Printwear

September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1) Singles (the diameter of the thread used) 2) Fiber protrusions (fibrillation) 3) Weave density (stitch count) 4) Softeners and dyes used (manu- facturers will never share dye and softener details) If you want quality direct-to-garment prints, then you have to print on gar- ments with low fibrillation, and high thread count. What's more, the dyes and softeners should not interact with the pretreat solution under heat. The more you know about the garment, the more you can predict how your finished product will look. Ask lots of questions to your shirt supplier, and chart your printing results based on the above four criteria. CRITICAL PRETREAT FACTORS The dirty little secret that few talk about is the critical nature of the pretreat pro- cess and its effect on direct-to-garment printing. It can even be the most crit- ical factor in determining a quality di- rect-to-garment print. DIRECT-TO- GARMENT TECHNOLOGY Above: To measure the amount of pretreat applied to a shirt, first weigh the shirt and apply the pretreatment. Measure the garment again to see the difference. (Im- age courtesy Lawson Screen & Digital Products) Left: Environmental conditions play a large role in the output quality of direct-to-garment. Consider documenting the room temperature and humidity. These environmental factors are much more im- portant than most people realize. It's probably worth the investment of a good tem- perature and humidity gauge. (Image courtesy Lawson Screen & Digital Products) This photo shows a great amount of fibrillation; it even shows through a thick depos- it of plastisol ink. With its tre- mendous fibrillation, think how much worse this same shirt would look when printing with a direct-to-garment white ink. The amount of fibrillation is a direct consequence of the garment itself, thread count, and the pro- cessing techniques used by the manufacturer. (Image courtesy International Coating Company) rect-to-garment print. Above: and apply the pretreatment. Measure the garment again to see the difference. (Im age courtesy Lawson Screen & Digital Products) a large role in the output quality of direct-to-garment. Consider documenting the room temperature and humidity. These environmental factors are much more im portant than most people realize. It's probably worth the investment of a good tem perature and humidity gauge. (Image courtesy Lawson Screen & Digital Products) 96 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5

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