Printwear

2014 Resource Directory

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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42 | Printwear M i d - M a rc h 20 1 4 20 1 4 M i d - M a rc h Printwear | 43 T here are a multitude of variables with any production process that can cause chaos and frustration if they aren't correctly controlled and understood. This is especially true with the digital direct-to-substrate/garment (D2) printing industry. Though it has been around for several years now, the industry is still very much in its infancy, which means that processes, equipment, and user interaction and methods are still very fluid. Here, we'll look at many of the significant variables that play a role in getting a good, finished product. The GarmenT Any building is only as good as the foundation it is built upon, and this especially applies to the digital printing process. The foundation I am talking about here is the shirt. Ring-spun cotton shirts with high thread counts provide the smoothest surface, with fewer instances of fibrillation (where the fibers poke through the print). The smoother the shirt, the more dense the knit (you can't print on air gaps in the weave of the shirt), and the better the final print. While cotton is the preferred fabric, it is possible to print on polyester and poly blends. The issue with these athletic garments is that the same great characteristics that help wick moisture away from the skin also have a tendency to make the water-based digital inks "run." This does not allow for a sharp- How To... b y b r i a n w a l k e r Digital Results Get Good PW_MidMarch14.indd 42 2/28/14 1:23 PM

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