Our garment decorating customers love ChromaBlast. It’s an easy and affordable way to print custom cotton tees. Now, due to changes in the transfer paper, it’s even better than ever.
Experienced cotton decorators might wonder, What makes the New ChromaBlast Media “new and improved”?
The new ChromaBlast Media is more economical and more versatile. If you aren’t a T-shirt printing guru, you might think, ‘what is this ChromaBlast stuff and why should I care’? ChromaBlast is a thermal transfer process for digital printing. You should care because it can give you an easy way to turn your designs into dollars.
Quick ChromaBlast Review
For those unfamiliar with the product, ChromaBlast is an ink and paper combination designed to enable users of select desktop inkjet printers to transfer full color images directly to cotton garments. This means that anyone with some graphic design and marketing skill can tap into the enormous and profitable market for custom apparel. As we’ll see in a moment, the startup is lower than ever.
The cotton decoration process uses ChromaBlast water-based ink and a chemically treated transfer paper. If it sounds like sublimation, that’s because it is made by Sawgrass Technologies, the leader in dye sublimation technology. Since dye sublimation only works on polyester, and many people prefer the softness of cotton, Sawgrass pioneered ChromaBlast as an alternative to sublimation.
Here’s how it works
- Design the image in whatever software you like.
- Flip or mirror the image and send it to a printer loaded with ChromaBlast ink and transfer paper, using the ChromaBlast driver.
- Place the printed ChromaBlast transfer paper face down on a white or pastel colored 100% cotton garment.
- Cover with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper and press in a heat press for 20 seconds at 375°F with firm pressure (60 psi).
- Peel away the transfer paper and sell it for a tidy profit.
So what’s new with ChromaBlast?
Hot or Cold Peel: The basic product and process are the same, but with several important differences. The last step, the peeling of the transfer paper, can now be done hot or cold. With the original ChromaBlast paper, the hot peel process is essential because the paper leaves a slightly yellowish temporary residue on the fabric that becomes permanent if the paper cools on the garment. If you allow the paper to remain on the shirt until it is completely cool, the paper itself became permanently attached ruining the garment.
Not any more. The new ChromaBlast media is peeled hot or cold. Residue washes out the first time the garment is laundered, leaving behind only ink on cotton. The cold peel option means that, if you’re finishing a transfer, an untimely phone call isn’t an instant crisis. Attend to your customer and peel the transfer when you have time. Hot peel is still the best method for optimal durability, but it’s no longer an imperative.
How the new ChromaBlast is more economical and practical
The new ChromaBlast media saves money two ways: lower prices and greater efficiency.
- Prices for packages of 100 sheets are reduced by 15%! Packages of letter sized sheets are now only $63.75. Packages of 11″ x 17″ sheets are now only $127.50. That’s a savings of $22.50 that goes straight to your bottom line.
- Now available in rolls. Epson users now can buy ChromaBlast in 50 foot rolls. Rolls give you the option of unattended printing for long production runs. Roll feed also allows designers to “nest” images more closely together on the media to reduce waste, which increases profit. Unfortunately, RICOH gelsprinters do not have a roll feed option.
How the new ChromaBlast is More Versatile and Accessible
The other major improvement is the ways you can apply the transfer. The new ChromaBlast media no longer requires a commercial heat press. You can apply it at home with a standard household iron. It takes a little longer, but anyone with a firm hand can do it. Please click here for a detailed PDF instruction sheet. Here’s a brief summary of the process:
- Place the garment on a hard, flat surface (not an ironing board).
- Place a layer of fabric under the shirt and cover the transfer with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper.
- Set the iron on the highest temperature setting (normally linen) and pre-iron the garment to remove wrinkles.
- Iron the transfer with a firm hand, applying pressure in each area for about 40 seconds (run the iron over the entire sheet, not just the printed area)
- Take an extra ten seconds or so and iron firmly around the edges of the sheet. Peel the transfer and you’re done.
So now you can create and sell commercial quality custom tees without a heat press. You’ll still need a specific model Epson or RICOH printer (one for which Sawgrass ChromaBlast drivers are available), but it need not be a big expensive one. The ability to create ChromaBlast transfers without a heat press lowers the startup cost considerably. Now you can start producing your own custom printed cotton tees.
Whether you’re an experienced garment decorator or a novice, the new ChromaBlast media offers significant benefits to your work and bottom line. You can apply your dazzling color transfers with more options to suit your environment, work more economically, or–if you’re an Epson user– more efficiently. You can cut material cost and boost profit. Perhaps the best news is, if you’re new to the custom T-shirt printing game, the price of admission is now lower than ever.