If you’ve just landed in the world of personalization, you may have already realized that the sublimable mug is, by far, the best-selling customizable item. There are different techniques to personalize a mug, but the one that is used the most, and which offers the best results, is sublimation.
Keep reading this article, and you’ll find out how to bring the perfect mug to life in no time.
How to personalize mugs by sublimation, and at what cost?
You will surely keep in your closet some mugs that have been offered to you, personalized with pretty patterns, the photo of your superhero, or even the theme of your favorite movie, series, or character. Have you ever wondered how these mugs are personalized? Well, be aware that most of them are printed using sublimation equipment.
Do not think that this is expensive and complicated hardware. Quite the contrary! It is a technique within the reach of any business and entrepreneur.
How to sublimate a mug?
To get started with customizing mugs, here’s what you need:
- Sublimation printer. In A4, this will be more than enough, because the printable surface is relatively small, and you will cover it largely with this format.
- Sublimation ink. These are special inks, which pass into a gaseous state at a certain temperature to become integrated into the polyester. It all sounds complicated, but it isn’t.
- Sublimation paper. It is the support of the ink and releases it on the sublimable mug when heat is applied to it.
- Ribbon adh é high-temperature sif. Used to secure the printed paper against the mug, it withstands high temperatures without burning.
- Mug press. There are several different models. You can start with a basic press for a single mug, with interchangeable coils.
By adding up everything you need, you see that you can start customizing mugs for just over $ 500. However, we still lack the absolute and indispensable protagonist of this article: the sublimable mug.
Not just any mug will do. It must be prepared for sublimation and white in color in order to achieve perfect colors. This is because the colors add up during the sublimation process and if you print on a color mug, the colors in the pattern blend with that of the mug.
There are several qualities of mugs for sublimation: A, AA, AAA, the latter being the highest. The difference lies in the quality of the coating and the uniformity of their surface, which thus ensures a better impression and resistance to wear and washing. The best quality sublimable mug costs around € 1.50.
How to prepare and transfer the sublimation paper?
Now that you know everything you need to sublimate mugs, let’s walk you through how to do it right.
- First, you need to design what you are going to print on the sublimable mug. Depending on the mug, the maximum printable area may vary, but generally, for an 11 oz sublimation mug, it is 20 × 9.5 cm. If you want to optimize the printing of A4 sheets, you can insert up to three templates on each sheet. Do not forget to activate the mirror mode of your printer (if the option is not available, flip the image before printing it).
- Once printed, cut out the template with scissors or a paper cutter.
- Place the paper around the mug, center it, and secure it with high-temperature tape, to prevent it from moving during pressing.
- Preheat the heat press to 200 ºC and program it for 180 seconds. It is important to store the sublimable mug at room temperature so that it is not too cold. Otherwise, it could affect the baling parameters. For example, if the material is stored in a very cold place, you will need to increase the time a little.
- Insert the mug into the mug press and adjust to medium pressure.
- When the pressing time is up, remove the paper quickly, but be careful not to burn yourself. For best results and more precise details, it is recommended to cool the sublimable mug by immersing it in lukewarm water (unless the mug is glass) or using a fan.
Below, we offer you a video that exposes everything that has just been explained, in a more visual way. Look at her!