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How To: Iron-on-Ink Magical Dish Towel

    August 11, 2022

    Transcribed from the Artesprix Blog of almost the same title: October 18, 2022.

    This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, but I may get compensated. All thoughts and reviews of the products used are my own.

    Hi, Artesprix Designer Chelsea here! I love the idea of magic assisting with everyday tasks. I have used the magic of Artesprix sublimation ink to decorate the August Blank of the Month – a Dish Towel! Bonus, my favorite wizarding world’s main character had a birthday at the end of July and is on his way to magic school September 1st. So, let’s embed the charm “Scourgify” (to scour or clean surfaces) onto our new Dish Towel to boost its already absorbent qualities!

    This project to create an Iron-on-Ink Magical Dish Towel will show you how to use an electronic cutting machine and a pencil to create designs to color in when you want to copy a particular font or file without using a printer or light table.

    sublimation dish towel with artesprix markers

    What is Sublimation Ink?

    So it is not actually magic, but this science-steeped style of personalization is really close to magic! Using markers, stamp pads or paint made with sublimation ink you create a design on paper and then with heat and pressure, transfer to a blank polyester-based or coated substrate (like these dish towels). The design changes to a gas form and binds to the compatible substrate. After the blank cools the design is fused to the (no-longer) blank substrate! No peeling off, no scratching off, it is lifetime permanent, this means we can wash our Dish Towel over and over. 

    sublimation markers polyester dish towel

    Materials for Iron-on-Ink Magical Dish Towel:

    Step-by-step Tutorial for Iron-on-Ink Magical Dish Towel:

    Step 1: 

    First, it is important to know the size of your dish towel. In your software application make a rectangle the same dimensions of the blank substrate so you have an idea how big to make your design. You can measure the Dish Towel or look at the packaging. If you are not using a cutting machine to draw your design a mirror image, just make your template on paper by measuring your desired design space before proceeding.

    design software with sublimation text

    Step 2: 

    Load regular copy paper into your machine. Choose a font and add whatever design elements you would like. Ensure the settings are set to mirror and fit a pencil (with a rubber band) in the correct slot of your machine. It may take a couple tries to draw your design, just reposition the pencil and restart.

    design with pencil before adding artesprix markers

    Step 3: 

    After the mirrored pencil template is done, you can add color to your design with whichever Artesprix medium you want! I chose the markers for this magic inspired phrase in gray, blue, and brown.  

    finished artesprix marker design for dish towel

    Step 4: 

    Next, prepare the template for transfer. On fabric, it’s best to have a torn edge on the blank as to help avoid harsh “press lines”. Preheat your heat source now to 380° F.

    design secured to dish towel with heat tape before transfer

    Step 5: 

    Secure your completed Artesprix Design face-down with heat resistant tape. If you are using a heat press, only 3 or 4 pieces is necessary. 

    sublimation project with protective paper before transfer

    Step 6: 

    Next, prepare the secured design for transferring by creating a “Sublimation Sandwich”. Use two pieces of Artesprix protective paper larger than your blank to protect your work surfaces from migrating ink. You want to have a piece of protective paper below the blank and on top of the design. 

    Step 7: 

    This blank calls for transfer specifications of 380°F for 60 seconds with only medium pressure. To double check the recommended press times go to Artesprix’s directions site.

    sublimation marker design on polyester towel after transfer

    Step 8: 

    After 60 seconds has elapsed it’s time for the “peek test”! Be careful, the blank is hot! Try to peek without removing the tape, that way if the project needs more time, your design is still lined up, which will prevent ghosting!

    artesprix marker design before and after transfer

    Step 9: 

    While the blank is still hot, remove the template design and the tape and quickly go over the design with a lint roller to help refluff the waffle pattern of the dish towel.

    Artesprix sublimation marker design on polyester dish towel

    Now if only it was as easy as this to clean my kitchen! But seriously, every time I use this Scourgify Artesprix Dish Towel I will smile and revel in the magic.

    artesprix dish towel personalized with iron-on-ink markers

    Conclusion for the Iron-on-Ink Magical Dish Towel:

    Hope you enjoyed seeing how to use your electronic cutting machine to draw a design in pencil that you can color in with a range of Artesprix sublimation materials. I can see that I could have pressed my towel with a slightly heavier hand, but I was slightly impatient when doing my “peek test” and removed the tape, so it would not have been a good idea to try and repress. On the other hand, if you press too hard you lose the waffle weave texture and I certainly did not want that to happen.

    Finally, don’t forget to visit the Artesprix Facebook Group where Makers are always sharing inspirational projects. Really like seeing sublimation on fabric? Check out this post with sublimation paint on a zippered canvas case. If you want to see what I’m up to in Japan, come follow along over on instagram (I put lots of fun foods that we try in my stories). Thank you for reading and would love to see what you make next!

    Happy Creating! 

    Chelsea Rose 

    **This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, but I may get compensated.** 

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