100% Black Polyester with Image Armor ULTRA and 10 Washes In (Using Epson OEM Inks)

An update on our Epson OEM inks and Image Armor ULTRA pretreatment print on a Black 100% Polyester Sport-Tek ST340 shirt: 10 washes in and still absolutely no degradation in the image. It looks incredible with the white ink still extremely white and the reds still popping.  Again, this was printed on the Epson F2100 with OEM inks. We just used Image Armor ULTRA and pretreated like normal, printing like normal. 

So, if anyone tells you it is not possible… I think this disproves that.  See our original article here: http://imagearmorpt.com/printing-black-100-polyester-with-the-epson-f2100-and-oem-ink/

100% Black Polyester DTG Printing with Epson F2100 and OEM Ink is Possible

Printing BLACK 100% Polyester with the Epson F2100 and OEM Ink

100% Black Polyester DTG Printing with Epson F2100 and OEM Ink is PossiblePRINTING 100% POLYESTER WITH THE EPSON F2100

We just got our new Epson F2100 DTG printer in for testing and wanted to show you what you can do with the Image Armor DTG pretreatment products.  We are excited to report our first tests and we started with 100% Black polyester fabrics.

We took a Sport-Tek ST340 Black polyester shirt and pretreated it with Image Armor ULTRA. We heat pressed the pretreatment completely dry and then printed the polyester shirt as we would any other 100% cotton garment. We did increase the white underbase from 0% to a 20% increase in white (which may not have been needed) and then let the printer do its thing (We used the highest quality setting for the WHITE and the Color layers). After printing we cured the inks using extremely LIGHT pressure on a regular heat press and cured the ink at a full 338F for 90 seconds (using a kraft cover sheet). I did actually allow the print to sit under the heat press for a few minutes prior to pressing.

The direct to garment print we got was INCREDIBLE looking. White and red ink on a black 100% polyester shirt. I love the stark contrast of those colors, but what was even more striking was the print in the picture here has already been washed 4 times already. FOUR. 

There is virtually NO degradation on the print at all. The shirt looks incredible and will continue to wash incredible due to the Image Armor technology that can be used for 100% cotton and some polyester fabrics. So, if anyone tells you you need a special pretreatment, special ink, or special printer, don’t believe them (though we do discuss below the fact that the Image Armor pretreatments ARE NOT a magic silver bullet for polyester printing)! It is possible and this test print proves it.

We will be exploring the best settings for doing this type of polyester printing with a conveyor dryer to help you achieve similar results minus the heat press marks (coming soon) as well as best practices for using heat presses to avoid press mark issues.

Now, we will preface this article with a disclaimer. You will NOT be able to do ALL polyester fabrics. There are NO MAGIC SILVER BULLETS when it comes to DTG and polyester printing. Dye migration is still an extremely pesky issue we will have to deal with when DTG printing (for a short while longer). So, doing RED colored polyester shirts will still be elusive. Even some LIGHTER colored shirts may react adversely with the pretreatment when applied and heated. This is usually related to an interaction of the dyes and the pretreatment. So, a lot of testing may be in order to find certain brands and colors that WILL work for you and the Image Armor ULTRA project. However, BLACK polyester will be one of the EASIEST 100% polyester shirts to print (depending on the brand and style # used).

But, with this test we end up showing that if you own an Epson F2100 printer with OEM inks, you CAN print polyester TODAY.

 

RTP Apparel Utilizing Image Armor Technology with the New M&R Maverick DTG Printer is a Production Machine

There were some exciting new developments that were unveiled at the 2019 Printing United (formerly known as SGIA) in Dallas during the October 23rd-25th 2019 show. M&R showcased their newest Direct To Garment printer the Maverick. This new DTG printer had some very unique and new additions that would appear to help propel direct to garment printing to higher productivity outputs. The addition to heat presses in the printer to “prepress” the shirts prior to printing as well as what appeared to be quartz heating elements on either side of the print head carriage helped add to the production capabilities of this unique printer.

When RTP Apparel was added to the mix, the Maverick became a real production output machine. RTP Apparel requires NO PRETREATING but should be heat pressed prior to printing. Since the new M&R Maverick does this in the machine for a few seconds prior to printing, true PICK PRINT CURE productivity in DTG can now be achieved. 

