Common Mistakes When Using Sublimation

13 09 2011

Many users have had great success with sublimation; they have achieved consistent results every time.  The images are bright, vivid, and match the colors that they have desired.   A few users have had some problems with their images and here are some of the most common mistakes made when using sublimation.  We have duplicated mistakes purposely so that you can compare with our results!

Nozzle Check problems
If the color of your image is off.  For example, if your image has a red tint, or other color tints, there’s a high chance that it is because your nozzles are not firing properly in your sublimation printer.

At the beginning of the day, I always print a nozzle check before I start any jobs as this will ensure that all nozzles are firing.  We suggest daily nozzle checks to prevent virtually all clogs.

Here’s a comparison between a perfect nozzle check and one that isn’t.

Here is a comparison between a print with a perfect nozzle check and one that has a nozzle check problem.

Nozzle print Comparison

The top picture resembles the colors of the original photograph and the bottom one is no where near the original colors

Fixing this problem is very simple.  If your nozzle check isn’t perfect, just clean your nozzle head through your OEM printer driver or through the power driver that you downloaded. And then, perform another nozzle check.  Sometimes it may require more than one head clean to clear the clog.

Check to make sure you are using sublimation paper.

Sublimation requires special sublimation paper for the sublimation inks to release properly when heated.  It is easy to mix up sublimation paper with normal paper as they are both white and feel very similar to one another.  Most standard sublimation papers are only coated on one side (however there are some that are coated on both sides).  You can compare the two sides of the paper to tell sublimation paper and plain paper apart.  The coated side is usually brighter than the uncoated side.  With plain papers, both sides will be the same brightness.


Here is an image of a mug sublimated with normal plain paper.

Printing on the wrong side of the paper

You may be printing on the wrong side of the paper.  As stated above, the coated side of the sublimation paper is brighter than the uncoated side. So be sure to print on the brighter side

If you are printing on the wrong side of the paper, you will get the same result as when you use plain paper.

 

Follow the instructions for your product

Most imprintable blanks will come with their own instructions.  Please follow them carefully.  Each type of blank may have a different set of instructions.  If unsure, please confirm the instructions with your vendor.

   
Here is a comparison between using just the right amount of heat, too much heat, and not enough heat,

As you can see images using too much heat turns the image a bit brown and in some cases the image and text on it will appear pixilated.  And images with insufficient heat will appear faded.

Using the wrong inks


If you accidentally installed the OEM inks that came with your printer instead of sublimation inks, this is what you will get.

Sublimation is an easy to learn method to print onto a variety of substrates including 100% polyester clothing, bags, ceramic mugs, tiles, plaques, etc.  But the instructions have to be followed accurately to achieve consistent results.  Also the setup of your sublimation printer has to be correct.  Sawgrass (A Manufacturer of sublimation inks) has posted excellent videos of how to setup your sublimation printers.  Here are some useful links below for your reference.

Sawgrass Sublijet-R Technical Support
Sawgrass Sublijet-IQ Technical Support

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181 responses

7 02 2013
Baha

Thanks.. This was very helpful, I was printing on the wrong side of paper.

17 03 2013
tracyl63

Thanks we needed to increase the temperature a little. Very helpful!

21 08 2014
Sublimation Paper and Common Mistake in Sublimation Printing

[…] are more other tips you can read at Joto Paper to avoid making mistakes in sublimation […]

3 09 2014
robert macauley

can any one help pls? I am using sublimation paper, ink and mugs! but not getting any image on the mug at all… tried using 180C 200C AND 220C 180SECS 200 SECS AND EVEN 300SECS! HAS ANYONE GOT ANY IDEAS?

3 09 2014
D Siu

Hi Robert,

If you are not getting any ink to sublimate to the mug using your stated temperatures and times, most likely the mugs do not have a polyester coating. As you can see in my post, even with normal OEM (original Equipment Manufacturer) inks, you will still see the yellow on the mug. This is because most OEM inks when heated will leave a yellow or red sublimation dye on the polyester coated mug. However with a mug that has no polyester coating, nothing will sublimate onto the mug, not even the yellow or red. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-565-5686

3 09 2014
robert macauley

Thank you! you have just comfirmed what i thought, only needed confirmaion due to i bought 36 mugs stating sublimation printable white ceramic 10oz and also 11oz mugs stating the same from a diffrent suppyier. so the chance both mugs is at fault were little! but even thought that if it were the paper or using wrong side would still show up a faded image! thank you again!

6 10 2014
casey

don’t worry i have been their and done the same thing lol.

10 02 2015
Ramzi

i was about to buy a 36 Mugs from china, is that what are you talking about ? :O

11 11 2014
Rob

is it possible to use a sublimation printer is a dual role purpose? Meaning printing on Sublimation paper and regular inkjet paper for non sublimated prints?

19 11 2014
D Siu

You can use a sublimation printer for dual role purpose, however this is the not recommended. It is best to use two separate printers. One for the Regular inkjet paper and one for sublimation paper. The reason we don’t recommend it is because the OEM inks and sublimation inks shouldn’t mix. Which means that whenever you switch the inks, you have to ensure that there are non of the previous inks in the lines. This often means that you will have to flush out all the previous inks to switch to the new ink. It is cheaper to buy yourself sublimation printer and a normal inkjet printer, than to switch the inks on the one inkjet printer. This applies more to the desktop Ricoh machines that have ink tubes.

22 12 2014
Edy

I recently bought a ricoh sg3110dn I’ve made a mistake of installing the OEM inks… I have then installed the sublimation ink but when I heat the mug is becoming yellow that’s because of the wrong ink I know. I’ve tried Sawgrass powerdriver but no lucky. How can I flush off the OEM ink. Anyone can help?

22 12 2014
D Siu

Hi Edy,

You must call sawgrass. They normally will send you a prn file that you print until all the OEM inks in the lines are flushed out. Or they will tell you to do a set number of head flushes to get rid of the OEM Ink.

