Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuesday Trivia Tie-in #23 - Computer Circuit Board Tie

Welcome to Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where I invite and encourage everyone to join, with a post about something they find interesting.

This week I will also be joining

at Coastal Charm for
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday


at A Picture is Worth 1000 Words for
2nd time around Tuesday

So please check out those two parties to see lots of Nifty Thrifty and Secondhand treasures.

My posts are usually about one of the ties in my collection, but yours can be about anything! I only ask that you include some little known information that relates to your topic.

My tie this week is a Ralph Marlin Design, Created in 1994, titled Computer Circuit Board. It shows the internal parts of a computer, including circuit boards, wiring, IC Chips, and the inside of a power supply.

This is one of the ties I got in my Great Tie Purchase where I bought a whole bunch of ties, at the indoor flea market, for what worked out to about 28 cents each.

Like many of the Ralph Marlin Ties from the 90's this tie is 100% polyester. That is because the primary method for printing on fabrics in the 90's was sublimation, (or dye-sublimation) a process that worked best on synthetic fibers.

So now, how about some information about how dye sublimation works.

Sublimation is the name for the process that allows you to take a picture with a digital camera, print it out on your home printer, and iron it onto a t-shirt.

Sublimation is a chemical process where a solid is transformed directly to a gas, without ever becoming a liquid. Imagine going from an ice cube to steam, without ever being water.

Sublimation dye goes from a solid powdered toner, to a gas, when heat and pressure are applied, then, as it cools down, it quickly changes back to a solid. The dyes used in image transferring are designed to bond with polymers as they cool, so they bond with polyester, but not cotton. The higher a content of polyester in your target fabric, the brighter and cleaner your color transfer will be.

Many dye sublimation printers are available today, so people can replicate this process at home, but in the mid 90's this was a commercial process that required a lot of specialized equipment.

Today, you can scan a photo, print it with a sublimation printer and iron it onto almost anything. You can do a photo quality transfer within minutes.

In 1990-1992 I worked in the custom order department at a commercial uniform supply company. We had big machines that would make sublimation transfers one color at a time, If we wanted a two color image, we had to cut parts of one transfer and paste them to parts of another to get both colors. It was a long time consuming process, with lots of room for errors.

Then we had huge presses that would apply great pressure and heat at the same time to transfer the image to a shirt or a hat, or a patch that would be sewn onto a uniform.

Intricate or detailed projects could be jobbed out, but that was expensive. Photo quality images were not even possible for us at that time, although there was talk of machines that would be able to do this in the future.

My tie of the week, would have been printed in 1994, using what was cutting edge breakthrough technology at that time.

Now, anyone with a home computer can buy sublimation toner cartridges and print their own tie just like this at home.

Why anyone would want a tie just like this is a mystery to me. This is not a tie I see myself wearing very often. but as they say, there is no accounting for taste.

OK, now it's your turn.
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.
Read all about it here


  1. Hi Troy
    This is very informative! Thank you for linking to 2nd Time Around!

  2. Troy that is a wild tie!! Love the info! Sorry I've missed this week. I am just plum out of energy for a trivia post this week. Hope you are feeling better.

  3. Wow, this post is so interesting. I am still a bit confused at what is expected of me. I will leave a comment and click on the 'Read all about it here' If I figure it out I will try to play along. I am olden so don't expect too much. HA!


  4. Hi Troy, I came back to tell you I love the way you think. I am with you totally on not going quietly into the dark. I am in deep thought at what I can possibly contribute to your awesome ideas. I am pondering this seriously. In the meantime I will be a 'watcher.'