October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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To show the effects of pretreat on white, the left side of this T has no pretreatment while the right side is pretreated. (Image courtesy Image Armour) Do we need to pretreat every direct-to-garment printed shirt, even if it is only a white shirt? No. The direct-to-garment inks on the market are designed to primarily work with 100 percent cotton shirts. However, there are reasons you want to pretreat every shirt, including white 100 percent cotton shirts. Pre- treatment is almost like a primer that helps the ink better adhere to the shirt during washing, as well as increase vi- brancy and clarity, so it can only ben- efit every shirt you print. BRIAN WALKER, IMAGE ARMOUR Direct-to-Garment Q & Q & Q A & A & Is white ink still a problem with direct-to-garment printers? Over the years direct-to-garment printers have had a stigma of being a nightmare when it comes to white ink. It really is going to depend on the machine you buy and what price range you enter in at. Most of the DIY or entry-level printers will require daily maintenance and have a low downtime for safe use. As you step up a little more in price you will start to see things like ink circulation and wet capping that help with the white ink. White ink has a very heavy pigment that over time will separate and then clog if not at- tended to, It's the same with a can of white house paint; you have to stir it. Circulation is going to help keep the white moving and extend downtime with your machine. Wet capping actually keeps the nozzles of the print head submerged in cleaning solution so it can't clog. This gives you extended downtime. In the big picture, yes, printers have come a long way and are much safer using white ink, but it will depend on the machine and price range. PAUL GREEN, OMNIPRINT 98 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5

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