When you loaded the OEM inks into the printer, it filled the lines with it. So it will take a significant number of prints/flushes to get rid of the OEM ink in the lines.

29 12 2014
Annie

Hi I am having trouble with my sublimation prints, i have tried printing on mugs and the picture is faint and is lighter at the bottom than it is at the top. When i took the transfer paper off the cup the design still looked perfect way better than what actually got printed.

29 12 2014
D Siu

Without a photo to see and based on your description, I would say that there isn’t enough heat. The lighter at the bottom is caused by insufficient pressure. If you need more help, please call us at 1-800-565-5686

29 12 2014
Kal

Thanks for the information. I’m new to this topic and the information helped me understand more about the basics of sublimation.

7 03 2015
Sara

Hi, Can I use the Sublimation ink and paper in my ordinary printer? And also can I transfer the image using iron on tin boxes?

9 03 2015
D Siu

Not all inkjet [printers are compatible with sublimation inks. We also do not recommend hand iron with sublimation. We recommend to use only heat presses for sublimation. This is due to the consistent heat and pressure that a heat press can provide.

24 04 2015
farisbaidoun

Thank you so much for this article!
I have bought an l110 Epson printer (link attached below)
I’m wondering is the Epson ink suitable for printing on T-shirts and mugs,
with Transfer paper?

and how much heat shall the mug get and for how long exactly?

Thank you

Epson ink l110:
https://www.epson.eu/ix/en/viewcon/corporatesite/products/mainunits/consumables/11796

24 04 2015
D Siu

Generally with sublimation you will need a specific printer to run sublimation inks to use sublimation for digital decoration. If you are using a printer that has pigment or dye based inks you can use our transfer papers. However transfer paper is a completely different technology than sublimation but you will be able to decorate shirts and mugs with transfer papers as well

2 05 2015
Pavan Chandak

I have Epson L800 photo ink printer, can I change to sublimation ink for transfer pepper printing purpose & again we can change sublimation to normal photo print ink

4 05 2015
D Siu

Only certain printers can be converted to sublimation printers. The printer needs to be a piezo head printer in order for it to be converted to a sublimation printer. In addition, you will need to find a third party supplier that has cartridges or chips that go with the printer. Also you will need to either make a color profile or find someone that has a color profile for the printer and sublimation ink combo. If you want to do sublimation, my advice is to buy a sublimation printer package. It comes with everything that you need to get started. Also it is highly recommended to buy from a vendor that provides excellent support so that if you run into any trouble, you can rely on them.

Right now there are two leading sublimation printer combos out there.
Epson SureColor F6070 or F7070
Virtuoso SG400 or SG800

4 05 2015
Nicole

I have the Ricoh SG 3110DN … I am using the correct paper and metal, and the image prints correctly onto my transfer paper. However, in the middle of a job, the blue ink on my transfers quick transferring. I hadn’t changed cartridges, comp files, or settings…I am using same paper and metal, but my blue isn’t transferring to the metal anymore. On transferred fine…the next messed up. I called customer service, ran checks/cleans, switched out cartridges, etc but nothing has helped…ink isn’t expired until 2016 and I’m using the correct kind of ink…any ideas what is going on or what would fix it?

4 05 2015
D Siu

If you can call customer service and send them a photo of your final result. They will be able to help you once you send a photo of the final result. Thanks

5 05 2015
Nicole

I called customer service and spent all day on the phone with them…they couldn’t figure it out.

17 05 2015
ali

Hi,

Last days, when I printed an image with red color, it was leaving stain blue color in the corners of the image, nozzle checked and i cleaned head but still same, do you have any idea what that is? Thanks in advance.

27 05 2015
D Siu

Hi, sorry to hear that you are having problems. I wouldn’t be able to say what it is until you send a picture. The best way to get support is to call us at 1-800-565-5686. Thanks.

26 05 2015
farisbaidoun

Hello,
I have successfully sublimated an image to my mug using correct paper and ink,
yet the colours are quite not right, the grey turns to a light magenta,
and generally the the colors are not that strong.
I have an epson l110.

Please advise regarding this issue

27 05 2015
D Siu

With sublimation, you will need a profile to correctly color match the inks with your printer. Your ink supplier should be able to send you a program to color match or send you the icc profile for your graphic design software

27 05 2015
farisbaidoun

even if the colours are absolutely correct on the printed paper?

9 06 2015
teri

when printing your sublimation image from the printer, what paper setting should be used? IE…..photo, glossy, matte, plain paper, etc…

9 06 2015
D Siu

This actually depends on what color management you are using. Most sublimation users have a color management system for their sublimation inks. For instance if you are using sawgrass inks, then you will use their power driver and it will allow you to choose what substrate you are printing for. If you are using wide format sublimation printing, you should use the RIP settings that are recommended by your vendor. To summarize it is best to use the setting recommended by your vendor to best match the color profile that was sent to you.

11 06 2015
Dew

Hi my images aren’t coming out anywhere near as bright as the design.
They are more pastel. I have it on temp 310 for 4 mins could that need adjusting
Thanks

22 06 2015
D Siu

Yes 310 is too low of temperature for sublimation inks to activate.

19 06 2015
James hendrickson

I find that putting the mug into lukewarm water will keep the color bright. This will cool the mug & stop the heating. (Put mug is slowly)

24 07 2015
hannah

When I print my design I get a full colour image, when I sublimate onto my mug after the allotted time, I peel away the paper and the image is just yellow. Any thoughts what this could be? I don’t know where to start with making corrections to process?

24 07 2015
D Siu

It’s because the ink in the printer is not sublimation ink. Normal OEM (original Equipment manufacturer) ink leave a yellow/red dye when heated.

30 07 2015
jim

Using a Ricoh sg3110dn and finding when I want to print any shade of pink comes out deep red. And in general colours are not matching those on screen. Have tried letting Photoshop handle colours but no difference. Any help would be appreciated.