As of the time of this blog article, there were no direct information on the new Maverick available on the web. But, the short video below definitely gives an idea of how this machine can be used in DTG to benefit certain shops by streamlining the entire production process.

 

See What is Coming in 2020 to RTP Apparel at Printing United

Make sure to come to the Dallas SGIA/Printing United show October 23rd-25th at the Dallas convention center. We will be exhibiting some new products that will be available in 2020 with even more exciting additions to come.

RTP Apparel produces the worlds first and leading DTG Ready To Print apparel line that makes DTG printing easier. The garments require NO PRETREATING. Just PICK, PRINT, and CURE. 

So, make sure to carve out some time and stop by booth #2007 to see what is new and how RTP Apparel can change the way you DTG. Visit our RTP Apparel website for more information.

To What Degree Do Different Shirts Really Affect My DTG Printing?

Direct To Garment printing should be easy, right? Just load the graphic, the shirt, and press the PRINT button. But anyone who has ever done DTG printing knows that there is a LOT more to it than just that. Even though there are a lot of moving parameters in DTG printing, they can be overcome and tamed. You just need to have a little knowledge working on your side to tame the DTG beast.

It seems that 80% of all DTG printing problems relate back to improper pretreatment, or preparation, of the shirt prior to printing. Pretreating is the "foundation" of your DTG house. A poor pretreating job results in a poor print. But, what kind of impact does the foundation of your pretreatment job, the actual T-Shirt itself, do to your DTG print?

To explore this a little further, we utilized a new Wedge Step Test developed for the Viper MAXX pretreatment machine, but this can easily be recreated on many of the pretreatment machines on the market. The Wedge Step Test allows you to print an image across a wide range of pretreatment applications. Think of it as several columns of pretreatment across the shirt. But each individual column is set to a differing amount of pretreatment. You might start at 10 grams on the left and increase it by 5 grams in each column. The far right column of pretreatment might end up being 35 grams. 

This is exactly what we did with our Viper MAXX and Image Armor pretreatments. 

WHAT DOES THIS ALLOW?
This allows us to take a finished shirt that we want to print on and explore how differing levels of pretreatments and different print settings react with the pretreatment applied to the shirt. This means we can find the MOST optimal amount of pretreatment for our pretreat used, the shirt, and ink sets for that particular DTG printer. By analyzing a white block that is printed horizontally across the pretreated Wedge Steps, we can see how the opacity increases. The more pretreatment at a particular ink setting being printed should get more opaque (more white) as it is printed on increasingly more pretreatment. At some point there will be NO increase in opacity between a Wedge Step. This would then indicate the optimal amount of pretreatment for that shirt for that particular pretreatment and DTG printer ink settings.

DO DIFFERENT SHIRTS REALLY AFFECT OUR DTG PRINTS?
We decided to duplicate the Wedge Step Test on 3 different shirts. In this article we are not going to name the specific shirts, but we labeled them Shirt 1, Shirt 2 and Shirt 3. We pretreated each shirt with our Wedge Step Test document on the Viper MAXX (making this test super easy) and then printed on an Epson F2000 a white bar at the default LEVEL 2 setting for white ink and then the maxed out LEVEL 3 white (all without any additional white ink deposited).

Our conclusion is this: YES, THE SHIRT PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN HOW YOUR DTG PRINTS WILL LOOK. 

You could say that this was already commonly known. But let's take a look at our graphic showing all 3 shirts and the WEDGE STEP TEST with the white bar printed across it. Remember that all factors EXCEPT THE SHIRT were exactly the same. (Clicking on the image above will bring up the full resolution of the image so you can more easily see the differences in pretreatment used).

Please note that on the F2000 the LEVEL 2 was the SINGLE PASS white and the LEVEL 3 was a DOUBLE PASS white. 

With all parameters being the same, you can see the varying amounts of pretreatment from 10-11g on the far left and increasing by 5 grams until we hit 35 grams (for a 14"x14" area) on the right side of the shirt. There is an OBVIOUS difference in how the white looks on the shirts.

First, a single pass of white will not look nearly as well as a double pass of white. However, printing both a single pass and double pass side by side like this allows us to see varying differences and qualities that allow us to select which pretreatment amount and ink settings will yield us the best print FOR A PARTICULAR SHIRT STYLE and COLOR.

