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Thread: Dye Sublimation & ICC Profiling

  1. #1
    Donor aszx is on a distinguished road
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    Dye Sublimation & ICC Profiling

    Hi all.

    I've done the 'right' thing and searched the forum for the topic in question, but not having much joy.

    The question is; does anyone here have any experience in writing profiles for dye sublimation inks (the type for producing t-shirt transfers, etc)? I'm currently using a pair of Epson 4xxx series printers with dye sub inks and am not really happy with the supplied colour correction solution.

    I'm looking for any advice anyone would be kind enough to offer on the subject - which hardware and solutions, and any tips on the process that people would be willing to share.

    I apologise in advance if this is completely the wrong thread to post this in and am really grateful for any advice anyone can offer!

    Thank you. :)

  2. #2
    Member PanozJani is on a distinguished road
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    Hi,
    1. generate a testchart (RGB - if you are printing through native driver, CMYK - if you are using a rip). Print it on the transfer paper with ColorManagement OFF. No need for lot of patches since the technology is quite unstable and nobody should expect contract-proof precision on a t-shirt.
    2. you should already have the correct temperature and pressure settings for the material you wish to profile if not - determine them, and define them as "house standard". Use these settings for transfer.
    3. measure the testchart (if possible avarage more than one) on the t-shirt (or whatever)
    4. Important: smooth the measurements (colortool, i1profiler)
    5. generate profile

    so it is the same procedure as you would profile papers, but the measurement can be tedious especially on mugs and slippers (it took me a day for a 500 patch testchart )
    good luck

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  4. #3
    Donor aszx is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks for the reply, PanozJani.

    I've gotten the gist of most of what you've said there, bar two points. Firstly, (just to check), I'm transferring the printed chart to the substrate prior to reading the chart? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I do like to make sure.

    Secondly, I'm not sure what you mean by 'smoothing the measurements'? Is this a software specific term?

    Thanks for your patience and taking the time to reply.

  5. #4
    Member PanozJani is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by aszx View Post
    Thanks for the reply, PanozJani.

    I've gotten the gist of most of what you've said there, bar two points. Firstly, (just to check), I'm transferring the printed chart to the substrate prior to reading the chart? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I do like to make sure.
    It depends on the technology. There are technologies which use transfer papers and there are which doesn't. In both cases You should measure the end product
    .

    Secondly, I'm not sure what you mean by 'smoothing the measurements'? Is this a software specific term?
    When one wants to characterize a not stable printing technology one would need to average a few dozen testcharts for reliable result, but since measuring t-shirts can't be automated (or at least it's not easy) - it would take you weeks to get the results. Some profiling softwares are able to approximate (or rather clean up the measured values and idealize) the result - this way you might loose precision, but the gradients will be smooth and the overall result will look better.

    Thanks for your patience and taking the time to reply.
    You're welcome, gl

  6. #5
    Nemesis
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    I have finished my dye sublimation ventures like two years ago. Anyway I have specialized printing on a silk. Frankly speaking I am happy about it since printing on a silk is major pain in the arse. And thank god I am not doing that anymore. Printing machine was produced by MSItaly with Mimaki plotter inside and they had their own RIP MatchPrint.

    Anyway procedure to make correct ICC profile for silk substrate is like this:

    1. From MatchPrint as first step you print density bars with percentage values and you are choosing desired resolution because that greatly affects printing speed. Higher the resolution, printer will print slower.

    2. Next, silk is rolled in special paper and it goes to steamer (silk needs to be exposed to hot and dry steam to fix the inks) . And depending on the type of silk you are adjusting temperature and exposure of the silk in steamer. Usually temperature goes from 90 to 110 Celsius and exposure time is from 45 minutes up to 60 minutes.

    3. Next you are washing silk with mild detergent (inks are not tearing off since steamer does a great job plus CIBA textile inks are pretty great) and you are doing ironing on flatbed iron.

    4. Now it comes to measuring the density bars. After you have measured that and when you see percentages you decide to reduce the maximum ink percentage because sometimes depending on a substrate you can have on 90% patch you get 100%. And in MatchPrint you can say 90% is your maximum density so RIP creates correction.

    5. When we have set up everything in step 4 now in RIP we are coming to the step 3 where we are printing calibration target and you can decide how many patches you want and that is ranging between around 700 up to 3000+ thousand patches.

    6. After calibration target is printed you are repeating steps 2 and 3 and continuing to measure all those patches. Device itself should be recalbirate every few rows and RIP itself requests that operation.

    7. After all patches are measured you are creating ICC profile and you are giving some meaningful name to it.

    Anyway where is the hassle in printing itself. I will start with color management part first and after in technological aspect of post print.