30 07 2015
D Siu

It depends on what brand of ink you are using. Sawgrass Ink has their own powerdriver for color management. Normally you would turn off color management in photoshop if using sawgrass ink and let the power driver do the color management. Also please remember to select the substrate in the driver before printing.

If you are using mac and using sawgrass ink, you need to leave color management on but select the icc profile. A list of the instructions can be found on sawgrass’ website.

30 07 2015
jim

Thank you for quick response. I am not using Sawgrass ink and just the Ricoh driver. What I cannot understand is print a photograph it prints OK, try and print some text written in photoshop (as well as other graphic programmes) and black prints brown and as said pink prints deep red and all colours do not print correctly. We need to print text on T.Shirts so is a real problem.

30 07 2015
D Siu

Your sublimation ink manufacturer should provide an ICC profile for you. If they cannot provide you with one, you will need to make your own profile. This is one of the advantages of Sawgrass ink. They will provide you with the color management as well as ensure that the color in their inks are the same for every batch with acceptable tolerances.

What you described is exactly what happens to users who don’t use an ICC profile. Photographs will mask the color inaccuracies better. Once you are doing solid colors you will notice the color inaccuracy much easier. Color inaccuracies occur more in black, greys, dark blues, reds, and all neutral colors.

30 07 2015
jim

Thank you so much for your time and help. Seems I made the mistake of buying the wrong ink!

1 08 2015
rattz

Hello
Can the inks that come with epson l800 package be used for sublimation printing?

4 08 2015
D Siu

The Original Inks that come with the Epson 1800 will not work for sublimation as those inks are not designed for sublimation. However if you bought a Epson 1800 sublimation package that came with sublimation ink it would work.

4 08 2015
Shane nicholls

My partner and i bought a complete sublimation kit (printer + heat station) we had to order the paper and ink seperate from this deal we set the printer up works fine set the heat press up that also works fine we tried to print to fabrick for my grandparents anniversary but wouldn’t transfere went to office quipt local office supplies store and bought the iron on transfer paper 40 bucks fo 10 sheets and worked fine bought another lot of sublimation paper thinking that was wrong but did the same we are now going to order another lot of ink incase they gave us normal printing ink by mistake this process is taking a long time to set up.. How can we tell if our ink is normal printing ink or sublimation ink????? Please help

4 08 2015
D Siu

There are three things to consider for sublimation:
1.) Need Sublimation Ink
2.) Need Sublimation Paper
3.) Fabric/substrate must be coated with polyester or made of polyester
Usually with normal inks, it will not transfer to the fabric/substrate at all and will leave a yellow or magenta shadow on the substrate. If you are using the wrong paper, but the right sublimation ink, the sublimation inks will transfer to the shirt, however you will not have a complete transfer as normal paper would not release all the ink onto the substrate. If you are not using 100% polyester fabric or a substrate that is coated with polyester, usually nothing will transfer, you might get a very very faint image. Hope this helps.

26 09 2015
sidharth

Pls help
I print a ceramic mug by sublimation but i print wrong pic then how to remove that pic without any damage layer

28 09 2015
D Siu

If you have already printed the wrong image on the mug, it is permanent, I don’t think you can undo it.

3 10 2015
lisa

can anyone tell me how to get a picture onto a log ? ive tried ink jet and sublimination with heat press its almost there just not quality ?

22 10 2015
L Mike

Hey expert,
I want to start this business and i want to begin with a mug heat press which i have already bought, my worry is the printer to use,
I dont know if any of these printers will work. They are photo printers
pixma ip100 and canon selphy cp910.

can you shed for me some light on those or i can buy any cheaper printer as long as its inkjet?

thank you

28 10 2015
D Siu

Hi Mike,
If you are planning to do mugs using sublimation, you will require mugs with a polyester coating. Regular mugs normally don’t have a polyester coating on it so I would recommend that you find a sublimation mug supplier. Regarding the printer used for sublimation. You cannot use any printer. You will need a printer that uses piezo head technology. Many desktop printers sold at your local office supply store are not suitable for sublimation. For sublimation to work, the special sublimation inks you buy will also have to be compatible with your printer. So what I suggest is that you buy a sublimation package that includes the printer, the sublimation inks, and the color profile required. We recommend the virtuoso SG400 or the SG800 sublimation package.

Hope this helps

31 10 2015
L Mike

ye.ah
thanx
I will try this and see

2 11 2015
Neha

Hi,
Is a Sublimation printer better or a 3D printer for printing on mobile cases.

9 11 2015
D Siu

Depends on your customer base and your business model. If you want to learn more about sublimation, please call us at 1-800-565-5686

4 11 2015
Carly

Hi, I’m having a problem with the inks coming out too dark onto the paper… therefore printing onto mugs too dark.. any ideas why this is happening?

9 11 2015
D Siu

From the information you gave me, could this be an issue with your color management?

11 11 2015
sewan

im using sublimination paper and ink in ricoh printer but the images are very pale reds come out a pink colour etc when i heat transfer. what am i doing wrong please

12 11 2015
D Siu

There maybe two issues with your setup. Depending on your image and your description of your problem, I think you should do a nozzle check to ensure that all your nozzles are firing. If the image is very pale red and reds are pink, it’s likely that your yellow is clogged Please check that the yellow is firing. If you still have the problem then it would be your color management.

11 11 2015
Fru

Hi, I have a problem. When I print the photo on sublimate paper it come out that black is not really black (more gray-blue-dark) And when put on the mug is look like not very vivid color. I have an epson wf2510. Any suggestion?
Thanx

12 11 2015
D Siu

I would say it is your color management. If using sawgrass inks, please use the powerdriver or the macprofile that came with it. If you are using another sublimation ink, then please ask your vendor for the ICC profile that should come with the ink.

