Production Methods

The variety of items we offer means we use a variety of equipment and production methods to make it all happen.  Read below to see a brief description of each. 

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// SUBLIMATION // 

Sublimation is a production process that uses heat to transfer dye/color from paper to plastic/ceramic/fabric. 

  • Requires the use of a special (sublimation) printer and a heat press.
  • For best results, use on lighter colored items. 
  • Can NOT print white.  If white is desired in the design, it will need to be placed on an item that is white. Any white will then show through in the negative spaces. 
  • Requires the use of items with a special polyester coating or poly blend items. Heat and pressure are then used to penetrate the dye/ink into the substrate/textile successfully.   
  • The amount of polyester in the item or coating will determine how vivid the colors are, as items with lower poly content will have less for the ink/dye to penetrate into. 

 

// DIGITAL TRANSFERS //

  • Requires the use of a special (laser) Digital Color + White Media Transfer printer and a heat press.
  • Can be used on a myriad of surfaces: apparel and textiles, hard surfaces, metal, acrylic, leather, and more. 
  • Can print in full CMYK color, single CMYK color, AND white!!  SO many options! 
  • Heat and pressure are then used to transfer the image to the desired substrate. 

 

// HEAT PRESS //

A heat press is a machine engineered to imprint a design or graphic on a substrate, such as a tshirt, with the application of heat and pressure for a preset period of time.  It can be used to imprint designs on fabrics, mugs, plates, puzzles, hats, plagues, name tags, luggage tags, and other products.

 

// ADHESIVE VINYL // 

Adhesive Vinyl is the type of vinyl with an adhesive backing, and can be cut with a vinyl cutter and then stuck to a variety of surfaces depending on the adhesive and type of material.  It is most commonly used for store windows, car decals, signage, etc.  Adhesive vinyl comes in single colors, and also a wide array of special options, such as patterned, glitter, holographic, glow in the dark, reflective, etc. 

  • Is applied with a transfer medium often called "Transfer Tape" or "Carrier Sheet".
  • To decorate signage or other hard substrate, adhesive vinyl needs to be cut (NO mirror image), weeded, covered with transfer tape, and then applied to desired surface. 
  • A design with multiple colors must have each color cut separately and then layered on top of each other as it is applied to the substrate. 
  • Since shapes are cut out of solid colors, photographs and gradients can not be reproduced with a stand alone vinyl cutter.
  • For printed full color designs (on white vinyl), the use of a commercial vinyl printer is required.

  

 // HEAT TRANSFER VINYL // 

Heat Transfer Vinyl, or HTV, is a specialty vinyl polymer that can be used on certain fabrics and materials to create designs and promotional products. It comes with an adhesive backing so it can be cut, weeded, and placed on a substrate for heat application.  HTV comes in single colors, and also a wide array of special options, such as patterned, glitter, flocked (velvety), holographic, glow in the dark, reflective, and 3D puff. 

  • HTV is traditionally placed on textile products. Because of the nature of the way the vinyl is applied, it must be used on products that can take the heat and pressure required to make the transfer adhere properly.
  • It is best used for simple designs with minimal colors since each individual color or pattern used in the design must be cut (in mirror image), weeded, and heat pressed. (Certain heat transfer vinyl can be layered to form multi-colored designs.)
  • The more layers involved, the harder it is to match up each to achieve the end result.
  • Heat transfer vinyl cannot be used for full-color pictures or anything with gradients. 

 

// VINYL CUTTER //

A vinyl cutter is a machine that cuts vinyl, but can also cut through other materials like specialty papers, fabric, thin sheets of magnet, etc.  They are commonly used for signage and apparel decoration.

 

// LASER //

Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser (either CO2 or Diode) to vaporize materials, resulting in a cut edge.  A focused laser beam is directed to the material to be cut, engraved, melted, burned, etc. 

  • We use a diode laser engraving machine, with a G-code laser software.