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Unisub™ Information

Tips on getting the best results using Unisub™

The following notes are designed to help you get the best results using Unisub™. While Unisub™ is designed specifically for color sublimation, proper preparation of the transfer and heat press is critical to achieving optimal quality. Please refer to the manuals provided with your printer and sublimation supplies for detailed instructions on configuring and troubleshooting your system. In preparing full color sublimation transfers it is essential to disable color matching from your computer software. You should utilize the sublimation color matching/color correction software designed for your printer. Once color has been software corrected, the screen image may look more purple and the transfer may appear washed out. Seiko transfers may, likewise appear dull after preheating. This is normal, and is the desired result of color adjustment for the transfer process.

SUBLIMATING

Equipment and conditions do vary, therefore the suggested times and temperatures are given as good starting points from which you may experiment and find the conditions that give the best results from your system.

1. Prepare The Unique Surface
Remember to peel the transparent protective film off of the Unisub™ surface and check to be sure that you are working with a clean, particle free surface.

2. Heat Press
Heat the platen to the appropriate temperature and know your dwell time in advance (see table below). Always use "medium" pressure - at least 40 pounds per square inch.

  Stahls Heat Press Knight Heat Press
SubliJet Ink Jet Transfers Temp
400F
Dwell Time
50-60 sec.
Temp
400F
Dwell Time
60-75 sec.
Seiko Ribbon Transfers 400F 25-40 sec. 400F 30-45 sec.

Time and temperature will vary depending on your press. Dwell times can be reduced in 5-15 second increments, depending on your equipment, until you find which duration results in the clearest image.

3. Preventing Blowouts
A blowout refers to an image whose colors have "blown out" of its borders and appears smudged. The primary causes of blowouts are uneven heating, overheating and excessive pressure. Heat press accessories, such as rubber pads or a Teflon sheet (recommended) covering a taped down transfer will prevent a blowout of your image by lessening the variance in temperature across the surface.

Anytime you choose rubber pads to prevent a blowout instead of a Teflon sheet, increase the temperature 25 degrees and the dwell time in 15-second increments until you achieve optimum color.

4. Preheat Transfer
Varying storage conditions may have an effect on the moisture content of transfer paper. To eliminate moisture from transfers, place the printed transfer 2"-3" below the platen for 20-40 seconds. This is strongly recommended for Seiko Instruments transfers.

5. Troubleshooting
If your image appears blurry on the Unisub™ surface, then make sure the temperature and dwell time are correct. If the blur appears to have been a blowout, and no Teflon sheet or rubber pads were used, consider purchasing these accessories to even the flow of heat across the surface.

If everything is set correctly and you still have trouble, your transfer may be shifting. Sometimes a blowout or smeared look results when the transfer moves across the sublimation surface while it is still hot, usually when the press is lifted or while removing the transfer from the sublimation surface. To prevent this, it is recommended to always use a transfer sheet that is larger than the white surface you are sublimating onto. Ideally, the paper should cover the entire white surface of the board with enough overhang to secure it to the backside or platen. Use heat resistant tape to tape your transfer to the platen or to the back of the Unisub piece to be sublimated. Do not tape to the foiled edge of a plaque as it may pull the foil off when removed. If possible, allow the piece to cool slightly before removing the transfer and tape.

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