22 11 2015
andy

what size do I need to b able to get three pictures on an a4 for mugs, also how do I do picture is there also a programme you need to get? many thanks

23 11 2015
D Siu

Most sublimation users use CorelDraw or photoshop to print their images. These programs allow you to resize and mirror your images. Also if you are buying sawgrassinks, there is a new online program that is included in your sublimation packages. It is called creative studio.

9 12 2015
Duncan munhuweyi

Hello I just wanted to ask the difference between a 4 colour and a 6 colour sublimation quality on a mug… and which one is best to start with a small mug printing business in terms of quality and please if possible help me with pictures of the two for comparison…

Thank you!

15 12 2015
D Siu

More color means more color accuracy, however more colors means that you have to stock more ink. It really depends on your business. More color will have more accuracy and is preferred for photography. Unfortunately I no longer have a six color printer in our office, so I can’t show you the difference.

15 12 2015
AntonvE

I have been sublimating before with vivid colors and almost spot on with my fully calibrated system. Now after a year i started everything up again, using the same substrates, printer and new ink. I print a yellow to reddish woodgrain and on the paper it seems okay, but after sublimating it is blue-ish instead of red. Anyone know why this happens? On some reason it’s only with this grain others i had no problems with. The image is made in photoshop on rgb workspace, like all my other images and than i print from Adobe lightroom also with same settings like everything. All other photo’s come out great, but this woodgrain that does not have any blue in it turns out blue.

15 12 2015
D Siu

If you do see some sort of pattern like for instance there is more blue hue to every image you print, then I would look at your color management and nozzle checks. But if it’s only doing that for the one image, and your setting seemed to be dial perfectly for the rest of your images, you might be better offer just to manipulate the color in Photoshop for that specific image.

15 12 2015
AntonvE

It seems to be just this image. The strange part is that the image has no blue in it but it does have some grey and ive put a white transparency over the image. On top are dark red letters which come out the printer like they should or atleast i am used to. Just when i transfer it to unisub coaster the result is blue and the red seems to stay put on the transfer paper. And the complete red letters come out like a dark brown/light balck. I tried pressing a little longer but than i get some fading in the image.

9 01 2016
Naomi Worrell

Hello there,

I was wondering if you could help me, I have just bought the heat press mug machine, I have the white mugs the dye sublimation transfer paper, but on trying to print, it just wont transfer it kind off slightly leaves a yellow like burnt tinge to the paper… I have watched loads of tutorials made sure I followed all instructions correctly… I just have no Idea… could it be the ink or my printer… its a prixma canon MG2450 or have I got the wrong paper… I’m at a loss. If you could give me any ideas I will be very relieved.

Naomi

11 01 2016
D Siu

For sublimation to work, you need the following. Sublimation Inks, Sublimation printer, substrate with polyester coating and sublimation paper. If any of these are missing the process will not work.

Without seeing the photos of the result, it is very hard to diagnose what is wrong with it. I would suggest you call the manufacturer to troubleshoot your problem.

22 01 2016
Greyt

My finished mugs got some tiny black spots. When I first tried using my 3d sublimation machine, I set the timer to 8 mins, 200 deg C with just one mug inside. The picture on the mug did not transfer properly. The second attempt was with 4 mugs inside, 200 deg C for 14 mins. It came out alright but I noticed some black tiny spots around the white area. Any suggestion how to fix this glitch? Thank you in advance.

26 01 2016
E Sherbeeny

Can I use sublimation to transfer an image on a transparent phone case? or does it only work with white cases?

26 01 2016
D Siu

Yes, if you can find a transparent phone case that has the polyester coating applied.

We supply transparent phone cases with metal insert. The metal insert is white for sublimation printing.

3 02 2016
Stela

Hello, I’ve read the article and some of the comments and I was wondering if you can help me with my problem. Sometimes when I make color changing mugs the black colour became brown / like copper/. I’ve tried to change the temperature and color from the program but on some mugs it still come out brown.

3 02 2016
D Siu

I haven’t sublimated to color changing mugs before, however with sublimation to normal mugs, when black turns brown, it is usually caused by having too much heat applied to the mug. What I would suggest is to lower the time you are cooking your mugs.

Brown could also be not enough heat.

3 02 2016
Stela

Thank you very much, I will try to lower the time a little bit more.

13 02 2016
clare

Hello. Can someone please help me. I have with sublimation for some time and I am now setting up myself. I’ve got an Epson 1500w printer which is what I use at work etc….. the images are coming out with a yellow/green tinge. I have cleaned the heads used both sides of the paper and is still coming out tinged…… xx

15 02 2016
D Siu

After cleaning the heads, i would do a nozzle check to make sure that the heads are not clogged still. If the nozzle check is good, then I would check your color management. Do you have an icc profile installed in your graphics program? The vendor you bought the inks from should have given you an icc profile or color management software

Sublimation ink usually does not match the color profile that came with your original printer driver

13 02 2016
Rishabh Gupta

hii
Using with right amount of heat, paper and ink
my red colour turns green when the process is done
please help me out

15 02 2016
D Siu

I would do a nozzle check to make sure all nozzles are firing. Clean the head if the nozzle check isn’t perfect

14 02 2016
ank

hello sir,what temperature should i set for mug printing?

15 02 2016
D Siu

Depends on your mug and mug press. The vendor you bought your mugs can give you a starting point. Also check your mug press instructions. Different models of mug presses will require different temperatures and time. If you are using a convection oven, it will take longer than a mug press.

28 02 2016
francis marcelo (@frncismrcelo30)

ANY one can help?i was printing on lanyard (Color Grey) but the output is maroon red.what should i Do?

4 03 2016
D Siu

Is your lanyard made of 100% polyester? Have you checked your color management. Grey is hard to print without proper color management.

3 03 2016
David

Hi, I have been using sublimation for a few years with no problems until now. Images when transferred are off colour, yellow and dark. Have done all nozzle & head checks and looks fine. I use the powerdriver to print. Have changed inks recently and doubled checked that they are correct. Noticed that two new ones I put in has expired by three months. Do you think that this could be the problem?

