Here at Ink Cafe Colours, where we produce our own DTG Pretreatment, we know the importance of fabric preparation and applying Pretreatment correctly to ensure that the white ink can be showed off at its best.
The purpose of the Pretreatment is to act as a barrier that stops the white ink layer from soaking into the fabric and therefore losing print sharpness, definition and outline.
Poor application of Pretreatment will result in some really poor quality prints.
If you apply too little pretreatment solution the white ink will have a mottled appearance after printing; while applying too much pretreatment will have a serious impact on the wash fastness of your print. The white layer may also peel off or crack and the garment have a stiff handle and feel.
We recommend that prior to commencing you press your garments for about 10 seconds. Firstly, this flattens the garment fibres and second it removes any moisture that may have accrued in the garment during storage. We always apply our pretreatment using a spray gun set with a wide fan. If you choose to follow we recommend you hang the garment against a board and stand the board upright.
Starting top left move the spray gun across the garment continuously move across and down left to right, right to left in an even movement. Once you reach the bottom continue spraying in an even movement in the same manner, back up to where you started. Repeat the process once more to the bottom of the garment.
The pretreated garment needs to be dried before any print can be applied therefore place on a heat press and cover treated area with a silicon sheet or parchment paper. Set the Press on a medium pressure for a maximum of 10 seconds, at 160°C. by medium pressure I mean around 1.5bar We have an area on our website where users can request technical data sheets help them understand the technical aspects of pretreatment application.
We recently ran our pretreatment in some comparison tests against some of our competitor’s pretreatments and there were some interesting differences. Our pretreatment cures at a lower temperature, in less time and when producing prints of equal quality we established that you use 33% less of our pretreatment per garment than you do that of our competitors.