One of the most popular ways to customize a coffee mug, is by adding a full color photo to it, in an effort to preserve a memory, promote an event, or even to create a unique gift. The process of adding full color images to coffee mugs may seem as somewhat of a mystery to some, but once one sees just how simple the sublimation process is, they will want to create one themselves!
The sublimation process is often used by small businesses, or even for crafts out of a home or garage, which goes to show how simple it is to complete yourself. By using this method, you can use full-color, detailed artwork for your mug, without worrying about it fading, scratching, or peeling. The artwork is permanent. To create your own full color sublimation mug, you will need to personalize your mugs are sublimation coffee mugs, coated with special sublimation coating, sublimation paper, inks, take (heat-resistant), a bucket of water, and a sublimation heat press. Most of these products can be found at your local craft store, or online from a printing supplier. This may be better, as printing suppliers can often offer you the items needed in bulk, wholesale prices.
Once your artwork has been prepared, it is printed with dye-sub ink onto your special sublimation paper. The ink is usually a lot more dense that regular printed paper. You should then cut off any excess paper so you can begin transferring the image. First, center your artwork on the coated sublimation mug and then apply heat-resistant tape to keep it in place. Your mug and artwork is then ready to be transferred into the heat press. The mug then takes 3-5 clamped into the sublimation heat-press, which heats your mug up to transfer the ink. What makes sublimation different that other printing methods is the way that the artwork is transferred onto a product. When heated to such extreme temperatures, the ink your artwork is printed with gets so hot, it is absorbed by the mug material itself. After the 3-5 minutes have elapsed, you can remove your mug from the heat press, take off the tape and artwork, and then place it into a bucket of water. The water is crucial to the process, allowing the mug to cool quickly, permanently sealing in the sublimation inks, making the art and mug one single product.
Due to the way that the ink transfer process occurs, the sublimationprocess provides much more vibrant results than can be achieved with regular printing, or even with full color decals. Because the ink itself is absorbed into the product, it is almost as if you are gazing into a full color picture itself, rather than a printed mug. This is why sublimation photo mugs have become such popular gifts and souvenirs for events and occasions of every kind.
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