How to personalize mugs by sublimation

by Inkraz Store on March 09, 2021
If you have just landed in the world of product customization, you will have seen that if there is a bestselling customizable item, it is the Mug. There are many techniques for printing mugs but the most used, and also the one that offers the best results, is sublimation.

Keep reading this article and in no time you will be able to learn how to stamp the perfect mug.

How to customize mugs by sublimation and how much does it cost
Surely in your cupboard there are some personalized mugs that have been given to you with nice motifs such as those of Mr. Wonderfull or with photographs and designs of superheroes, movies, series or characters that make it your favorite mug. You have always wondered how a mug will be printed, well, most of the time it has been printed using sublimation equipment.

Do not think that a sublimation equipment for printing mugs is something very sophisticated or expensive, rather the opposite, it is a technique within the reach of any entrepreneur or business.

How to sublimate mugs
To start printing on mugs you need:

Sublimation printer. You can use one in A4 format since the printing area is relatively small and you can amply cover it with that size.
Sublimation ink. They are special inks that react with temperature turning into gas and are integrated into the polyester polymer. It seems somewhat complex but you will see how it is not.
Sublimation paper. It is the support that keeps the ink and lets it out at a temperature into the cup.
Thermal tape. Used to fix the printed paper in the cup and that resists the temperature of the iron without burning.
Mug press. There are different types and different versions but you can start with a basic one for a single cup with interchangeable heating elements.
If we add everything you need, you can see that with just over $ 500 you can start the process of sublimating mugs. Although the absolute and indispensable protagonist of this article is missing: the sublimable mug.

Not just any cup will work. It must be prepared for sublimation and to achieve the perfect colors it must be white, since the color in sublimation adds up and if you stamp on a colored mug the design merges with the color of the mug.

There are different qualities: A, AA, AAA, the latter being of higher quality. They differ basically in the quality of the coating and in the uniformity of its surface, which will guarantee a better stamping and greater resistance to use and washing. A top quality mug costs around $ 1.50.

Custom sublimated mug
How to Design and Print Sublimation Paper
Now that you know everything you need to sublimate mugs, we will explain how to stamp them correctly.

First we will design what we are going to stamp on the mug. Depending on each mug, its maximum stamping area will vary, but the most common in an eleven-ounce mug is a 20 × 9.5cm printing area. If you want to get the most out of A4 sublimation sheets, you can include up to 3 designs on each sheet. Remember that you have to have the mirror mode activated in the printing options of your printer (if you do not have that option, flip the design before printing).
Once printed, cut out the design to be stamped with scissors or a guillotine.
Place the paper centered around the mug and secure it with thermal tape so that it does not move when ironing.
Heat the iron to 200º and program 180 seconds. It is important to keep the mug at room temperature so that it is not too cold because otherwise it will affect the ironing parameters. For example, in winter you may need to increase the time a bit if you store the material in a very cold place.
Place the cup on the griddle and set a medium pressure.
Once the ironing time is over, and being careful not to burn yourself, remove the paper quickly. To achieve better results and more precise details, it is advisable to cool the mug by immersing it in warm water (except if the mug is glass) or using a fan.