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What is Sublimation print?

I am often asked ‘what is sublimation’
As you can see from my website I personalise gifts and items with customers photographs and messages, this is done using a digital decorating technology called Sublimation – also called dye sublimation.

personalised glasses case

The above image is a personalised case for glasses, having been supplied with the drawing by a small child’s mother, using the sublimation process I was able to make this item as a gift for the child’s father.

Sublimation embeds high definition, full colour images INTO the surfaces of a wide variety of products. These substrates have to be made of polymers or polyester, or have a polymer coating designed for the sublimation process – most other substrates will print but they smudge or wipe off the surface.

Your design is created on a computer using desktop graphic software, sent to print using a specific printer, ink and transfer paper designed for use in the sublimation process to print the artwork.

horse chopping board

(The above photograph is a glass chopping board! because the glass has a polymer coating I am able to produce stunning gifts and items)

Sublimation inks consist of dye solids suspended in a carrier fluid. Only the print heads in printers designed for sublimation can handle the high viscosity fluid that passes to the transfer paper, as well as produce the high definition images sublimation is known for.

Your transfer is attached to the substrate and placed in a heat press. The high temperature and pressure of the press causes the sublimation process to happen, embedding the dyes from the paper into the surface of the substrate. Unlike other transfer technologies only the dyes are left behind.

During the sublimation process, the dye solids in the transfer paper transform into gasses, while the polymers on the substrate open up. The pressure from the press pushes the gasses into the polymers. On cooling, the polymers close and the gasses turn back into solids, encased within the substrate’s surface. This is how sublimation creates permanent, high definition colouration that does not chip or wash away – if printing a T Shirt for example the image will stretch with the fabric and not crack or peel. Your designs become part of the product itself and are presented in stunning colour and clarity.

Sublimation enables businesses to offer a print on demand service because the artwork is created and printed digitally there is no need for colour separations, screen burning or other manual setup, therefore I can offer just one product rather than customers or businesses having to order in bulk.

bun in oven

I was asked to produce this apron with a photograph of a baby’s scan, this was the mother to be’s way of announcing the news!

I hope this give you some insight into this fascinating printing process!

Is it easier to purchase from a sellers website or eBay shop?

Most of the items I sell are personalised, having had a shop on eBay for a number of years now I really am tired of trying to explain to them that their current system for buying and selling personalised items needs a serious update.

I am always receiving messages from customers stating that when they click ‘buy it now’ to purchase a personalised item they expect to be linked to a page or text boxes where they can leave their requirements. The only link they have, if they can find it, and the majority of them can’t, is this

eBay message for buyer

As a seller I then have to try to contact the buyer, who does not respond to emails, the phone number listed on eBay is out of order and many a time I have had to physically write and post a letter to them – all for a £3.25 order!

eBay argue that I can use the variations listings which is brilliant if you are selling a shirt in 3 colours and 3 sizes but when you are selling ribbon and you have 20 colours and 15 foil choices for the lettering, you then have hundreds of variations listed and who is going to sit and look through those? It looks unsightly and confusing. A simple drop down menu would easily suffice!

For personalised gifts that require the uploading of photographs, eBay have the messaging service! This compresses photographs to 72dpi thumbnail size which are no use whatsoever. They cannot be expanded as they are too pixilated. Again a simple upload arrow could be inserted with a text box for additional text to be added to the item or a message for the seller.

Only yesterday a customer realised that they had not ordered enough ribbon and send me a photograph so I can replicate their original order (as all my orders are individual bespoke pieces) but I cannot see the photograph as it is too small I had to guess from memory!

All relevant function buttons and links are available on websites so why not eBay We are paying for 100% service and only receiving 50%. I have written to eBay in the past who think my ideas are good and they are ‘looking into it’ this was 18 months ago!

Is there anyone out there who agrees with me or am I missing some vital information as a seller!

Personalised Ribbon for the individual consumer

So, following on from last week’s blog, how would a personalised ribbon help the individual consumer

From the housewife wanting a metre run of ribbon for a child’s birthday cake to dad looking for a small run of ribbon to add to cups and trophies for his local specialised sports club there are hundreds of different uses for personalised ribbons.

I particularly fell into this category a few months ago, it was my parents diamond wedding anniversary. I had a cake made for the occasion
diamond wedding cake

As you can see the cake looked amazing, all the flowers were handmade out of sugar craft, but I needed to add a personal touch so I personalised a ribbon with the occasion and my parents names and placed it around the sides of the cake, I didn’t need to attach it to the cake I just pulled it taught and sealed it at the back with some double sided tape.

diamond wedding cake with ribbon

To decorate the room I made personalised ribbon banners and personalised bows, and added personalised ribbons to balloons

diamond wedding banner and bows

oh and look who sent a card!

The Queen

I hope this has given an insight into the use of personalised ribbons for the individual consumer here are a few more ideas:

Add to a special gift, or if you have a gift that is difficult to wrap with wrapping paper we can make a personalised ribbon bow to attach to the gift with maybe a small run of ribbon to run around also, flowers and floral decorations and bouquets, special occasions, anniversaries, retirements, christenings, funerals, weddings, favours, baby showers, hen parties, celebratory events and parties, sashes, banners, confirmations, baptism, graduations, Christmas, decorations, Easter, napkin ribbons for special dinners and events add a place setting or even a menu!, add to balloons, invitations, thank you cards, greeting cards, champagne and wine bottles etc.

Please browse the website for more ideas and maybe message me back with your own unique ideas.

What Is Personalised Ribbon and why do I need it?

Hi Welcome to my first Blog! Where to start!
I am often asked ‘what is personalised ribbon and why would I need it’
so this seems a good place!

Quite simply you can now add any message, greeting, lettering, name, business description, simple logos and clip art directly onto ribbons of various lengths and widths.

personalised ribbon

Pre 2002 this was impossible unless you were able to order in bulk as the minimum order was 1000+ metres! This has all changed with the introduction of desktop ribbon printers which were introduced into this country from Belgium where they are used to print a condolence message onto ribbon solely for the funeral industry, the ribbon is then attached to floral tributes. Here in England we write on a card, it then rains, the ink runs and the message is illegible, by printing the message directly onto a ribbon this eliminates the problem as the ribbon and foil are water resistant, and the family can also remove the ribbon and save as a lasting memento. I am now starting to get requests from more florists and customers so it might eventually catch on in this country!

I was one of the first businesses in the UK to introduce personalised ribbon printing to the UK market. I immediately saw the appeal for not only a housewife wanting just one metre of ribbon with a personalised theme for their child’s birthday (eliminating the need for icing!), but also small, start-up and established businesses who would be more comfortable with a few metres of ribbon rather than 1000+ metres.

There are literally hundreds of ways to utilise ribbon. The sugar craft industry or housewife who has to make a celebration cake quickly, or someone needs a complicated message putting onto a cake, this can be added onto the ribbon in seconds, with the added bonus of it being a lovely keepsake for the recipient after their special event.

Weddings: use to personalise invitations, cars, cake, bows, favours, floral decoration, post box, add the menu to your napkins, place settings, add to guest books, sashes, gifts etc

personalised guest book

Business and Corporate, Events etc. add to gift and packaging boxes, banners, promotional sashes, place settings, menu ribbon, promotional, floral arrangements, employee or visitor gifts etc, here is an example of my client, Sophie Jane Baby Gifts, business and how she has utilised the ribbon

Sophie Jane Baby Gifts

In my next blog I will explain how personalised ribbon can help the individual consumer and how I used it for a family celebration

I hope this gives you some insight into the use of personalised ribbons, please browse the website and do not hesitate to contact me if I can help further