“Pieced Sublimation” — Can you piece a sublimation design?

I have two great sublimation printers … an Epson F170 and a Sawgrass SG500. Both of them are amazing printers but they have one flaw … they only cut 8.5″ wide! They will cut 8.5″ x 11″ or 8.5″ x 14″ and that works great for most things, but I recently had a need to cut something that is 10″x10″. Unfortunately, the design was one piece so it wasn’t easily divided.

I knew I would have to divide this somehow, so first I set my media size to 8.5″x11″ and turned on the print border so I could see exactly how much of the design would be printed on a sheet of paper. It is the grey line you see just inside the red line.

I decided I would try cutting the design so that could print it. I decided I needed an overlap of the two sections so that I could line them up. I lined the design up in the cut area. In the Page Setup panel, I clicked on the Grid Settings tab and clicked to turn on Snap to Grid.

Then I drew a rectangle that covered almost all of the cut area. I added color to mine here so you can see it. Because I had turned on Snap to Grid, it lined up with the grid lines on the mat. I stopped near the 7.5″ grid line and the rectangle snapped into place.

I sent the rectangle to the back (right click and select Send to Back). This is another reason I added color to the rectangle – so when I sent it to the back, I could make sure it was actually behind the image.

I selected both the rectangle and the image. In the Modify Panel, I selected Crop.

I selected the cropped image and selected Copy. I opened a new workspace and selected paste. The cropped image was now in the new document. Then I went back to the original image and selected Undo (CTRL/CMD+Z) until the design whole again. I then moved the rectangle so the left edge was at the 7.0″ grid line (snap to grid made it possible to get it exactly in place). I decided this would give me a 1/2 inch overlap for lining up the two parts of the design. I then selected the rectangle and the image and selected Crop from the Modify panel.

I moved this part of the design into the print area and printed this image. I went to the workspace with the larger part of the design and printed it as well. I placed the larger part of the design on my blank and pressed it according to the manufacturer’s instructions for my blank (360-380 degrees for 60 seconds). After it was pressed and cooled, I added the smaller piece of the image, overlapping it a bit and pressed it. You can see the white line where I did not get it quite lined up but you can also see the band where the two pieces overlapped.

So I tried again. The next one was did not overlap with color but there was a little paper overlap. The larger part of the design was pressed and then the smaller one was added. I lined it up as close as possible to the larger part of the design and pressed. You can see a faint line here where they met up. Also, the smaller side is a little bit lighter than the larger part.

So I tried again. This time I took a page from my embroidery life and when i created the rectangle, I edited it so it had a jagged edge on one side. I applied the jagged edge to the right side of the large image piece and to the left edge of the small image piece. I pressed the large part of the image. I pieced the small piece, matching up the jagged edges and taping it in place as i went.

I used a light box to help me see exactly where the two pieces lined up. Since this was fabric, using the light box made matching the edges easier. I pressed the smaller piece to the design and also added some text. There is a small amount of color blow out where the first part of the design moved a bit when I lifted the lid of the press but, more importantly, the line where I joined the two parts is almost invisible!!

So, here is what I learned so far. Overlapping the two parts of the image with colored parts in both pieces is not a good thing. Overlapping with just paper can possibly cause one side to be a little lighter than the other side — I am not 100% sure on this one but something sure caused the color difference! And finally, I learned that using a jagged edge makes it easier to line up the design and causes a less definite line so there is a little more “fudge room”. I also learned the you can, indeed, press the same blank more than once without ruining the first press in subsequent presses. Lastly, I learned I need to do more testing! So stay tuned for more test results!

If you enjoyed these tips, please join my Facebook groups … Libby’s Silhouette Group — Tips, Tricks, Tutorials and Projects, Libby’s Craft and Sewing Group and Running With Sisers – Juliet and Romeo. You can also find me on FB at Libby’s Loft.com. Please join and feel free to ask questions and share your creations! I look forward to seeing you there!!

Until next time,

Happy Crafting!!

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One thought on ““Pieced Sublimation” — Can you piece a sublimation design?

  1. Libby, this is very interesting. I don’t have a sublimation printer but I have been playing with Siser Easy Color DTV and I’m going to try your method (jagged edge) to see if I can produce a wider image. Thanks for your testing and explanation!

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