4 03 2016
D Siu

Yes it could be due to expired inks. One of the reason why manufacturer’s put expiry dates on inks is because once it passes the expiry date, there is a much higher chance that the colors will not stay consistent.

Depends on how much you have printed since the inks where installed. Normally it takes a bit of time for the printer to use the inks in the lines before getting to the new inks that are installed.

4 03 2016
Hazel Evangelista

Hi. I have a sublimation paper (yellow), can I use my EPson L1300 printer with pigment ink. I will use this to my Katsa Canvas bag. Will the result be okay.

4 03 2016
D Siu

No, sublimation paper only works with sublimation inks. The key to sublimation is in the sublimation ink.

However you can use heat transfer paper with pigment ink. We have tested our inkjet heat transfer paper with canvas bags and have had good results.

9 03 2016
Sunny

Hi, I am confused between 3 printers for sublimation…
Epson L805 vs Ricoh 3110 DN vs Sawgrass SG 400. Can you please help me in choosing one? Thanks in advance.

9 03 2016
D Siu

I’ve only had experience with the Ricoh 3110 and the SG400. I haven’t used the Epson L805. The SG400 is an upgraded model from the Ricoh 3110. I would use the SG400 over the Ricoh 3110.

10 03 2016
Sunny

Thank You for the reply… Is there any difference in Print Quality?, bcoz the refill gel/cartridge ink for SG400 is three time more here in India.

10 03 2016
D Siu

In North America, the Ricoh 3110 has been discontinued. So getting a replacement printer would be a bit difficult. One of the reasons we ask customers to get the latest model is because there are plenty of replacement parts/printers available. And also eventually a customer will have to switch to the new model which requires new set of inks. So we advise them to buy the newest model to avoid all the hassle that comes with buying a discontinued printer.

18 03 2016
Marleen

Hi. After i put the mug in the mug press after the time when i pull it out. The image is not vivid. And not printing will

18 03 2016
D Siu

This could be caused by a number of factors. The temperature may not be high enough, the time not enough, your color management is in correct, or you have printed on the wrong side of the sublimation paper. You will need to describe your situation more to be able to pin down what could be causing this.

27 03 2016
Brooke

Can someone help. Using my new heat press, sublimation ink.and sublimation paper with temp of 200 degrees and 330 seconds. Some mugs are coming out perfect whilst others are “bleeding” with the ink seeping/rising above the printed text while the mug is still hot. I have found that placing the mug upside down and turning every 30seconds until cool helps control this but It’s not completely solving the issue. If anyone has experienced this or can help if really appreciate it. Thanks.

6 04 2016
D Siu

There are three reasons for why you are getting this:
1.) You are pressing the mug for too long
2.) You need to dunk the mug in warm water immediately after pressing to stop the sublimation process
3.) You have moisture in your sublimation paper. Use a new pack of paper or dry the paper in the heat press before printing in your printer.

6 04 2016
Tracie

How long after I print a design on sublimation paper do I need print it, How long can they sit before printing

6 04 2016
D Siu

It really depends on the condition you store the printed paper. I wouldn’t wait for more than one week.

15 04 2016
jeff youngblood (@paintedjeff)

what would cause darker spots on your image (solid color image) when pressing on tile? could it be oil from hands, ink inconsistency? etc?

15 04 2016
D Siu

It’s hard to say without seeing a photo. Dirt may cause tiny dark spots. I would suggest, you wipe the tile before printing and see if this occurs again.

15 04 2016
jeff youngblood (@paintedjeff)

please email me and I will send photo, unless you can tell me how to do it here. paintedjeff@gmail.com

15 04 2016
D Siu

You can put the photo into dropbox and share the link here so everyone can see the problem.

15 04 2016
15 04 2016
jeff youngblood (@paintedjeff)

you can see the dark streaks where it all should be solid red.

15 04 2016
D Siu

If the dark spots don’t show up when you printed onto the paper and only shows up after heat transfer, then I would say it is dirt on the tile. You may or not be able to avoid the dark marks by cleaning the tiles before sublimating. Other than that I would use new tiles.

12 05 2016
Kostas

Hello,I’m new into sublimation,I’ve bought epson l130 printer with piezo electric heads,sublimation inks and paper.my question is this: after the heat process (200 celsius for 180 sec),i tried to wash/test the mugs with the hard part of the sponge and after a few times I see scratches not only upon the design but all over the mug,is it something I’m doing wrong with anything or is the mug quality (2 different mug suppliers). thanks in advance

13 05 2016
D Siu

If you are able to scratch the mug where there is no ink and while the mug is cold. It is most likely the quality of the mug coating being too thin or being of poor quality. Polyester coated mugs are quite scratch resistant when they are cold.

25 05 2016
Rene

Hi when printing I am getting no print image at all the paper is just printing out blank but going through the motions like its printing thanks

25 05 2016
D Siu

Have you done a nozzle check to see if the head is firing off any ink?

If the nozzle check doesn’t print anything or there are missing patterns, that is probably the problem.

2 06 2016
Tracy podmore

y mugs are coming out with an orange tinge can anybody help with this I have a Ricoh printer

2 06 2016
D Siu

If you see the problem when printed on the paper before transferring to the mug, it would be because the nozzle head is partially clogged and requires a head cleaning or it could be your color management. If the print is fine on the paper but an orange red tint is showing up on the mug, then it may be that you are using too much heat. Try to reduce the time the mug is cooked. Overcooked sublimation inks will show a reddish orange shade especially on areas with blacks and greys.

7 06 2016
Mehdi

hello and thanks for the this blog.

i just bought a ricoh 3110 with sublimation ink sublijet R and a 3d sublimation heatpress.
the problem we had is that when we print the ink wont dry on the sublimation paper, it wont stick on it and when we touch it or put it on the mug, the result is always a bleeding text or logo.
please i need your response we tested like 20 mugs ( we changed the mug, the heat press, we tryed to dry the sublimation paper, the result is always the same . can you please help me.

thank you,

8 06 2016
D Siu

Try a new pack of sublimation paper. Also ensure in your color management settings you have selected the right type of paper. It could be either moisture on the paper or the profile that was selected was incorrect (the profile you use should match the paper and the substrate you are printing on).

