June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J U N E P R I N T W E A R 5 1 their customers. During testing, you want to check both for color brilliance and washfastness. Printing on polyester is now achievable with D2. The issue is not whether you can actually print on polyester but the wash- fastness of the print. By nature, polyester material is designed to repel water and be resistant to 'stains.' D2 ink is water-based, so when printing on poly garments, the garment thinks it is being 'stained' by the ink and reacts by trying to prevent it. This natural reaction of repelling the ink does not show up during printing but manifests itself during washing. The D2 ink does not adhere to the polyester fi- bers as well as cotton and tends to lose its color brilliance during washing. Some pretreatments allow for D2 printing on 100% polyester garments. However, due to the nature of the polyester weave, the prints look different when compared to D2 printing on cotton. QUALITY CONTROL CHECK Make sure you perform quality control tests on your D2 prints. This is especially true when setting up a new process or get- ting ready to start offering a new type or style of shirt. Some of the key things to test are: 1) various amounts of pretreatment fluid, 2) pretreat and ink curing times, and 3) printer settings. It is also very impor- tant to incorporate wash tests into your QC check. You will want to wash and dry different D2 printed garments to ensure washfastness and see if the color fades in the wash. A part of this quality control check is to help you decide what options your clients have. For instance, many screen printers are comfortable printing on one certain brand of T-shirts that are notoriously dif- ficult for D2 printing. Through prior testing, you will know what the customer should expect and can effectively set ex- pectations. Testing garments and different techniques will let you know whether that service is something you should offer. Moving from a smaller to a larger scale D2 production facility takes planning and an understanding of the more nu- anced and technical side of D2. (Im- ages courtesy Tee Shirt Palace)

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