Sublimating on a Black Poly/Viscose Blend
with Siser® EasySubli® HTV, Sawgrass SG400, & Silhouette Cameo 3
The wait is over- EasySubli® heat transfer vinyl has finally arrived! The HTV that bridges the gap between sublimation and colored polyester, cotton, rayon, and many more is now available through a select variety of authorized distributors. For purchasing inquiries, please email us at Info@SiserNA.com.
Now before you go and buy up the whole lot, here’s a few other things you need to achieve best results with EasySubli.
EasySubli Companion Products
- Sawgrass SG400 printer* (SG400 discontinued for SG500)
- Siser® EasySubli Inks by Sawgrass**
- EasySubli Mask***
- Silhouette Cameo 3****
- Heat Press or Cricut EasyPress
*EasySubli will also work with the Sawgrass SG800(SG800 discontinued for SG1000.)Other brands of sublimation inks and printers may work, but they will require trial and error testing. Siser has partnered with Sawgrass to develop special inks and a profile for the greatest print quality with the least hassle.
**EasySubli Inks can also be printed on standard sublimation papers like Sawgrass Truepix for the traditional sublimation process.
***EasySubli Mask is not always necessary. Mask is only required when designs have multiple pieces that need to be kept in alignment.
Here are a few more things I used to make this graduation tank top:
Since I’m not limited to light polyester garments anymore, I decided to go with a black tank top. This breezy beauty from Bella + Canvas is great for a summer graduation party and will be perfect when we’re through customizing it! So let’s get started!
Step 1: Set up Your Print & Cut File in Silhouette Studio
If you’ve made stickers, cupcake toppers, or any other kind of paper craft, you might already be familiar with creating a print and cut file in Silhouette Studio. For those of you who aren’t as experienced, I’m going to walk you through the steps. The easiest way to make your file ready for printing and cutting is to go to File>New Project Wizard>Print and Cut. This will open a file that already has registration marks in the corners.
However, it’s simple to start in a blank document as well. You just want to make sure of a couple things:
1. Turn on Registration marks for the type of machine you’re using. Within Page Setup>Registrations Marks select Style “Type 1” for all Cameos as well as the Portrait and Curio.
2. Set Page Size to “Current Printer” or “Letter” (8.5″x11″) for the SG400/SG500 printer. This will vary depending on your printer since the SG800/SG1000 takes 11″x17″ sheets.
3. Check the “Show Print Border” and “Show Cut Border” boxes.
4. Use the Trace tool to create cut lines. Afterwards, I recommend adding a .025 internal offset to create a bleed edge (deleting the original cut line.) A bleed allows a margin for error. So if the Cameo’s cutting is a little bit off, it’s likely the printed portion will still be cut without white spaces. Use the Horizontal and Vertical Alignment tools to center the bleed cut line and printable image before printing. DO NOT move your image or cut line in Silhouette Studio after sending the design to print, otherwise it may cut incorrectly!
As for the art itself, you can design in Silhouette Studio using the text, shape, and crop tools to make a similar file to what I’ve created or you can design in a third party software. In that case, you’ll need to save your image as a .jpeg or .png in order to open it in basic Silhouette Studio. Designer and Business edition can open more file types.
However you decide to get your file into Silhouette Studio is up to you, the only rule is: Do not overlap your printing guidelines. Although the registration marks are small, they are allotted extra space indicated by the smaller gray grid lines. Parts of the image that overlap the gray shaded corners will not print. So I’ve centered my 9″x6″ design and I’m ready to print with our Sawgrass SG400.
Step 2: Print Design with Sawgrass SG400 Sublimation Printer
If you have a new printer, follow the installation instructions for Siser EasySubli Inks by Sawgrass. If your printer is currently utilizing another type of ink, please contact Sawgrass Customer Support for further guidance.
1. Place EasySubli in printer tray so the glossy side is facing up.
2. Send the design to the printer by selecting File>Print or choosing the printer icon from the top left ribbon.
3. Select “Virtuoso Print Manager” (AKA “VPM”)* from the list of possible printers and pack your patience because this program takes a minute to start up, but trust that it is working! This step is very important- Sending to the Print Manager allows you to adjust the print profile. Selecting the actual printer itself before adjusting the PM is not recommended and can result in too much ink deposited on the material.
*After this blog post was first created, “Virtuoso Print Manager” has been updated to simply “Sawgrass Print Manager” or “Print Manager” and will be referred to as such or “PM” for the rest of this blog post.
4. Select “Siser EasySubli Vinyl” from the “Substrate” and “Paper” drop downs. Additionally, make sure the “Mirror” box is NOT checked. If these options are not available, you may be running an older version of PM. Click here for instructions on updating your PM and activating the Siser Edition.
5. If your print preview does not appear due to a layout or sizing error, go to the “Layout” tab in PM and check the “PM Performs Layout” box. Alternatively, you could export your design from Silhouette Studio as a PDF file, drag and drop that file onto the PM desktop icon, and select the same settings in PM from the previous step.
6. Select “Print” in PM and listen for the tell tale sounds of the SG400/SG500 sucking in a sheet of EasySubli to get this printing party started!
7. Carefully remove the printed sheet from the tray to avoid smudging the damp inks and set aside to air dry for 30 minutes. Damp inks and over saturated prints can prevent EasySubli Mask from bonding properly so this step is especially important if you plan to use the mask.
The drying process can be sped up by placing the printed sheet under a Clam Shell Heat Press (that is open, on, and heated up) for 60 seconds. The residual heat will do the work of 30 minutes in just 1! With this drying method you may notice the colors begin to develop a little under the heat. This is normal and will not effect the overall vibrancy of the end result.
However, it is NOT RECCOMENDED to use the quick dry method if you are using a drawer style or swing away style Heat Press. The residual heat is too close to the HTV on these types of presses and may activate the adhesive on the back therefore bonding it to the liner and making masking almost impossible.
If your design is one big piece that doesn’t need to be cut (or it can be hand cut), then there’s no need to dry or mask it. However, be very cautious when removing printed EasySubli from the backing and transferring to your garment to prevent smudging the inks. If you’re in this boat, you can skip the next two steps and move onto Step #5: Heat Application!
If your design is like mine and it’s made up of multiple pieces, then it’s cutting time…on the next page that is.