What is Subli-fix Fluid and How Does It Work?
Subli-fix is a very unique opaque fluid that, when used on various substrates, allows the dye sublimation ink transfer process to produce exceptionally high quality, long lasting results with every print.
This very easy to use product has been specially manufactured by ourselves to enable you to be able to follow a simple process and achieve amazing quality prints direct onto 100% Cotton and various other materials in the same way in which you would print onto Polyester but without the harmful side effects.
When used in line with the easy to follow guidelines this will show as a very cost effective way to produce your printed products on a medium of your choosing. So how does it work?
When used the fluid entwines itself within the natural fibres of the cotton and other materials which then allow, when printed onto, the inks to sit within those fibres in the same way as it does with Polyester.
Previously printing on 100% cotton was not possible but now with Subli-fix fluid it is.
We are finding that on cotton/pastel/light colours, for best results, you will need to use a bio colour washing detergent, not non-bio, and to wash at 30° or a cold wash.
Do not use fabric softener.
Once washed make sure that you don’t tumble dry, again for best results allow to air dry.
Q – Why do I get spots when I spray the Subli-fix fluid?
A – If you are seeing spots once the material dries, you are either spraying too close to the material and/or the fluid is not being applied evenly, also check to see whether the fluid is dripping or leaking from the bottle.
Q – Why do I get a ghosting image once I have pressed the paper on to the material?
A – This usually occurs when not enough time has been allowed for the ink gasses to release from the paper. Try increasing the press time slightly. If this does not work it could be due to quality of the transfer paper.
Q – Why do I have lots of ink left on the transfer paper?
A – Dye Sublimation papers vary in terms of quality, this usually happens when there is insufficient reaction between the polymer in the paper and the ink being used. The more ink released from the paper the better the image on the finished product. We recommend the use of Subli-fix high release transfer paper.
Q – How much fluid should I use?
A – When using the fluid on fabrics, the amount required will vary depending on the weight of the material. We recommend testing the fluid on smaller samples prior to using it on the end product, the amount of fluid can then be adjusted accordingly. On hard surfaces, use enough fluid so as the surface area is covered evenly.
Q – Why does the colour look furry after heat pressing?
A – This can happen when the material being used is not dry enough and/or the ink on the paper has not been dried sufficiently.
Q – How many images can I transfer from 1 bottle?
A – This will depend upon the surfaces being transferred to and the size of the images, however as a guide we estimate 100ml of fluid is enough to transfer approximately 12- 15 A4 sized images.
Q – Is Subli-fix safe to use?
A – Subli-fix is not hazardous, however as with all chemicals care should be taken. Please read the instructions on the label and refer to the Safety Data Sheet, you can view by clicking the link below.
In order to use Subli-fix Fluid, you will need the following:
A photo quality printer set up with dye Sublimation inks
Dye Sublimation Transfer paper
Teflon sheet-to protect the print from direct heat from the press
Sponge decorating roller for fabrics
Clean paintbrush for use on hard substrates
When your 100% cotton item initially comes out of the wash you may be a bit disappointed as it may appear to have faded, but remember that when you put it back under the iron or heat press, for a further 70 seconds and lightly press you will see the Subli-fix final results and the colour vibrancy return just like magic.
Below are the most commonly asked questions we have received, if these do not resolve your query,
please don’t hesitate to contact us via the Contact page.
Tips and tricks
To achieve the best possible results, ensure your printer is set to the best quality photo setting or a profile with high ink coverage. It is important to use a transfer paper with a high ink release level to ensure the best results when the ink is transferred, print your transfer from the computer direct to the printer and leave your printed image to air dry for 10 to 15 minutes in a cool environment.
Use a heat press to remove any moisture from the garment prior to applying treatment this allows maximum absorption of the Subli-fix Fluid. Pre-treat your substrate with either the spray bottle provided or a spray gun, use a firm decorators paint brush to work the fluid into the fabric. Ensure that the Subli-fix Fluid is 100% dry on the substrate before commencing printing.
Preheat your heat press to between 170 to 185°C. Then place your substrate onto the heat press and press down lightly for 10 seconds again removing any unwanted moisture allowing maximum ink absorption.
You are now ready to place your printed image face down on the substrate. Then cover the dye sublimation paper with either greaseproof paper or a Teflon sheet. Close the heat press and make sure that you have set your seconds to around 70-120 seconds depending on your heat press.
When the heat press beeps release the handle and takeaway the grease proof paper or Teflon sheet. Check the image whilst pulling away very slowly, to ensure the image has released from the dye sublimation paper. If it hasn’t please put press back down with the Teflon or greaseproof paper and re-press for a further 30-50 seconds and remove as above instructions.
If you get spotting on your substrate when the image is released, then that means that the spray is going on unevenly. We can give you details of where to purchase a good spray gun.
Fabrics can be coated and dried well in advance to make the transfer process quicker.
To create a glossier image, put the fabric back in the heat press, covered with layer of baking parchment and press likely for a further 70 seconds.
Important – With dye sublimation printing there are a number of different variables involved to produce the end product: the printer, ink, software, transfer paper, heat press and of course the quality of the substrate it is being applied to. As such the information is given as a guideline only and may require adjustments to be made such as printer settings, heat press temperatures and pressing times.
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