What types of sublimation equipment and consumables are there?

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A huge variety of sublimation equipment is available depending upon what type of sublimation heat pressing you want to do. With each piece of new technology that is released new techniques and styles are developed which is awesome and keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Here is a list of the different heat presses that are available and what they can be used for. I've also included a list of the different types of consumables that can be used for heat pressing.

Heat Presses

Sublimation consumables come in different shapes and sizes and so do the heat presses you'll use to press designs. One of the most important things you'll need to ensure when choosing a heat press is that an even distribution of heat and pressure is applied across the surface of consumables otherwise designs will be uneven, faded or marked. Heat presses can usually be used for pressing sublimation inks, transfers, sign vinyl and garment vinyl. The different types of heat presses are listed below.

Clam presses are flat surfaced heat presses which are suitable for a wide range of sublimation consumables. Anything that isn’t too thick and has a flat surface for the design can be pressed on a clam press.

Swing presses are also suitable for a wide range of sublimation consumables and because the whole upper platen can be raised thicker objects can be heat pressed although sublimation consumables will still require a flat surface for the design. Swing presses can also be safer to use when placing and removing objects and designs because the upper platen can be swung completely out of the way.

Mug presses often have interchangeable heating elements that are suitable for different shapes and sizes of mugs and cups. The heating elements wrap around the shape of the consumables to apply an even design.

Plate presses are also available with different sized elements that can be changed to suit different sized plates. Plate presses can also be used to heat press designs onto other flat surfaced objects.

Badge press machines are specifically designed to print badges and many of them have interchangeable attachments for pressing different sized badges.

Cap presses are usually suitable for pressing a variety of head wear such as caps, beanies and head bands. The platen is usually curved to provide a better surface for pressing sublimation designs.

The main thing to ensure when buying heat presses is that an even amount of heat and pressure is applied across the whole platen. If there are cooler areas on the platen or areas where less pressure is applied then designs will look uneven.

Consumables & Garments

Always remember that sublimation consumables require either a fabric of at least 70% polyester or objects need to be treated with a polymer coating otherwise designs won’t transfer correctly. Using unsuitable consumables will cause designs to be substandard and they will soon fade so you will need to make sure that the consumables you use are suitable and of good quality. There are lots of different types of consumables to choose from many of which are listed below.

  • High visibility work wear / gear
  • Sport wear and performance apparel
  • Fashion items
  • T-shirts
  • Personalized picture & photo frames
  • Interior signs
  • Exterior signs
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Pens and keyrings
  • Coffee mugs and cups
  • Mouse pads
  • Ornaments
  • Puzzles
  • Jewellery
  • There are many more available.

    If there is a consumable that you'd like to work with which we don't have then let us know and we'll see what we can do.

Just remember to make sure that sublimation consumables have been treated with a polymer coating or that fabrics are at least 70% polyester.

There is loads more information about sublimation, equipment and consumables on our website so why don’t you hang around and see what else you can find out.