Printwear

2018 Digital Direct Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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6 • THE DIGITAL DIRECT REPORT • 2018 W e are often asked what amount of pretreatment should be applied to a shirt to achieve the best print. This is a ques- tion with many variables that requires thought and good record keeping so that consistent, predictable results can be achieved each and every time you turn on your D2 printer. Several of the variables that will affect the amount of pretreatment applied to the shirt to achieve an optimal print are as follows: • Shirt color • Shirt weight • Type of yarn and construction (open ended, carded, combed, etc.) • Any chemicals used during the manufacturing of the garment • Type and concentration of pretreatment • How the pretreatment is applied THE BASICS There are some generalities that should be considered when asked how much pretreatment should be applied. A lighter colored shirt will require less pretreatment than a darker colored shirt. This is due to the optics of the shirt itself and the hiding power of the white ink on that specific colored shirt. Obviously, a light gray shirt will not require as much pretreatment or ink to achieve a bright white as does a red or black shirt. The shirt weight, fabric type, and construction of the garment will also affect the amount of pretreatment required. Remember that we are inkjet printing. The D2 machine will spit out billions of tiny little droplets of ink during the printing process. If the weave of the fabric is very loose or thin, there will be a lot of "air gaps" in the weave of the fabric. These gaps do not provide a surface for the jet- THE PRETREATMENT DANCE …and finding your tempo B Y B R I A N W A L K E R The shirt weight, fabric type, and construction of the gar- ment will also affect the amount of pretreatment required. (All images courtesy the author)

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