Jesse J Heap & Son, Inc. Located in Irvington, NJ
 
 
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Sublimation Printing with Variable Data

 

Sublimation printing of large format items with customized logos or text that varies for each print can be a time-consuming process. Traditionally, printers have handled variable text by creating a separate graphic for each variation. This approach can be time-consuming especially with a large number of variations. Wasatch Softrips Variable Data Printing (VDP) option has helped dramatically improve this process.

The VDP option for Wasatch Softrip automates the creation of variable text, graphic images, or background colors through the use of templates. Coupled with the ever increasing speed of today's inkjet printers, these improvements have translated into increased productivity for large format sublimation printers. VDP can be applied to a wide range of customized materials including sportswear (hockey, football uniforms, etc), labels, large signage, and promotional materials.

VDP Example - Customized Sportswear for Football Team

For illustrative purposes let's look at the typical case of printing sports uniforms for a footballl team. With each uniform a separate number, last name and position are needed for the back of each jersey.

Layout template with designations for uniform number and name.

Before VDP was available, the operator had to manually prepare each graphic individually. With VDP, one universal layout template can be created that will automatically insert a new number and new name for each print. Time spent preparing each uniform has been dramatically reduced.

Data for each player can be loaded from Microsoft Excel or any database that supports exporting of ASCII text files. With the VDP preview print option, the operator has the capability of previewing each uniform before printing. The previewing option allows the operator to proof images before print without wasted ink, paper or processing time.

Save processing time and wasted ink and papers by previewing your image

Typesetting of the players name can be further customized with drop shadows, outlines, and or type spacing. Templates can be reused.

The Heat Transfer Process

After all the different customized images are printed out they are ready to be heat transferred onto the fabric. The best approach for sublimating images onto athletic wear like football jerseys is to pre-cut the fabric into individual cuts parts (as shown below).

Each individual printed piece can then be aligned with their matching fabric piece. Once aligned, the transfer is ready for the heat press. It may be useful to have some sublimation spray tack available to help hold the transfer in place while it's on the telfon belt. After sublimation the individual pieces can be sewn back together.

sportswear cut parts
All paper transfers are laid out.

transfer paper cut parts
The transfers are aligned with the cut fabric pieces
pre-cut fabric
All fabric after images are sublimated onto fabric

The VDP option for Wasatch Softrip is available as an option with Jesse J. Heap & Son's total solution dye sublimation printing package. We also carry a full line of heat transfer presses.

See example screenshot of VDP graphical interface. The screenshot illustrates 25 different variations of a football jersey with interchangeable last name, number and position.