PRETREATMENT SOLUTION FOR DTG PRINTING
There are many misconceptions about the DTG pretreatment of garments prior to printing on direct-to-garment (DTG) digital printers. Some people think the effect of pretreatment between manual pretreatment and machine pretreatment is not much different. What exactly is pretreatment? Why does proper pretreatment play an important role in the quality and wash fastness of images printed on DTG printers? All seem worth exploring.
How Does Pretreatment Device Work On Cotton Shirts?
Pretreatment before DTG printing, which allows anyone with a DTG printer to prepare a shirt for pint more effectively. You just set the amount of pretreatment liquid to match the garment, then load the shirt and push the button. That’s it!
What is Pretreatment for direct to garment?
Pretreatment is the process of applying chemical spray to clothing and then heating and drying it with a hot press or conveyor belt dryer; the chemical spray contains an adhesive, which acts as a medium for combining clothing fibers and white DTG ink, and also contains Salts that react with white ink and make it gel. The pretreatment solution not only allows the white ink to adhere to black and dark clothes, but also achieves maximum opacity to prevent the color of the clothes from showing through from the white ink. In short, the main purpose of the pretreatment is to provide opacity, while the adhesive in the pretreatment solution is to help adhesion and wash fastness.
The biggest challenge of DTG printing is pre-treatment step on cotton fabric. Too much or not enough pretreatment liquid spray can greatly affect the image print reslut. Without pretreatment, the garment will not absorb ink properly. Therefore, the DTG pretreatment process is crucial for high quality DTG printing.
Know Features Of DTG Pretreatment
Manual Pre-treatment: This is an old manual method. Firstly, place the T-shirt under a heat press platform to remove any moisture and smooth the surface before pretreatment. Next, start by spraying from left to right at the top and work your way down. Remember, you don’t have to print the entire t-shirt, just the area you need to print the design. After that, use a roller to apply the solution. It will flatten fabric fibers that may have occurred during pretreatment.
Machine Pre-treatment: The easiest and fastest way is to use a professional automatic machine. It is a closed device, and just need to push the button, the machine will start pretreating. You get the exact amount of spray in the same place at the same time. Nowadays some pre-pretreatment machines can also save settings for each garment type. When using a preconditioner, you must adjust the width of the spray pattern and the amount of solution dispensed. Also, make sure the machine is clean and maintained after each use.
Why need DTG Pretreatment?
- Prevent DTG ink penetration
The pretreatment of shirts is an important part of the DTG printing process as it acts as a primer for the inks used. Without it, your color may over-absorb and fade to a dull shade. If you don’t pretreat your shirt before printing, your shirt will look dull.
- More vivid color print result
Using pretreatment will make your white t-shirt print look better. While your print will look fine on a white shirt without pretreatment, with a properly pretreated base, the colors and structure will look more subtle and dynamic. In order to keep the dark tones looking clean and sharp, they need to be fixed a few things while they are in use.
When pre-treat T-shirts, we need to pay attention to the following points:
Volume–The right amount of prep to color and fabric is important for creating vibrant and stretchy prints. Too little and colors will appear dull, too much and prints may degrade when washed.
Drying— It is important to completely evaporate the water in the pretreatment solution before printing. We can use a heat press to flatten the fibers and create a smooth surface for each t-shirt for printing.
Printing and Curing— Now that our design files are ready, we’ve pre-processed our t-shirts, we’re ready to load and start printing.
Using The Right Pretreatment For Light & Dark Fabric
For Light Pretreatment:
Light pretreatment is primarily used for white t-shirts or materials. However, in many cases, you don’t need to pretreat white shirts. Keep in mind that with or without pretreatment, quality, color, and detail can vary differently. When and why should light pretreatment be used? When you plan to print white t-shirts, you will need to do a little pre-treatment. When you pretreat a white t-shirt, you will see some differences compared with shirts without pretreatment. The color will be deeper, richer and more vibrant.
When heat press, the pretreatment will play the role of a binder and improve washing fastness. You can also use different pastel colors. However, the color in the picture will still be determined based on the color of the t-shirt. The standard guideline is to follow the graphics colors you want to print. For darker colors, use light pretreatment.
For Dark Pretreatment:
The main function of the dark pretreatment is to create a surface on which white ink can be printed. If print without pretreating, your garment will likely dissolve with the fabric.
Why use dark pretreatment? It prevents the ink from staying wet and forming bubbles as the white ink drops on the shirt surface and starts to mix on contact with the pretreatment. It provides an ink surface for printing and does not bleed or mix.
When the shirt is placed on the heat press, it activates the pretreatment as a binder so the print can get into the fibers and mix well. Purchasing ink and pretreatment from your manufacturer will ensure the item is 100% authentic and will fit perfectly into your t-shirt.