Get the Most Out of Your Dye-Sub Printer

Adding a whole new technology to your wide-format toolkit can be daunting, but the versatility you gain with dye-sublimation transfer printing can open all new opportunities. With the Epson SureColor Production printers, you can get into it with an initial investment starting around $7,ooo for the F6200 ($14,000 for the F7200 and $25,000 for the F9370) for a 44- or 64-inch system. Once you’re up and running, the creative and money-making possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

Dye-sublimation transfer is particularly favored for textile printing since the ink from the transfer adheres into the fabric, rather than sitting on top of it, as it does with other ink technologies. Once sublimated, the ink won’t crack, fleck or scratch off, making it an ideal option for knitted textiles, particularly high-performance athletic wear. (Bonus: Dye-sub fabrics are also washable!)

Metal photo panels by ChromaLuxe, available at LexJet

In addition to garment fabric, textiles printed for soft signage perform extremely well with dye-sub transfers. Backlit displays, tradeshow graphics and flags are two of the top applications for dye-sub, as they fold and travel easily and are cheaper to ship than films or vinyl often used for similar signage.

Dye-sub is a great complement to your other wide-format printers, allowing you to get into high-demand print products like the popular metal photo panels, ktochkees like coasters, cups and more, and customized décor, like pillows, window blinds and upholstery.

In addition to the printer system, you’ll also need transfer paper. The LexJet InFuze line provides four transfer papers for all needs, including textile, apparel, rigid substrate and multi-purpose. You’ll also need a heat press to sublimate the image to your final substrate. LexJet offers a full line of options, from a 16×20-inch table-top swinger heat press for small jobs, to a 112x48x53-inch heat calendar machine.

If you’re ready to master the world of dye-sub, visit our page to learn about more applications and watch some of the how-to videos to learn all the ways to make dye-sub work for you and your business. Here’s a quick look at how to create an all-over print for t-shirts:

Year in Review: The 11 Biggest Product Launches of 2017

As we look back on the year that 2017 was, there’s no denying that our customers are branching out into new areas and looking to offer their customers better performing, more cost-effective wide-format solutions. At LexJet, we strive to stay in-step with those demands. Our 2017 product launches brought to market everything from new outdoor banner materials and high-end fine-art paper options to all new technology portfolios and exciting, versatile media for multiple applications. Let’s take a look back at the changes 2017 brought in media products and equipment advances:


A Glossy, Opaque Banner: Many of our aqueous printer customers were requesting a glossy version of our ThriftyBanner, so we answered with LexJet Gloss Blockout ThriftyBanner. Not only does the gloss finish add extra pop to graphics and photos, it also eliminates the need to add a gloss laminate when requested, making it a one-step, cost-effective option. The 100% opaque blockout adds another unique feature for one of our most popular launches of 2017.

ClearShield SoftFeel Low Melt laminate applied to a menu.

Print Protection Portfolio: If you’re looking for any type of print protection, LexJet is the go-to source. We relaunched some products and added many new items to our Print Protection portfolio, which includes thermal laminates, water-based liquid coatings, UV liquid coatings and pressure sensitive laminates. This line includes nearly 70 options from the best brands in the industry: Marabu, ClearShield, Sunset, EnduraCoat, MaraShield and LexJet. If you need to protect a print in any application, our Print Protection page is the place to start.

Now Available at LexJet: Geo Knight Swing Away Heat Press

As part of our expanding dye-sublimation portfolio, we now offer the Geo Knight DK20S Digital Knight 16×20 Swinger heat press, a state-of-the-art swing-away heat transfer press ideal for t-shirt and substrate transfers.

With its sturdy, heavy-duty solid steel welded framework and cutting-edge digital microprocessor, the DK20S is made and supported in the USA. The ease of use also makes this a leading choice, thanks to its SuperCoil-Microwinding heat platen, with coils that cover nearly the entire platen, ensuring accurate, even heat and level pressure.

The DK20S is one of Geo Knight’s most popular models with it’s swing-away design that allows for full access of the table — making t-shirt transfers a breeze, in particular.

Here are a few product highlights:

  • Fully digital temperature control
  • Automatic digital timer w/ pre-press
  • Digital pressure bar graph
  • 70 Programmable presets
  • Interchangeable tables
  • SuperCoil-Microwinding™ heater technology
  • Accommodates materials up to 2” thick
  • Temperature readout accuracy +-2°F.

Want more info? Call a LexJet rep at 800-453-9538 today.

With Avatrex, the Solution for this Artist Is in the Bag

anita bags Collage

Self-taught Indianapolis-based bag designer Anita Hopper specializes in upcycling outdated leather apparel into gorgeous, one-of-a-kind handbags, totes and clutches. A couple of years ago, she got the idea of embellishing the leather further … with her photographer son’s images.

“I noticed a couple things on Pinterest that caught my interest,” says Hopper, who runs ReFind Originals. “But it looked like the images weren’t painted on … they were actually printed onto the leather. I searched any way I could to find what kind of process people were doing. Obviously some people were doing it, but there was no place that was explaining the process.”

What followed was several months of research, trial and error and print companies that wouldn’t even attempt to print on leather. Some of the processes she tried resulted in images that would crack or peel. “I was getting very discouraged,” she says. Then she found Helen Farrell, account representative at DCG: Digital Color Graphics.

“We’ve printed on a number of different oddball things, from faux leather to toilet seats,” Farrell says. “Our guys are not afraid to at least try it.”

Hopper came across an article about LexJet’s product, Avatrex, a printable material that can transport and conform to almost any surface. Once affixed to the surface, the image actually takes on the texture of the surface.

“Our MO is that we’re not afraid to try anything,” Farrell says. “So once we got the material we tried different settings for ink density and color saturation. From the first one or two runs, we were having success right off the bat. The feedback I’ve been getting from the guys is that Avatrex is really easy to use.”

Mother and son design team, Eric and Anita Hopper
Mother and son design team, Eric and Anita Hopper

Once the Avatrex is printed with Anita’s son Eric Hopper‘s images, she uses a heat press that she purchased to affix the images onto the leather. “I love how you can see the actual grain of the leather in the photos,” she says. Then she sews them into a variety of bag styles.

She’s currently building up inventory for ReFind Originals as well as craft, art and trade shows. Although she’s been asked if she’ll create bags with customized images from clients, she says she’s going to stick to Eric’s dramatic nature shots.

“I love the art aspect of it,” she says. “Eric and I are in control of what’s going on … that’s where we want it to stay.”

She said that although it’s been a long process, she’s feeling more confident about this new line of bags and already sees even more opportunities using Avatrex. “I can think of so many things to do with it … jewelry cuffs, upholstery … anything,” she says.

We look forward to seeing what she dreams up next.