Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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81 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 some handy automatic features, Bolsini stresses that there is still a learning curve. In addition to routine maintenance that differs slightly from other equipment, some other components include: Fabric construction: DTG has advanced quite a bit since the printers first came onto the market, but Tom Rumbaugh, ColDesi, says that fabric construction is one of the biggest things decorators will want to pay close atten- tion to. "Shirt styles, cuts, and fabrics are constantly changing," he notes. "You can't just throw in any shirt with any fab- ric mix and expect perfect results." While cotton or other natural fiber- based shirts are typically recommended for DTG, parties contend that it may take some experimenting to find which shirt works best for a shop since the construc- tion of a cotton T-shirt varies among manufacturers. Regardless of brand, "Your best prints will be on substrates that have the tightest weaves and where the surface is really smooth," suggests Terry Combs, Equipment Zone. Pretreatment: Pretreating a gar- ment for DTG printing is a crucial step that decorators will want to familiarize themselves with. Depending on volume and budget, this step can be done manu- ally with a power sprayer or an automatic pretreatment system. (Image courtesy Brother) (Image courtesy Brother) Frequency: Unlike other equip- ment such as an embroidery machine or a screen-printing press, a DTG printer will typically perform better if it is run frequently. "An idle printer is not good because you'll run into problems with print heads," Bolsini explains. If a printer sits unused for too long, ink can clog the system, causing a headache for both the shop owner and its customers. Humidity: A crucial part of running a DTG printer, Combs says that proper humidity often goes hand-in-hand with Decorators can use DTG for jobs that feature detailed, photorealistic artwork. (Image courtesy ColDesi)

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