Other than testing and choosing the right garment, proper pretreating is the second of two primary factors contributing to a quality print. It is common for decorators to look elsewhere when determining the cause of a less than acceptable image on the garment. More often than not, it is in fact the pretreating that is the true culprit.
By applying too little pretreatment to the garment, the image will appear dull and washed out. The pretreatment solution gives you a barrier for the water base ink to set upon. Curing will start as soon as the ink makes contact with the pretreatment on the garment. An application of too little pretreatment will result in the ink absorbing into the fabric.
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For most garment decorating (screen printing, transfers, etc.), the actual choice in garments has little impact upon the finished product. In other words, most any garment you buy will decorate basically the same. The opposite is true of direct-to-garment printing. Garment selection, both brand and construction, is a critical step in producing an ideal finished product.
What comes as a surprise to many current decorators who add direct-to-garment to their offerings, is that some of the popular and common brands they’re already using may not be ideal for DTG printing. But with the growth of this form of decoration, more and more manufacturers are creating garments specifically for DTG printing.
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