There are lots of ways to make money off your favorite hobby, but sublimation is one of the best markets to get into. Here’s all you need to know about the sublimation apparel, heat transfer, and the software you need to make money off your small craft business.
Understanding the Market
There’s plenty of room to get ahead these days. Every year there are about two billion t-shirts sold around the world. Americans along buy a lot of shirts: 62% of us claim to own more than 10. A lot of these come from fundraisers, such as those done for schools. The average product fundraiser is making schools and other non-profit organizations $3,100; which is why holding them is so popular. Promotional products are a big market. Over half the people in America have a promotional item they use at least once a week, and 91% have at least one in their kitchen.
The Place of Crafting
A survey done by Etsy of 5,500 of its sellers in the United States found that 88% of them are women. Crafters also tend to run young. About 28% are older than 55, 37% are between 35 and 52, and a full 35% are younger than 34 years old. Etsy’s survey also found that 97% of crafters were working their software, heat press vinyl sheets, and mug press from their own home, with more than 70% considering it a business and not just a hobby.
Sublimation is the best way to personalize any item, from mugs to keychains, t-shirts to phone cases. Sublimation has been around a long time, but only recent decades has it become cost-effective to use it in something as small as a home business. New software and better processes mean that sublimation is feasible for the home crafter. With sublimation, ink is heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This turns the ink to a gas and that gas forms a permanent bond with white or light colored items. This is far more durable than previous methods.
How to Make a Sublimated Product
The first thing needed is the right software to create or import artwork. Printing from the software generated image onto something like a printable heat transfer vinyl using sublimation inks, you then transfer the image. This can be done with a mug press, a vacuum heating press, or other machines depending on what precisely is being made.
It’s easy to get started with sublimation. There are companies that can set you up with all the basics you need to start customizing products for sale on Etsy or through other methods. Start making money, and start having fun, making your own personalized products today!