19 06 2016
sek

Hi iam facing problem in the roll heat transfer press, We are using polyester lycra fabric, when the fabric alone is feeded into the machine , the fabric runs in same position. when the printed sublimation paper is feeded along with the fabric , the fabric and paper goes off of the belt after 10 or 15 metres .pl advise

26 06 2016
Phil Scott

Hi, is it a certain type of printer you need to print the images correctly or will any printer do ? is it just a certain type of ink you need to install into your regular printer ?
thanks

27 06 2016
D Siu

Yes it has to be a certain type of ink for sublimation to work. Regarding the printer, it has to be a piezo head printer. Not all desktop printers use the piezo head technology. If you plan to get into sublimation, I would recommend getting a sublimation system that includes the compatible printer and ink along with the color management software.

27 06 2016
Phil Scott

ah thanks, can you reccomend best place for printer and ink, also whats the best computer prgram to use for printing images/designs ect ?

27 06 2016
D Siu

We recommend using Sawgrass or Epson. If you are looking for a desktop sublimation printer, Sawgrass is the best place to go because their inks are always consistent and they provide color management software. If you are looking for a wide format sublimation printer, then I would go with the Epson Surecolor F6200 or the F7200. Again consistent ink and very good color management software that comes with it. Ink cost is much cheaper for wide format sublimation printers, however the initial investment is quite big.

You can go to both of their company websites and search for a local distributor near you.

29 06 2016
Mondella Benton

Is Ricoh ink with the number GC21C, 21K, etc. sublimation ink? I am using a Ricoh GX7000 printer for sublimation.

29 06 2016
D Siu

sorry I can’t comment on this as the numbers may not be the same in the next batch. If you are buying sawgrass sublimation ink, it usually has the sawgrass logo or the sublijet logo on the cartridge if that helps.

2 07 2016
kim

hi hoping you can help I have had no look else where I have been having trouble with my prints I’m using all sublimation ink blanks ect I print using ricoh sg2100n and majority of my prints have all got a orange tinge to them its like there is just tooo much saturation in the pictures but all of my images do this I have tried adjusting time temp every thing pictures fine except this high saturation stuff its drving me mad please help

5 07 2016
D Siu

If there is a orange tinge in your photos, it could possibly be that all your print heads aren’t firing. Try a nozzle check and make sure all the color patterns are printing. If they are not, then do a heat clean.

4 07 2016
Rakesh Sen

how to remove normal dye ink and refill sublimation ink ink CISS

5 07 2016
D Siu

There are many different CISS systems out there. Please consult your vendor regarding how to do this.

6 07 2016
terry walker

in need of help. for some reason all of our sublimation designs are having a red bleed around the text and image. what can be done??

6 07 2016
D Siu

I can’t really tell without seeing the image. If the image has a red bleed after heat pressing to a substrate, it is a sign of too much heat being applied. Normally bleeding on the edge of lettering and the edge of an image can usually be solved by doing one of the following:

1.) Lower the press time. We have found that sublimation times need to be adjusted slightly when the seasons change depending on your location.
2.) Try to cool the substrate quicker (doesn’t work for all substrates, more for ceramic). For example if you do not cool a ceramic mug immediately after pressing, the sublimation process continues until the mug is cooled and thus this will sometimes result in colors bleeding on the edge.

17 07 2016
dee

Hi there ! I would like some assistance of possible .im trying to print on crystal . First time I printed , it was perfect . Now that im trying again the text looks faded . Im printing one piano top 190° for 270 seconds . Any idea on what im doing wrong ? Thanks kindly !

22 07 2016
D Siu

If it looks faded, you could be printing on the wrong side of the sublimation paper. Or the pressure isn’t enough. There are other causes, but based on your description, the two I have mentioned are probably the most likely causes.

22 07 2016
Ellie Leaman

Hello I’ve recently bought a richo 3110DN but it wont print black, it comes out grainy and greyish. I’ve done nozzle checks, head cleaning and flushing but its still not working any suggestions? Thank you.

22 07 2016
D Siu

How does the print look on the sublimation people before being pressed onto the substrate?

23 07 2016
Dee

Thanks for that . I was printing on the wrong side of the paper . It has helped a bit but the text is still not 100% black and bold. It looks slightly faded still and a bit patchy . I have made sure that it is taped firmly . Any other ideas as to what I could adjust . Thanks so much for you time !!!

23 07 2016
Dee

Oh and it is printing fine just not transferring correctly

25 07 2016
D Siu

I would say try more time. It looks like it isn’t getting enough heat if all the blacks in the image are faded. If there is a specific spot that the blacks don’t transfer, that is more likely to be a pressure problem or there is cold spots on the heat platen.

25 07 2016
ash

Just got myself a Ricoh SG3110 DW started it up and at first it the prints where coming out a bit faded. The black was more brown. No matter if I changed the temp or time this didn’t changed.

Now all the prints coming out of the printer are really faded and grainy

Any help?

25 07 2016
D Siu

If the black is brown when transferred to the substrate, it means you are applying to much heat. Try to turn down the time. Blacks will turn brown when too much heat is applied.

Regarding your prints being faded and grainy, I would say you are printing on the wrong side of the paper. For the Ricoh SG3110DW, you load the paper into the paper tray with the printable side face down.

2 08 2016
Rerum Arts & Design

Hello!
I was trying to print something on a ceramic tile. I am sure I was using the right side and kind of paper, right ink right temperature and right ceramic tile because it worked with the previous ones, I just didnt like the color. Blue always turns out to be violet. So what I did was change the Color profile in adobe photoshop (i just saw it somewhere on the internet) and when i printed and heat press, it wont transfer. Can changing the color profile affect the heat press transfer? Thank you!

