So last weekend's goal was to be productive, and do something else other than crocheting random things. So this time, I decided to start up my heat press and try some sublimation projects. I almost never touch my sublimation printer nor do I really sublimate anything. During the process of impulsively getting into sublimation, I learned that I can only sublimate on polyester (or poly coated) material; and that polyester items are quite pricey probably for this exact reason. Anyways, I love Bella Canvas, but they are mostly cotton so I just didn't want to purchase new shirts to sublimate and the hype died down. And as always, I moved on to a new craft or went back to the previous many ones.
Here's what I decided to try last Friday!
Sublimation on Canvas with Sublimation HTV
You can only really sublimate on material made of polyester, or at least coated with some sort of polyester film or spray to make the ink adhere when heat is applied. I absolutely love canvas prints, and I figured those I buy online are printed directly on the canvas but I don't have that big of a printer so why not sublimate right?
After googling a few different techniques, the option readily available to me is using sublimation HTV. I used HTVRont Sublimation HTV and followed the instructions included on the package. Here's what I did on my end:
1. Preheat my heat press to 400°F
2. Print my image on mirror using sublimation ink. I use an Epson Eco Tank that I purposely bought for sublimation only. If you are new to this, please note that you cannot interchange inks.
NOTE: I always use Teflon sheet between the press itself and my material. You can also use butcher paper
3. Press the canvas for about 10 seconds to warm it up. I just used regular canvas that I removed from the wooden frame
4. Press the sublimation sheet (be sure to follow package instructions to know which side of the sheet should face the canvas). I pressed mine at 400°F for 30 seconds
5. Place my sublimation print face down on the canvas, and press at 400°F for 60 seconds.
6. Peel warm
Ta~da! Print on canvas!
Now, if you don't have sublimation HTV, I saw on some YouTube videos that you can also use thermal laminate sheets. I haven't tried this yet so I wouldn't really know if the results would be any different. However, here are my thoughts on this.
★ The print is glossy (even if I used the matte HTV). But it's definitely bright and vibrant!
★ It lost the canvas texture and it will not show on the final results. It pretty much felt like a laminate adhered on the canvas. It doesn't feel flimsy or it's going to peel off, but it sure doesn't feel like a canvas print
★ It may work for you if you want a print on soft material but not as soft as regular fabric. You may not like it if you're after the canvas print feel and look. If you stare closely, you will still notice the canvas texture behind the print but it's not that noticeable
★ Overall, it works for sure! But not for the canvas print feel (looks like another project for me to try!)
Sublimation on Canvas without HTV
I knew it wasn't going to work because I knew that it's not polyester but I just have to try. So for your reference, here's what it looks like pressing sublimation print on canvas without the HTV layer, but following all other instructions I posted above.
The canvas feel and texture was retained for sure; however, the color is definitely not going to pass at all. One thing I found while trying to make this work is the option to us HTV spray... I haven't purchased this one yet - but definitely on my to-try list!
So what else can I sublimate since my press is already hot and running?
Sublimation on Wood
I've previously sublimated on wood without any previous coating and the results were mediocre - for the same reason my attempt without the HTV sheet failed. So I figured why not try on some of my pine wood mini cookies? Following the same process I did with canvas, here's my end result ~
Okay, okay - this one I actually really like! Here's my thoughts:
★ It will still have the plastic-y feel of the HTV sheet, but still shows the wood grain which I really love.
★ I recommend that you make sure that your HTV is sized up to match the wood surface. It's not very visible here, but there is a portion that wasn't covered by the HTV sheet and the line where it ends is pretty noticeable
★ This is great for ornaments or magnets!
If you are wanting to get into sublimation - do lots of research and get your materials all set and ready! It's definitely fun and opens a lot of possibilities, but you would also need to invest in a few things to get started. Next time, I will be sharing my other sublimation creations using other options and materials.
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