Start Here October '20

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Direct-to-Substrate S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 64 I have often heard the phrase "just grab a shirt." After all, it is just a T-shirt, right? Grab it. Print it. Give it to the customer. But in the direct-to-garment (DTG) printing market, you must grab the right shirt for the job. Just any shirt may not give you the results you are look- ing for to make your customers happy. These results of how well a shirt prints can vary widely based on a lot of factors: the type of pretreatment used, how much pretreatment is applied to the shirt, the printer settings, even the inks used to create a direct-to-garment print. But one of the most overlooked variables is the shirt itself. There are many varieties and types of shirts. For our illustrative purposes, we look at keeping all the variables the same—pretreatment used, how much Brian Walker started in the garment decorating industry in the mid-1980s when he learned screen printing while in high school. Over the years, he has started several direct-to-garment-related businesses, including I-Group Technologies that makes the Viper pretreatment machines, Image Armor (pretreatments and inks), as well as RTP Apparel, which produces Ready To Print garments that require no pretreatment to be printed. By Brian Walker How the shirt affects how much pretreatment is needed to get a good DTG print When a Shirt is Not Just a Shirt (Image courtesy of ColDesi)

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