2 08 2016
D Siu

Changing the color profile shouldn’t affect whether the ceramic tile transfers or not.

19 08 2016
pravin

Hallo!
I was trying to print on mug, i am sure i was using the right side and kind of paper, right ink right temperature and right mug but dose not sublimate anything on mug. pls help me 😦

19 08 2016
D Siu

hi,

If nothing is printing onto the mug. The most likely cause is the mug does not have a polyester coating.

Even with the wrong ink and paper, something will sublimate.

31 08 2016
Coco P.

Hello, I want to use the laser print method.
Do I still have to buy white sublimation mug?
Can I take a clear glass mug and give it an etch bath?
Can I use a plain clear glass mug?
Thank you.

6 09 2016
D Siu

If you want to use the laser print method, you would have to use mugs that are coated but doesn’t necessarily need to be coated for sublimation. We’ve successfully tested a lot of items with our laser hard surface paper, however due to the large variety of imprintable hard surface items out there, I would recommend you do a test first to make sure your item works.

3 09 2016
pradeep

hello!!
can i use simple copier paper instead of sublimation paper

6 09 2016
D Siu

No, you have to use sublimation paper. If you use normal copier paper, you will get the same result as what I posted on the blog.

4 09 2016
Rosa

what is the ideal temperature and time setting for doing mugs? Thanks.

6 09 2016
D Siu

This depends on your mug press. If using Joto’s 5 in 1 mug press it is around 360F for 150seconds.

6 09 2016
Rosa

I inherited a Yescomusa 5 in 1. No manual. I am so discouraged. Haven’t seen black. Just brown. Maybe someone has a manual they can look up the temperature for me. I can’t find anything on the Internet.

6 09 2016
D Siu

If it is brown, it may be applying too much heat. If there is no manual and no one knows about the press, you would have to do testing on your own. I would do 360F. Then just try different times. Eg. 50 second, 100 seconds, than 150 seconds, etc. You change your time depending on your result from the last press.

23 09 2016
alicia

Hi, hoping someone can help me, i printed images out using a ricoh sg2100n printer using sublimation ink and paper but when i’m transferring it onto my t-shirts it is really faded and i can barely see the image on it. What am i doing wrong? i read some where maybe i’m printing on the wrong side of the paper or the pressure is wrong on my pixmax heat press.
Any ideas guys?
cheers

23 09 2016
D Siu

It could be a number of factors. Faded image could be the result of the following:
1.) Not all nozzles are firing. Do a nozzle check to see if this is the case
2.) Wrong paper or wrong side of paper.
3.) Not enough heat. Try more heat. Add some more time to the press time to see if this changes anything
4.) Color management. If you are not using a color profile or color management software will cause some images to be faded. How much fade is ink dependent.
5.) For sublimation inks to work, you need to be transferring to a substrate that is made of polyester or coated with polyester. Transferring to 100% cotton will not work. Check the shirt tags to ensure it is 100% polyester

I am sorry I can’t be more specific as you gave me very limited information. A photo of the result would help a lot. I suggest you call the vendor you bought the inks from and send them the picture so they can diagnose it for you.

24 09 2016
Neil Kearney

Hi, please help someone. I’ve been printing mugs for 6 months at work and net has a problem. I decided to invest in a mug press and Ricoh printer myself for home. I’m using correct inks and time and pressure, but when I print a picture or text on the mugs at home I’m getting what looks like smudges of ink on the remaining white parts of the mugs. This has never been a issue at work. I have tried lowering and reasing pressure and time but still had no luck

27 09 2016
D Siu

It’s hard to say what is causing it without seeing a photo of what is happening.

27 09 2016
Neil Kearney

Hi thanks for the reply. Since posting this question, I have managed to work out that the sublimation paper I got free with the printer was nothing but a load of rubbish. I’ve used some of the more expensive paper and it’s worked perfect 🙂

20 10 2016
Uuganbayar Baasanjaw

Hi, i’m completely new to this. I’m having problem with getting images transfered on phone cases(glossy). 190C, 6 minutes as thr vendor suggested. Used sublimation ink, sublimation paper i bought from the vendor as well. But I’m getting nothing on the cases at all, could be wrong side of the paper but at least there should be a bad image right?

20 10 2016
D Siu

If you are getting nothing after pressing for 6 minutes. I would say it’s more likely that the phone cases are not meant for sublimation. Even if your inks or paper are not for sublimation, you would likely still see either a faded image (wrong paper) or some yellow being transferred (wrong ink). Hope this helps

20 10 2016
Neil

Might sound silly but have you pulled the plastic cellophane off the phone case ?
Sometimes it looks like there isn’t any on there but get a scalpel blade and scrape the corner and it will come away.

20 10 2016
D Siu

I’ve done that so many times. However the sublimation ink would normally go right through the plastic and you would still get some sort of image.

20 10 2016
uuganbayar baasanjaw

Could this be the printer? I refilled the sublimation ink to the printer which is Epson L350. I was doing test for the sublimation machine. Heated up to 190C and vacuumed 6 minutes and nothing appeared on the case. Case is supposed to be the sublimation case.

21 10 2016
D Siu

It could be the printer. But it’s highly unlikely. A very common mistake desktop sublimation users make is putting in the wrong ink. However even if you have loaded the Original Manufacturer’s Ink (OEM), you will still get a little bit of yellow or red on the substrate. This is because most desktop printer inks have a bit of yellow sublimation dye in them. So when heat is applied that yellow dye will show on the substrate.

You mentioned it was a vacuum sublimation machine… Could that machine not be at temperature? Is there a way to measure the temperature of the machine with a external device instead of using the digital screen it has?

24 10 2016
Uuganbayar

Hi, thank you for your reply.
I asked the vendors and showed them operation video. They provided me another video and it turns out I was doing it wrong. I managed to get some image on the case but no where near perfect but that’s a start. Now I’m confident if I use Epson L800 with the OEM ink and sub paper, I can get the right image.

