August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 73 of 106

2 0 1 7 A U G U S T P R I N T W E A R || 65 It is common for fabric to distort the shape of the design during application, which can make lining up your material and the sublimation paper difficult. I recommend using a stiff, medium-tack transfer mask on the inside of your garment, un- der the spot that the design will be placed on the outside of the garment to act as a stabilizer for that area of the fabric. This will help to limit any distortion when you peel the carrier off your heat transfer to assure proper alignment between the heat transfer and the sublimation paper. SHINE BRIGHT Glitter is the most popular transfer for use with sublimation. The glitter powder used to make these materials is polyester, which allows it to be sublimated as long as it is a light-colored glitter. This allows for custom colors and patterns. What's more, many of the glitter heat transfer lines currently available can also be used as appliqué material for embroidery, just stitch over the glitter and tear the excess away when you're done. By sublimat- ing on the glitter before stitching, the issues with registration posed by heat transfers can be alleviated. Just sublimate the glit- ter on a sheet of Teflon, allow the adhesive to solidify by waiting for a couple of hours, then line up your stitch with your design on your garment and embroider. After you peel away the excess glitter, make sure to heat press the design to seal the glitter. While it is the most popular, glitter isn't the only heat transfer vinyl material available for use with sublimation. Many metallic films and foils are coated with polyester, making them compat- ible with sublimation. Unfortunately, coating these films makes them stiffer, resulting in a heavier hand on the garment, but if you incorporate space in your designs, much of that can be eliminated. One popular way to do this is to cut the material like a rhinestone template. By breaking up the design into little circles, the material can move with the fabric, making for a nice soft hand. First, cut a shape out of small circles or squares, apply that to your garment, then come over the top with the sublima- tion to take your design to the next level. Overall, sublimation is a very versatile way to decorate many different things. From coffee mugs and sweatshirts to license plate covers and wallets. It is really up to the limit of your imagination how far you want to go with it. Plus, with the introduction of smaller printers, sublimation is now more ac- cessible than ever. To create a sublimated glitter appliqué, stitch over the glitter and tear away the excess material.

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