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 3 PRETREAT PROPERLY This goes back to testing, quality control, and documenting everything. Make sure your pretreat machine settings are right as this forms the base of quality D2 printing. You want between 28–32 grams of pretreat solution for the average T-shirt. One "pro tip" for pretreating your garments is to use a heat press for about 5–7 seconds right before printing if you pre-treated ahead of time. This smooths out wrinkles, removes any moisture in the garment, and creates a smooth printing surface. CURING D2 production shops all use conveyor dry- ers. It allows for faster production times, both for curing pretreat solution and cur- ing D2 ink. One of the most important factors in choosing a dryer for D2 print- ing is the amount of CFM (cubic feet per minute). Since D2 ink is water-based, removing moisture is key to a quick and thoroughly dried garment. Dryers that produce a high amount of CFM will dry shirts quicker and better. PERFORM REQUIRED MAINTENANCE It cannot be overstated that the required maintenance must be performed to keep your D2 printer in the best condition. Missing even a day or two can have big consequences on printing quality and the ability of your printer to function at peak performance. Your D2 machine likes a clean and com- fortable environment. This includes being in a climate-controlled area with an aver- age amount of humidity. Invest in a tem- perature gauge with a humidity display. Seeing this information on display is a helpful reminder. HIGH-QUALITY ARTWORK IS KEY Use only high-quality artwork. Some- times you might have to explain to your customer what that means and why an iPhone picture might not produce a good D2 print. These are just some helpful tips that you can learn from large production D2 print shops and start using in your shop today. Try implementing them into your own shop for better D2 production. PW Taylor Landesman is the vice president at Lawson Screen & Digital Products Inc. Previously, he worked as an attorney for the State of Illinois, Department of Insurance, handling regulatory and litigation matters. During law school, he was a Senior Editor on the Journal of Law & Policy at Washington University in the St. Louis School of Law. Use only high-quality artwork. You might have to explain to a customer why an iPhone picture might not produce a good D2 print. (Image courtesy ColDesi)

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