25 10 2016
D Siu

Sorry it is not oem ink. I just want to make sure that everyone using desktop sublimation isn’t using oem ink. Most desktop sublimation systems are using third party sublimation inks. Most of the time users will discard the OEM ink that comes with the printer and install a third party sublimation into the printer. Exception being the sawgrass virtuoso printers which have only sublimation ink in the box. I am glad you solved your problem.

26 10 2016
Viral Shah

Hey, I use sublimation ink, epson printer L805 for 3D sublimation covers. I dont get the right colors on my cover. White turns to light yellowish, light blue turns to light greenish and not the rich black color too. Please help me out.

26 10 2016
D Siu

Is the color shift on the paper or on the substrate?

26 10 2016
Kimberly

There is a shiny side and a dull side to the sublimation paper, which side do I print on? The instructions state the coated side…which one is the coated side, shiny or dull? Also, I tried printing on the dull side, cut the image out and heat pressed it to a garment, there was a clear film in the areas that were not part of the printed image that pressed on to the shirt…is that normal? beginner here….sorry.

26 10 2016
D Siu

There are many different brands of sublimation paper. It’s usually the shiny side or the brighter white side. Some sublimation papers are coated both sides so that you cannot print on the wrong side but they are normally more expensive than the one side ones.

If you are getting a clear film, i would check with your vendor to see if they sent you the right paper. I know that light transfer paper will leave a polymer background and this is exactly what you are describing.

5 11 2016
antima

Hi…
When I print on mug the images show yellow colour. Kindly guide how to overcome this problem.

7 11 2016
D Siu

If only yellow is transferred to the mug, it is because the inks are not sublimation inks.

20 11 2016
Kristy

I’m getting lines in my pictures

21 11 2016
D Siu

Do a nozzle check. If the pattern is not perfect, that is your problem.

21 11 2016
Nata

Or print with ” best photo” or “photo”. I had the same problem.

25 12 2016
Hanna

hi, i never use my ink for awhile or months but it is unplugged from the power and from my computer. I put it inside the box, now when i tried to plug it, it wont power on what is the problem and how can is fix it? huhu coz i need to print 6 mug design for tomorrow’s deadline for my guest souvenir…please i need asap help..thanks.

27 12 2016
D Siu

Sorry, there is no fix to your problem. Like any inkjet printer, if you have not used it for months, it’s likely that the heads are clogged. You can either pay to have the heads replaced or buy a new system. Putting it inside the box does not prevent clogging.

25 12 2016
Hanna

am sorry not ink but epson sublimation printer..

3 01 2017
Debra LeV

I have a brand new Epson 1430 printer with brand new ink, using sublimation paper, printing on the correct side and pictures are coming out blotchy/blurry. Any ideas? I can send a pic, if you can send me an address.

30 01 2017
D Siu

It could be many things causing the bluriness. First, I would check the quality of your image. Is it 300dpi?
Second I would check how much heat you are applying. Normally if you are applying to much heat, it would become blurry. Check the black areas, if you see brown, then you are probably applying to much heat.
If the first two solutions aren’t the problem, than I would do a head alignment and a feed adjustment and hopefully that would fix it for you.

29 01 2017
Bobbie

I am not sure if anyone still checks this post but I have a problem. I was doing mugs for awhile and they were perfect. But now when I press them they have a faint blue box where the paper is behind the image. It just started a few days ago and I am so upset because I have orders to get out but the box is noticeable. I am using the same mugs and the same paper I have always used. I hope someone can help me 😦

30 01 2017
D Siu

Check your file. Maybe there is some blue in the white areas that you are not seeing on the screen? I’ve made that mistake before when I took an image from a customer and printed it not realizing that the white areas had some color in it.
Secondly I would check your color management, make sure all the setting are correct.

20 02 2017
innaboxdesign

Hello,

My mugs print fine and the images are perfect except one small problem. The ink at the top of the mug sometimes runs. This is before washing and just after pressing. I have no idea why! Help would be appreciated!

20 02 2017
D Siu

I’ve had this problem before. You need to dip the mug in warm water to cool it off immediately to avoid the problem.

Explanation: The ink at the top of the mug is running because the ink is still sublimating while it is being naturally cooled. You want the inks to stop sublimating immediately after you take it out of the press, otherwise the ink will sometimes move to areas where you don’t want it, such as the top of the mug.

You don’t want to dip it in cold water as that may cause the mug to crack if you have very tiny pin holes in the mug as cold water would get in and expand quickly, while warm water would expand much less but would still cool the mug to a level where the inks will stop sublimating. You only do this with ceramic mugs, don’t do this with glass, plastic, or metal.

Ceramic absorbs an incredible amount of heat and thus it takes quite a while for the ceramic mug to cool on it’s own, while something like metal will cool very quickly on its own.

20 02 2017
innaboxdesign

Thank you so much, I will try that right away!

11 03 2017
Ryan Aloisio

Hello, Im not having problems printing. Im having trouble with ink going on to the product. I know im printing on the right side of the paper. I know that I have the right temperature. Im putting a picture onto a white shirt. The problem that im having is, a very faded picture. Ive never had this issue. The paper that I remove from the shirt still has 99 percent of the ink on the paper. Normally, there is very little ink left. Any help is appreciated.

13 03 2017
D Siu

I would check your heat press. If there isn’t enough heat, the inks won’t sublimate?

31 03 2017
faidh

Hye. i already doing mug printed for a gift. Little business just for a cup of coffee 🙂 hehe. But, may i know, can i switch to heat the mug using oven instead of using heatpress machines? Someone please help me. just want to know, if yes, how long the time should be.

31 03 2017
D Siu

Yes you can switch from a mug press machine to an oven. However, if you switch to an oven, please make sure you use a convection oven. You do not want to use a normal oven. The difference is that a convection oven heats all areas more evenly, while a normal oven does not heat all areas evenly.

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