I have felt like getting into this type of
printing has been like walking alone in a dark alley except for the
assistance from the forum. I still have never seen anyone other than me
dye-sub in person! I first tried color laser transfers, what a nightmare! I
have been very happy with the quality of dye-sub. Would like to see the
product lines expanded and the prices a little more competitive with other
types of imprintables.
I don't know if this skews the survey in
any way, but I am not really in the business of "Sublimating",
rather, I added sublimation to my catalog business as a way to increase my
product line. I don't do much custom work, mostly production work for
retail. Kind of a different approach than many other sublimators, but
something that might be worth noting.
How about creating a local user group,
with meetings once a month? We have several sublimators in the area. Once I
get rid of the screen printing stuff I would have room here for a small
I believe that there is a need to be
filled for a level of training and information one or two levels up from the
level that J. Steven Spence seems to target, which seems to be more of a
newbie level. I don't fault Mr. Spence in the least for that approach. But
I'd like to see more advanced work such aas ink comparisons, substrate
comparisons, equipment comparisons, procedure comparisons, more of an
overview of ink jet sub's strengths and weaknesses compared to other
processes for given jobs, more of a focus on color matching, UV, washability,
consistency among runs and between runs, tradeoffs when getting into
production scenarios, etc.
Most of the DSSI Forum people provide real
support to the "newbie" – I would love to visit sublimators in
my area, see their products, explore the possibilities of "going
mobile", gain ideas for marketing, explore some guidelines for pricing
and creative ways to display my products.
Most of my questions involve the running
of a small business….taxes, regulations, organization.
I feel that home based or basement
"businesses" are nothing more than a hobby…. While some of these
"hobbies" can produce an income, raising gerbils, dogs, growing
tomatoes can probably be just as profitable.
I have been involved with such businesses
and have drawn this conclusion from experience…Those that sell equipment
and supplies to "home based" businesses are the ones who make real
money. Yes there is a rare exception here and there, but most home based biz
are little more that a hobby.
Personally, I would like to see more help
from suppliers and distributors, especially concerning the use of any other
ink on the substrates they're distributing. Most in this business tend to
have tunnel vision when it comes tp alternatives. The DSSI Forum has been a
tremendous help in picking up the slack from Vendors.
I think I am so diversified in all the
things that I do that my business is unlike most. I want to have a hundred
different things for a hundred different people. If I sell 100 items to 100
people for a $1.00 it is ok. If one quits buying..oh well. If I sell 100
items to 1 people for $1.00 each and that one quits buying..different story.
This is why I don't like to do :mass producing" which is one question
you might have asked…as some sublimators like that and some don't.
Well, I think this kind of business
(sublimation) is pretty new and we need all the information and help
possible to put our hard work in the right direction.
The DSSI board has been the best resource
I've found for info, and am happy to contribute to the info base.
I think our biggest concern at this time
is consistent color matching. We need ICC profiles that can be loaded and
soft proofed on screen. The closer we get to WYSIWYG, the better off the
whole industry will be. Then we need to work on fade resistance to open up
markets other than novelty items. Biggest pet peeve are manufacturers and
distributors that expect us to burn a pile of substrates trying to get
colors to match, then promote this business as a way to do custom one offs.
What a load!!! I think sublimation in some form has hugh potential but we
have some pretty big problems to address first.
We've gained so mush from the DSSI forum. We don't post often since
we're new to sublimation.
Look forward to expanding our knowledge
and increased business in the sublimation arena.
As I stated we are relatively new to this,
I hope the seminar helps, I believe sublimation hasn't even started to
scratch the surface of what it could do. Tote bags came out awhile ago.
Since we have sold 160 of them. I would like to see a group meeting
I'd like to see a more formal
sublimation association created, you know things like dues paying membership
of retailers & suppliers. I'd prefer it to be retailer oriented but
since so many sublimation retailers also supply some products….. A formal
association would garner much more respect from manufacturers as well as
dispel the hobbyist image we often have.
I have not officially started my business. My current status is in the
learning stages. It has taken me a pain=stakingly long time to even get to
where I am (which is not far) in terms of learning my photo program for
isolating and improving photo images and practicing with my dyes and
pressing. My biggest need in dye sublimation would have to be there is
nowhere to go for training. I have had someone come to my home for training with the photo software, but the dye-subbing is an entity of it's own. The
DSSI forum has, therefore, been invaluable, but I wish there was a
school/tutoring that could go on in person.
I would like to know how many business's
come from T-shirt stores.
I am mainly working with an Epson 9000
doing larger format work with FRP, aluminum and poly fabrics. I use the
Colorburst RIP (Conde's subliprint). The images that I sub range from text
to pictures to images created in PS6. FRP and metal are pressed between
60-75 secs @ 400 deg. Polyester fabrics are usually pressed for 30-45 sec @
I have used offset prints from a few
different printers in the past, but have had problems with consistency. I
know that you did not ask for this info, but thought that it might be
useful. Also a little curious as to how many other people fall into the
category of printing over 17" wide and on what substrates.
Invite to other sub users in using a web site.
Design of survey could use some work, does
not allow for our input, mostly yes/no answers.