    In MatchPrint you have two options for printing fabrics in my case silk. One option is via ICC profiles and PAINT mode for solid colors. ICC profile is pretty self explanatory and artwork is printed out as you are seeing it on monitor. We presume you have calibrated and profiled your display. But when it comes to the PAINT mode there things can be tricky for someone who doesn't know how certain stuff operates. You have to enter the Lab or RGB values in Color Conversion window to get values that you will use in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop when creating artwork. Depiction in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop won't be at all same as printed material. Instead that Color Conversion tool will give you correct depiction of the color when you are entering the values of some color and translating them to the numbers you will print out later and there you can see the correct appearance.

    Aside from that when you are printing something geometrically straight or straight lines silk needs to be firstly prepared for machine printing and after that it needs to go to the pre coat machine where silk will be coated with some special paste that will make silk not to stretch and also to keep the inks to spread as planned. Also silk is not cut by the scissors. Instead silk is teared off by it's string and after that it is going to sewing. So if you print something straight and silk was not treated with pre coat paste and dried in special manner (that machine for pre coat and drying and rolling is mildly said huge) you may end up with that printed shape at one side of the silk close to the edge of the silk like 2cm and at the opposite end like 10cm. And since silk is not cut with scissors so you can follow straight like that print becomes unusable since you can't sew silk on it's side smaller and piling sewing at one side more.

    Printing silk in many ways is major pain in the arse. Extremely flexible material and if not treated well you may end up with all prints ruined. And not to mention how much some types of the silk are expensive.

    Here is the video of those machines manufacturer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlzkMkyViPs This machine is the best now they produce. At the time I was doing some consulting services for the company they have been cooperating with and I saw this machine when it was in experimental phase. Machine itself is a monster. Anyway back then they have been installing Mimaki JV3 and JV5 plotters in their machines with basic pre coat system just for making samples if you do not have pre coated silk on spot. But if you print jobs you need to have pre coated silk already in a roll and printing machine basic pre coat system should be turned off.

    I hope this can benefit to some of you if you encounter printing on a silk.

    Cheers guys ;)
    Last edited by Nemesis; 09-19-2011 at 04:39 AM.

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  8. #6
    Donor aszx is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks Nemesis,

    The dye sublimation technology is a little different, in that the suspended dye particles actually penetrate the fabric (basically, any synthetic but preferably polyester). I've encountered the 'Direct to Substrate' method at many trade fairs though.

    And thank you for the heads up on creating a profile - I'm a complete beginner at this, so every little piece of advice is appreciated.

  9. #7
    Junior Member jonl8038 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis View Post
    I have finished my dye sublimation ventures like two years ago. Anyway I have specialized printing on a silk. Frankly speaking I am happy about it since printing on a silk is major pain in the arse. And thank god I am not doing that anymore. Printing machine was produced by MSItaly with Mimaki plotter inside and they had their own RIP MatchPrint.

    Anyway procedure to make correct ICC profile for silk substrate is like this:

    1. From MatchPrint as first step you print density bars with percentage values and you are choosing desired resolution because that greatly affects printing speed. Higher the resolution, printer will print slower.

    2. Next, silk is rolled in special paper and it goes to steamer (silk needs to be exposed to hot and dry steam to fix the inks) . And depending on the type of silk you are adjusting temperature and exposure of the silk in steamer. Usually temperature goes from 90 to 110 Celsius and exposure time is from 45 minutes up to 60 minutes.

    3. Next you are washing silk with mild detergent (inks are not tearing off since steamer does a great job plus CIBA textile inks are pretty great) and you are doing ironing on flatbed iron.

    4. Now it comes to measuring the density bars. After you have measured that and when you see percentages you decide to reduce the maximum ink percentage because sometimes depending on a substrate you can have on 90% patch you get 100%. And in MatchPrint you can say 90% is your maximum density so RIP creates correction.

    5. When we have set up everything in step 4 now in RIP we are coming to the step 3 where we are printing calibration target and you can decide how many patches you want and that is ranging between around 700 up to 3000+ thousand patches.

    6. After calibration target is printed you are repeating steps 2 and 3 and continuing to measure all those patches. Device itself should be recalbirate every few rows and RIP itself requests that operation.

    7. After all patches are measured you are creating ICC profile and you are giving some meaningful name to it.

    Anyway where is the hassle in printing itself. I will start with color management part first and after in technological aspect of post print.

    In MatchPrint you have two options for printing fabrics in my case silk. One option is via ICC profiles and PAINT mode for solid colors. ICC profile is pretty self explanatory and artwork is printed out as you are seeing it on monitor. We presume you have calibrated and profiled your display. But when it comes to the PAINT mode there things can be tricky for someone who doesn't know how certain stuff operates. You have to enter the Lab or RGB values in Color Conversion window to get values that you will use in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop when creating artwork. Depiction in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop won't be at all same as printed material. Instead that Color Conversion tool will give you correct depiction of the color when you are entering the values of some color and translating them to the numbers you will print out later and there you can see the correct appearance.