It can be seen in our initial print test that there was a HUGE variance in the quality of the white box printed. The worst SHIRT required almost 30-35 grams on the double pass white to look great. The best shirt was somewhere in the 10-15 gram range. This means on the best shirt, SHIRT 3,  that any pretreatment application above 15 grams would have been a waste of material. 

Wedge Step Test for PretreatmentTHE CONCLUSION
The basic conclusion of this test opened many more questions, but revealed one thing. It is that the brand and style of shirt can play a HUGE impact on the final product that you produce. The better shirt was able to get a fantastic print with just 10-15 grams of pretreatment applied (SHIRT 3). The worst of the three shirts required 30-35 grams of pretreatment and still did not give as good a final print (SHIRT 2). This means we would either need to increase the pretreatment amount even more, potentially making the shirt even stiffer than normal and opening the doors to serious discoloration or burning of the shirt, and/or increase the amount of ink applied to achieve the same look as the best print by SHIRT 3. 

This basically means that you might save some money on a cheaper shirt, but you will end up spending more on ink and pretreatment to make the print look better. Less ink, less pretreatment means a softer looking shirt that costs you less BUT still looks great. The interesting thing here was that SHIRT 2, the worst of our three shirts tested, was NOT a cheaper shirt, which we found extremely interesting.

Knowing the results from this test equals more money in your pocket - and hopefully more repeat business from happy customers.

Image Armor Adds Print Equipment of Germany as New Dealer

SEPTEMBER 18th, 2019

Image Armor is proud to announce that Print Equipment of Ottersweier, Germany is now carrying the Image Armor pretreatments for the DTG industry.

Print Equipment is best known for their wide line of wide format printers and sublimation solutions and carries a full line of supporting sublimation equipment, toners, foils, transfer presses and now the PolyPrint DTG garment printers.

The Image Armor pretreatments are designed to make DTG printing easier with a wide application window and less staining and garment discoloration than other pretreatments on the market while providing better wash durability for white and dark colored garments.

For more information you can visit the Print Equipment website at www.printequipment.de or by visiting their headquarters in Ottersweier.

GmbH & Co. KG GmbH & Co KG
Im St├╝hlinger 10
77833 Ottersweier Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 7223 - 2815 0

This video below was posted by Print-Equipment this week. It is about their company and Image Armor (we believe). It is completely in German, so if you don't speak fluent German (like us) it is still fun to watch.

 

 

 

New RTP Apparel Red Shirt Now Available in 4X Sizes

RTP Apparel in RED Go BIG 4X Available

RTP Apparel is excited to announce that the popular Ready To Print shirts are now available in 4X sizes (available at www.rtpapparel.com). 

RTP Apparel partnered with Image Armor to produce the DTG industry's first truly Ready To Print shirt that requires no pretreatment. All that is required is a quick heat press prior to printing to remove any moisture and then placed on the direct to garment printer to be printed. RTP Apparel are completely pretreated and can be printed on the front, back, side, and even on the sleeves. This removes the issue of wasted time pretreating the shirt and dealing with the typically messy and unpopular process of pretreating shirts prior to direct to garment printing.

The RED Style #1600 shirts are available in sizes S-4X and will not leave the typical "pretreatment box" that is visible on most red shirts that are DTG pretreated. That's the difference that RTP Apparel is striving to bring to the market. Making DTG easier. Making their users more productive and profitable. 

You can learn more about the new RED 4X Ready To Print shirts on the RTP Apparel website.

Streamlined DTG Production Utilizing RFID

Streamlined Pretreatment Production via RFID Now Available

In an effort to continually improve the Direct To Garment process i-Group Technologies has always tried to make pretreating easier. The Viper MAXX pretreatment machine is now also RFID capable with the addition of a simple and inexpensive RFID reader that plugs into the USB port of this evolutionary DTG pretreating machine.

RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) is a way to communicate quickly and easily information needed to properly set the parameters for a shirt that needs pretreated. i-Group Technologies has been working in conjunction with RTP Apparel on new RFID technology that is now woven into the shirt as a thread - the RFID capabilities become part of the shirt and are completely undetectable. With this RFID capabilities comes the entire ability to pre-set the pretreatment parameters required for that particular garment prior to it ever getting to the pretreating station.

