions. Visit www.condetv.com for videos like: “How to Size Images in Photoshop”, and “How to use Conde Templates”, etc…

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


How to recover from ERR (993) on Ricoh DyeSub Systems:

September 17th, 2010

As with all peripherals, climate control is crucial to its’ ability to function efficiently. Consumers can only do so much to keep room temperature maintained. There may be an occasion that Mother Nature will take her course, causing a power outage and a rise in humidity. A change in temperature  can mean “condensation” which can lead to corrosion and extensive damage. The Ricoh DyeSub printer has the ability to to detect moisture in its environment and give warning that vital components could be at risk. If this should happen to your Conde Sublimation System our support technicians have provided some important instructions to reverse further harm and recover from the error.

First, it is important to get your DyeSub system in a stable environment and back to the recommended room temperature . Second, police the equipment for dampness or any obvious condensation. Then follow the “Knowledge Base” ~Ricoh instruction below:

You can dry the printer’s interior by performing the de-condensation procedure. Follow these steps, from your printer Display (LCD).
1. Press the [Menu] key.

2. Press the up or down key to display [Maintenance], and then press the [#Enter] key.

3. Press the up or down key to display [De-condensation], and then press the [#Enter] key.

Three sheets are fed through the printer without anything being printed on them.

4. Switch the printer off and then back on again.

If the error message does not reappear, the printer’s interior has fully dried.
If the error persists, switch the printer off, leave it for an hour, and switch it back on. If this does not solve the problem, contact your sales or service representative.

Conde Technicans have additional instructions that are necessary to clear this error and get your sublimation system back in tip top shape. We have put together a complete instructional video on how to safely clean the feed belt inside the printer using alcohol and a lint free cloth. Please “click” into www.condetv.com to get complete details about this procedure.

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Networking your Ricoh printer for sublimation printing

September 16th, 2010

Ever find yourself in a situation where you have more than one computer that you need to have installed to print to a single printer? When this happens you have a choice to make. You can install the printer on one computer and share it over your network or you can connect the printer to your network and install it directly to each computer through your network.  Condé’s DyeTrans Ricoh printers have the capability for either method. The Ricoh GXe3300n comes with a standard network port on the back of the printer that you can plug directly into your router and then configure for network printing.

The GX7000 has an optional network adaptor that installs on the printer to make it ready to connect and configure. Let’s take a moment to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

 VS  

Using the shared method you have the                  With the networked method you 

capability of monitoring all your print                      are printing directly to the printer

jobs from the computer that the printer                  without relying on another computer.

is connected to. One major disadvantage                 Also if you have a wireless network

is in the fact that the computer that the                   you just have to connect the printer

printer is attached to will be using it’s                       directly to the router and then any

resources to print your documents. This                  computer on the network can print to

can cause that computer to run slow                         the printer weather it is wired or

and sluggish.                                                                  wireless.

            We at Condé feel it is better to connect your printer to your network and not through another computer. This is easy to setup and we not only have a document and a video that will show you how to do this but we are always happy to help our customers with this or anything else you might need.

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,

Conde Systems Inc.

www.conde.com

Technical Support

1-800-826-6332

Andy Taylor


Condé Introduces Mesh Knit Shorts For Sublimation Transfer

September 8th, 2010

Mobile, AL – September 7, 2010 – Condé™ Systems, Inc. has added white and gray mesh knit shorts to its DyeTrans™ family of sublimatable products. At home or the gym, these full cut, basketball style shorts with interwoven moisture wicking technology are a cool and comfortable addition to the existing line of sublimatable t-shirts and sweatshirts. Utilizing dye-sub technology, the shorts can be easily decorated with photographic quality images and unique designs – providing customers a more colorful and versatile option to standard screen printed or heat applied letters and numbers. The possibilities are endless and the sublimation process doesn’t change the “feel” of the fabric. The imprintable shorts are available in adult sizes S-M-L-XL-XXL and feature a covered elastic waistband with drawstring and double-needle bottom hem. Visit www.conde.com for additional information.

With an emphasis on dye sublimation technology and the sublimation transfer process, Condé Systems has become the recognized leader in the personalized products market by offering everything needed to get into the photo gift business including transfer systems, production software, blank imprintables, transfer paper and supplies, and instructional videos. Screen printers, sign makers, embroiderers, pad printers, engravers, photographers, artists, and home business entrepreneurs can expand their current product offerings by providing their customers full-color, photographic quality gifts and awards. During all stages of product selection, sales, and post sales, Condé offers expert knowledge and superior customer support. Condé and DyeTrans are trademarks of Condé Systems, Inc. Other brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


Sublimating a Vapor Polyester Shirt Using a Foam Kit

August 29th, 2010

Using a George Knight® DK20S™ Heat Press, Condé’s David Gross demonstrates the procedures for applying dye sublimation transfers to polyester shirts. The part number for these Safety Yellow Shirts is 4055 at http://www.conde.com. The transfers are created using a Ricoh® GX7000 printer with Sawgrass® SubliJet-R™ sublimation inks on TexPrint-R® Sublimation Paper, with a George Knight™ heat press. The Vapor® Foam Kit (FOAMKIT) is used to eliminate creases. All products are available from conde.com, including the George Knight® DK20™ heat press used in the demo.


Explore digital garment decoration firsthand at the SGIA Expo

August 12th, 2010

Fairfax, Virginia – Discover the latest innovations in digital garment technology at the Digital Apparel Production Zone during the 2010 SGIA Expo (Las Vegas, October 13-15). Staffed by industry experts, this sales-free Expert Advice Zone features hands-on demonstrations of digital applications for the garment decorating community.

“There will be real workflow examples in the Digital Apparel Production Zone this year, which is new for 2010,” said Zone participant Christopher Bernat of Vapor Apparel. “Several new products will be making their North American debut, and the direct-to-garment platforms will be printing a `shoot out’ graphic so people can judge the different options apples-to-apples.”

At this popular Zone, you’ll identify solutions to fit your needs, get answers about profit models and pricing, and learn tricks to prevent errors and enhance accuracy. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with industry experts and experience live demonstrations of various technologies, including: Dye sublimation, direct-to-garment inkjet, heat-applied vinyl and print and cut vinyl.

See these companies currently scheduled to participate in the Zone:
-All American Manufacturing and Supply Co.
-AnaJet Inc
-Axiom America
-Belquette, Inc.
-Brother International Corporation
-Coldenhove Papier BV
-Condé Systems, Inc.
-Delta Apparel
-Gans Ink and Supply Co.
-Geo Knight & Co
-Graphics One
-HIX Corporation
-Insta Graphic Systems
-Lawson Screen & Digital Products, Inc.
-The M&R Companies
-MESA Distributors Inc
-Next Wave Media Solutions
-Roland DGA Corporation
-Stahls’ ID Direct
-Vapor Apparel

In addition to the Digital Apparel Production Zone, SGIA will offer other sales-free Expert Advice Zones at the Expo, tailored to each of the diverse specialty imaging communities.