What You Need to Start Sublimating Hard and Soft Goods

One benefit of sublimation transfer is that it provides incredible photo quality results on both soft and hard substrates

One benefit of sublimation transfer is that it provides incredible photo quality results on both soft and hard substrates. Whether you’re producing holiday ornaments, award plaques, or T-shirts, you’re essentially using the same equipment and supplies to create them all. With products ranging in size from jewelry to car floor mats, the most important thing is to pick a sublimation printer and heat press that are large enough to produce the items you want to sell now and in the future.

Items you’ll need to get started:

  • Inkjet sublimation printer running high-quality sublimation inks
  • Graphics software program(s) for working with both raster and vector artwork
  • Sublimation media (a variety of papers exist for hard and soft substrates)
  • Heat tape or spray for holding transfers securely in place during the heating process
  • Swing-away heat press for producing a wider variety of products with different thicknesses
  • Mug press for producing traditional coffee mugs or a convection oven and specialized shrink film for producing traditional coffee mugs and newer styles of drinkware
  • Clean, flat surface for cooling the pressed items
  • A supplier that provides the experience and support you need to be successful

For more on sublimation equipment and production check out this interview with Howard Potter of A&P Master Images.

Condé Systems president

David Gross

David Gross is the president of Condé Systems, Inc. For over 30 years, he has developed and built the Mobile, Alabama based company into the premier source for printers, substrates, and consumables serving the sublimation and digital heat transfer industries. David's goal has always been to provide business owners the superior guidance and resources needed to be successful at these exciting and profitable decorating technologies. Gross regularly contributed articles to A&E magazine as part of his “Road to Sublimation Success” series and continues to contribute to GRAPHICS PRO. He has co-authored several books including RTSS: Harnessing the Power of Sublimation for Outstanding Profits, RTSS: Cashing In On The ChromaLuxe Revolution, The Sublimation Journal, and others. He can be reached by email at

View all articles by David Gross  

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