This allows employees running the pretreating department to focus on getting product prepared and sent to the printing department with fewer rejects and higher efficiencies. Obviously this option is best suited for higher volume, on-demand DTG printing facilities. Since all the parameters can be set on the backside via a company's integrated software system, each shirt can be programmed for that specific artwork.Other parameters can be added to the RFID capabilities to allow for ease in packing/shipping and label printing requirements to help reduce data entry errors and streamline the shipping process for the finished goods. 

RTP Apparel also has this functionality available for the Ready To Print DTG shirts which, based on custom orders of product, can be encoded with the artwork to be printed so the DTG printing operator only needs to bring the RFID encoded shirt close to the printer and it will then automatically pull up the graphics and set all the printing parameters. 

This is just another way i-Group Technologies and RTP Apparel are working to help make DTG printing easier and more streamlined. 

For more information please feel free to call 877-673-4378 or email us at info@igrouptech.com.

 

Midwest Sign Supply Image Armor Try Before You Buy Offer

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. and Image Armor TRY BEFORE YOU BUY Pretreatment Offer

Midwest Sign Supply Image Armor Try Before You Buy Offer

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY OFFER!

GET FREE SAMPLES OF IMAGE ARMOR LIGHT AND ULTRA SHIRT FORMULAS

Image Armor is so confident that our DTG Pretreatment Solutions can make a difference in your shop that we are willing to send to you a free sample quart of the LIGHT Shirt and ULTRA Dark Shirt pretreatment formulations. All you have to do is fill out the form below completely and we'll send you some of the DTG Industry's leading pretreatment solutions at NO COST.

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. and Image Armor have teamed up to make the offer to you because we know that using and applying the proper pretreatment can make your DTG printing successful. The Image Armor LIGHT Shirt formulation is designed mainly for CMYK only printing on white and light colored garments. It will give you brighter colors, more vibrant details and better wash durability. The ULTRA Dark Shirt Formulation is designed for colored and black garments where white ink is printed giving you incredibly fast white ink gel times and better wash durability with a wider pretreatment application window that most other pretreatments.

Just complete the form below completely and we'll send out your pretreatments as quickly as we can. After you've had a chance to receive the pretreatments and try them out someone will followup with you to see how you liked the Image Armor family of pretreatment products. We know you'll like the ease of use and how it makes your DTG printing more successful and your prints look better - that's why we are doing this FREE offer.

We look forward to helping you grow your DTG business with Image Armor Pretreatment Solutions!

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All American Print Supply DTG Mart and Image Armor Try Before You Buy Pretreatment

All American Print Supply and Image Armor Pretreatment TRY BEFORE YOU BUY Free Samples

All American Print Supply DTG Mart and Image Armor Try Before You Buy Pretreatment

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY OFFER!

GET FREE SAMPLES OF IMAGE ARMOR LIGHT AND ULTRA SHIRT FORMULAS

Image Armor is so confident that our DTG Pretreatment Solutions can make a difference in your shop that we are willing to send to you a free sample quart of the LIGHT Shirt and ULTRA Dark Shirt pretreatment formulations. All you have to do is fill out the form below completely and we'll send you some of the DTG Industry's leading pretreatment solutions at NO COST.

All American Print Supply and Image Armor have teamed up to make the offer to you because we know that using and applying the proper pretreatment can make your DTG printing successful. The Image Armor LIGHT Shirt formulation is designed mainly for CMYK only printing on white and light colored garments. It will give you brighter colors, more vibrant details and better wash durability. The ULTRA Dark Shirt Formulation is designed for colored and black garments where white ink is printed giving you incredibly fast white ink gel times and better wash durability with a wider pretreatment application window that most other pretreatments.

Just complete the form below completely and we'll send out your pretreatments as quickly as we can. After you've had a chance to receive the pretreatments and try them out someone will followup with you to see how you liked the Image Armor family of pretreatment products. We know you'll like the ease of use and how it makes your DTG printing more successful and your prints look better - that's why we are doing this FREE offer.

We look forward to helping you grow your DTG business with Image Armor Pretreatment Solutions!

SIGN UP BELOW