Those dreaded flecks of ink on our sublimation blank t-shirts, pillow covers, koozies, hat patches, garden flags and other soft goods are our enemy when it comes to sublimating. What a frustrating experience to open up your heat press only to find those mysterious speckles we can't see with our naked eye, yet heat brings them out like snow on a moonlit night.
There are several ways to combat stray lint speckles--and lint rolling is the key one when it comes to sublimation. A simple lint roller with sticky tape should be run over EVERYTHING you attempt to sublimate that is fabric in nature. You may not see the lint, but it is there ready to ruin a perfectly nice blank.
When it comes to lint rolling, be rabid about it. Roll, roll, roll and roll some more. Don't be stingy or slack about lint rolling your soft good oriented blanks. Better to spend a few moments rolling your blank than tossing it in the trash because it has been marred by specks of ink. Buy the best quality lint roller you can get, and you get bonus points if you get one with pet hair in mind. They are extra sticky! Have plenty of extra replacement tape rolls ready to go in your craft room, and change out your sheets often.
If lint plagues your subbed items, try to create artwork that has a busy pattern or use dark backgrounds to fend off lint. Don't think that hard goods such as MDF can't also suffer from lint and dust specks, too. Lightly wipe down hardboard and metal sublimation blanks with alcohol to keep stray lint at bay. When it comes to banning lint, preparation with your sublimation blanks upfront makes all the difference.