    Aside from that when you are printing something geometrically straight or straight lines silk needs to be firstly prepared for machine printing and after that it needs to go to the pre coat machine where silk will be coated with some special paste that will make silk not to stretch and also to keep the inks to spread as planned. Also silk is not cut by the scissors. Instead silk is teared off by it's string and after that it is going to sewing. So if you print something straight and silk was not treated with pre coat paste and dried in special manner (that machine for pre coat and drying and rolling is mildly said huge) you may end up with that printed shape at one side of the silk close to the edge of the silk like 2cm and at the opposite end like 10cm. And since silk is not cut with scissors so you can follow straight like that print becomes unusable since you can't sew silk on it's side smaller and piling sewing at one side more.

    Printing silk in many ways is major pain in the arse. Extremely flexible material and if not treated well you may end up with all prints ruined. And not to mention how much some types of the silk are expensive.

    Here is the video of those machines manufacturer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlzkMkyViPs This machine is the best now they produce. At the time I was doing some consulting services for the company they have been cooperating with and I saw this machine when it was in experimental phase. Machine itself is a monster. Anyway back then they have been installing Mimaki JV3 and JV5 plotters in their machines with basic pre coat system just for making samples if you do not have pre coated silk on spot. But if you print jobs you need to have pre coated silk already in a roll and printing machine basic pre coat system should be turned off.

    I hope this can benefit to some of you if you encounter printing on a silk.

    Cheers guys ;)

    I do agree on the above, but you need to get a measuring tool that can measure transmissive , barbieri http://www.barbierielectronic.com/....it one of the best tool that i have use to measure.

  10. #8
    Banned smilem is on a distinguished road
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    I read in the book real world color management 2nd edition that on dye sub you have to print same target rotated 180 degrees and them measure both and average the result to have consistent output.

    You have to do this because dyesub printing somehow is different from normal inkjet i guess.

  11. #9
    Junior Member 108cuts is on a distinguished road
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    the secrete of dye subliamtion is some thing coating of the meterail

    i use polyester for coating it
    2 part chemical

    for fabric no need to coating you can select polyester fabric from market
    Last edited by super silja; 11-07-2011 at 11:05 AM. Reason: same user, same topic

  12. #10
    Junior Member ek3_mon is on a distinguished road
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    Simple CMS

    Hi TS,

    This is what I did for 1 of my clients.

    1. Linearize their heat transfer paper with their 97** printer converted with DS inks.
    2. In the RIP. Make a new workflow and load the generated paper profile to it and
    print the IT8.
    3. Let it dry. (this will be a little quicker against w/o a RIP because only the right
    amount
    of ink is printed and controlled).
    4. Transfer the paper to the cloth with your heat press. (Verify machine temp and
    time).
    5. Read the IT8 with a spectrophotometer.
    6. Load the generated ICC to your adobe softwares.
    Viola!
    You can now predict the outcome of the colors when done at the heat press thus can do necessary adjustments prior to printing.

    *Each kind of cloth should of course be done with a different measurement.

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  14. #11
    Member PanozJani is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by ek3_mon View Post
    Hi TS,

    This is what I did for 1 of my clients.

    1. Linearize their heat transfer paper with their 97** printer converted with DS inks.
    2. In the RIP. Make a new workflow and load the generated paper profile to it and
    print the IT8.
    3. Let it dry. (this will be a little quicker against w/o a RIP because only the right
    amount
    of ink is printed and controlled).
    4. Transfer the paper to the cloth with your heat press. (Verify machine temp and
    time).
    5. Read the IT8 with a spectrophotometer.
    6. Load the generated ICC to your adobe softwares.
    Viola!
    You can now predict the outcome of the colors when done at the heat press thus can do necessary adjustments prior to printing.

    *Each kind of cloth should of course be done with a different measurement.
    I've done the same thing except that i did the linearization + ink limiting on the textile (t-shirt). So i now have two "cool" t-shirts with various testcharts on them and everybody wants one with it874 on it.

  15. #12
    Junior Member ek3_mon is on a distinguished road
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    Hi PAnizJani.
    That is indeed a very cool design. Very unique. I'd love to have one too!

    They could have done that also but when the profiling was done. They didnt even bother to stich up the cloth. It served its purpose though.

  16. #13
    tisoypinoy
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    I'm very familiar with dye sub printing and profiling. Question is, are you using a RIP or Regular printer driver. A RIP will give you better color control. Ask me any questions. I'd be happy to answer them.

  17. #14
    Junior Member swatch20 is on a distinguished road
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    If you use Onyx RIP I can send you profiles for dye-sub.

  18. #15
    Junior Member musquoni is on a distinguished road
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    If you pick up a Mimaki JV4 Onyx has some profiles already built in, but if not. I would pick up an I1 spectrophotometer, Print some generate some ink targets and heat press them to whatever media you are going to profile. Then use the I1 to measure the readings and your done.

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