Original Works Sublimation Department
We started our Sublimation Department 15 years ago with a few small desktop printers, some hand presses and one product – our 11 oz. ceramic mug. Current department manager Jennifer Deloriea was there in those early days, and has witnessed first-hand the transition to today’s department, which features multiple wide-format printers, mug ovens, and flat-bed presses, all configured to produce over 30% of the products in our line!
In fact, Sublimation produces some of our most popular items, including long time products like our 11 and 15 oz. Ceramic Mugs, Ceramic Tiles, Ornaments, and Keychains. In recent years’ we added a diverse array of products to the lineup, which included the Beverage Hugger, Lens Cloths, Art Easel, Dog Tag, and Wooden Coasters.
For those of you not familiar with the sublimation process, it consists of a multiple step procedure.
It begins with printing the image on wide format printers configured with special ink and paper. The individual printed images are then trimmed and sent to our press areas. Here where the combination of heat and pressure from the presses transfers the printed image onto the product.
Product Image Application
For most of our products, we use calibrated flatbed presses to apply the appropriate heat and pressure. The temperature, pressure and time can vary by product, so we utilize several presses, all configured differently to ensure we obtain the optimum result for each product.
Custom Mug Process
The one exception to this process is our ceramic mugs. To produce our mugs, we fit them with mug wraps, which hold the printed image in place. Next, we put the mugs through a custom oven set to a precise temperature. We then cool the mugs, remove the wraps and place them in high-density mug boxes to protect them during shipment and on the trip home.
Sublimation has become increasingly popular because the resulting product is highly durable and scratch resistant. In addition, the colors obtained through the sublimation process are extremely rich and vibrant. For those reasons’ we continue to search for and add new sublimation products to our line each year.
We hope you enjoyed the tour of our Sublimation Department, and that you learned a few things in the process! Learn more about Original Works people and processes:
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Please join us next week as we take a trip through our Make Department!