EducationQ&A

What sublimation products should decorators explore in 2020?

If you sublimate, you already know it’s a versatile decoration discipline. Part of what makes sublimation fun is the fact that it offers possibilities for a lot of different decoration options and has less of a learning curve than some other decoration techniques. 

If you’re new to sublimation or have only stuck to using sublimation on one particular type of item, you may be missing out on its full spectrum of possibilities. Switch up your sublimation routine by trying some of these options:

  1. Patches: Whether you want to sublimate them yourself or buy them already sublimated, they can be a big profit center. They’re a perfect way to add decoration to items that otherwise wouldn’t be easy to decorate. Patches also serve as the cornerstone for a hat or garment line.
  2. Wrap it up: Want to try mugs or shot glasses, but not sure you want to invest in a press (which wouldn’t work for shot glasses anyway)? Invest in a mug wrap or a shot glass wrap and a convection oven. This method is likely to cost less than most quality mug presses and gives you a way to investigate your market without committing to a machine you may not need or continue to use.
  3. Ornaments: They’re not just for Christmas. If you’re interested in entering the souvenir market, ornaments may be a great way to start. They’re available in a variety of shapes and are relatively easy to sublimate. It’s something people are likely to buy as keepsakes and mementos. They’re also easy to display and don’t take up a lot of valuable retail space.
  4. Take your show on the road: One of the advantages of a sublimation system is that it’s portable and doesn’t require an elaborate setup or electrical options. You can queue up stock designs to print on demand. Take your system to a craft fair or festival and print unique, personalized items that fit the theme of the event.
  5. Create your own personal, freeform sublimated designs: If you don’t have a sublimation system, you can still create sublimated designs. There are sublimation markers available in the market that allow you to get creative. Preserve your children’s artwork or give the adult artist in your life free reign. Use the markers on plain paper, and transfer the design to your item of choice using an iron, although I recommend a heat press for best results.
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Kristine Shreve

Kristine is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting which offers writing, marketing and business development services. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast, where the discussion centers around being a woman business owner. She blogs on her webiste, as well as readingandranting.com and whenimthin.com. On Facebook, Kristine is the founder of the Women in Garment Decoration Facebook group. Kristine was the director of marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020.

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