October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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70 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 DIRECT-TO-GARMENT I know you can print on cotton with direct-to-garment, but what about 100 percent polyester garments? This has been a very popular ques- tion over the years. For the last decade, the answer has been no. Traditionally, only cotton and cotton blends can be printed with direct-to-garment. This last year has seen some major develop- ments for ink and printers, and one of them has been poly ink. The main dif- ference when going from one fabric to another is different heat press or curing settings. Right now, polyester-friendly ink is limited and available from only a few manufacturers, but it should start to become the standard very soon. PAUL GREEN, OMNIPRINT INTERNATIONAL Can you use a conveyor dryer instead of a heat press to cure a direct-to-garment print? A conveyor dryer can be used to cure most direct-to-garment ink, as long as the conveyor dryer has adequate airflow throughout the drying chamber. Air and heat both are needed as direct-to- garment ink is water-based and you will need to evaporate all of the water from the ink to en- sure that it is fully cured. MATT RHOME, EPSON How do I know how much pretreat I am applying to my garment? The best way to find out exactly how much pretreatment you are applying is by using a digital gram scale. Place an empty bucket and untreated shirt on a scale, and zero out the scale. Remove the shirt from the bucket, and pretreat it using your standard method. Place the pretreated shirt back into the bucket on the scale. Subtract the previous number from the new number, and this will be the amount of pretreatment you applied to your garment. TAYLOR LANDESMAN, LAWSON SCREEN & DIGITAL PRODUCTS To determine just how much pretreatment you're applying to a shirt, use a digital gram scale. (Image courtesy Melco)

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