Midwest Sign Supply becomes Newest Image Armor Dealer

Midwest Sign and Screen Printing Supplies Brings Wider Distribution to Image Armor Products



Image Armor is proud to announce the addition of our newest distributing partner, Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. Midwest will carry the entire line of Image Armor pretreatments in their 10 locations located in California, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. Midwest has been a leading distributor since 1932.

Midwest is a full line Screen Printing, Sign and Direct to Garment wholesale supplier that serves a geographically wide area of the United States. With 10 different locations throughout the country the Image Armor product line will be more readily available to customers with shorter deliver times.

For more information you can visit the Midwest website at www.midwestsign.com or by calling Midwest at 800-328-6592. Additional information can be found on the Image Armor website at www.imagearmorpt.com

Improve the DTG Prints From Your Brother GT3 Garment Printer



The Brother GT3 Garment Printer does a great job printing shirts. We wanted to show you how you can dramatically improve the quality output of your DTG printer simply by pretreating. The application and use of Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Pretreatment Formula will greatly enhance the prints off your Brother printer. This isn’t just applicable to the newer GT3 series of printers, but also to Closeup-of-Brother-GT3-Ink-Pretreatment---no-pretreatment-on-100-cotton-shirtthe older GT541 and GT782 series. By using the LIGHT Shirt Formula with the older series, Image Armor LIGHT will help make your new or old printer look like it just started taking steroids with the increased color, vibrancy and detail you see as soon as you start printing.


Clicking on the image at the left will bring up a higher-res image. This shirt was pretreated on the left hand side of the shirt while the right side of the shirt was left untreated. We applied the Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula at about 20 grams of pretreatment for a 14″x14″ area (35.5cm x 35.5cm). The pretreatment was heat set with two 20 second presses at 330F with high pressure using a silicone parchment paper and letting the steam out in between heat presses. The image was then printed and cured as normal on the Brother garment printer.

You can easily see the yellows are significantly more yellow and not “muddied”. The Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula helps hold the details and brings out the true colors and detail that just a plain 100% cotton shirt can not show.

Closeup-Full-Size-Image-of-Brother-GT3-Inks-and-Pretreatment-no-pretreatmentIf you really want to take your DTG prints to the next level, give the LIGHT Shirt Formula a try. It will help EVERY DTG printer on the market printing CMYK ink improve the quality, detail, and color fastness of the images. This will make your printer look even better than it ever could by itself.

We know that this will improve your DTG prints significantly which is why you can try it out for free. If you have not tried Image Armor LIGHT yet, you can fill out our on-line form for a free quart sample (Continental United States only) that is ready -to-use. Just spray it on the shirt, heat set, and print your design and cure the ink. We know you’ll be impressed.

Click on the image at the right for a full size image to see the entire shirt and results of the LIGHT Shirt Formula.


What Pretreating Can Do For You Even on White

We often hear at every trade show people asking why they would want to pretreat a garment that only has CMYK printed on the garment. Most of the time the comment is that they've been told they do not need to pretreat a white shirt. While this statement is true, it is often misunderstood how pretreating the garment can actually improve the quality of your finished product.  

We decided to show you three different shirts, each a split print. The left side of the garment has no pretreatment while the right side is pretreated with our Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula. The printed image effectively shows the difference you can achieve when pretreating - or what you get when you do not pretreat. We did this on three different types of fabrics commonly printed - one of being 100% polyester which many people do not know they can decorate with DTG if properly pretreated.

On the left below is a 100% white polyester garment. The middle image is a standard 50/50 white t-shirt, and the right image is a 100% cotton white garment. By clicking on the individual images you will be able to enlarge the image to take a closer look at the contrast between untreated and pre-treated garments. You will be able to see exactly what you can expect on each garment when utilizing the Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula on your garments. 

100% Polyester Fabric


50/50 Cotton/Polyester


100% Cotton Fabric


You can find an Image Armor dealer near you by visiting our Purchase page.

All Polyesters are Not Created Equal


Figure 1 – Three different prints – three different results.


During our routine printing and testing procedures we came across something that we though should be shared with our customers in regards to shirts, pretreatment and inks.

We were printing some white 100% polyester fabric shirts that were pretreated with 16g of the Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula. The interesting thing was that after we heat set the ink utilizing a cover sheet and light pressure at 356F for 35 seconds, we noticed around all of the printed ink a yellow type haze (See Figure 2).

This really confused us as we have never run into this before. At first we thought we had contaminated the pretreatment, the inks, or it was something completely different that we had done wrong. However, I used the same brand and style of shirt and printed it again. Coming off of the printer the image looked perfect – just as the first shirt did. But instead of heat setting “on contact” I decided to hover cure the ink on the heat press. The platen was lowered as far as possible and then let the shirt “bake”. The resulting image was what we see in the top of Figure 1. There was no “blowout” or yellowing around the printed design but I did notice that in comparison to other shirts that we’ve printed with the same exact design, the blacks were just not as “black” as they should be.

This got me wondering. There must be some type of reaction going on when the pressure and heat are applied to the garment to cure the ink. In comparison to older shirts from the same manufacturer the printed image was completely different in vibrancy and richness of colors. Again, the blacks were not as black as they should have been.


Figure 2 – Closeup of the halo “blowout”

So, we took a different brand of shirt and printed the same exact image, with the same exact printer settings, and the same exact pretreatment amount, and ink cure time and pressure. What you see in the bottom of Figure 1 was a much bolder, darker black and no yellowing around the image. This got me wondering. Something was different and the only difference was the garment.

The interesting difference was the brand and style of the polyester fabrics. When we printed the same image on a 50/50 blended shirt the print result was the same as the bottom of Figure 1 – dark blacks and great colors with no yellow blowout.

This leads me to one conclusion. Some shirts may be post processed, or have some residual chemicals left in the shirt during washing/processing of the fabric that is reacting with the Image Armor LIGHT pretreatment and inks. But ONLY when applied under pressure of the heat press. This can be the only logical conclusion as on other brands of shirts, the design looked darker, more vivid and did not have the yellow halo. The 50/50 shirt we tested under the same conditions was perfect as was the 100% cotton shirt. There must be some type of coating as the black was not as dark or rich as it should have been which resulted in our yellowing haze.

Again, this threw me for a loop as it was the very first time I had ever come across this issue. We just wanted to bring this to everyone’s attention that if you run into something like this with the LIGHT Shirt formula on a cotton, blend, or 100% polyester shirt, this is the most likely explanation (unless the whole pretreated area yellows then it is either contaminated pretreatment OR residual chemicals, etc on the shirt). Image Armor can not control what process is done to the garments at the mill, but you can control what you use and what you find works best. This is why we always encourage users to test before running orders. You have to  know what you’re dealing with before utilizing it in production.

Image Armor Aerosols – Pretreatments in a Spray Can


After a year of hard work, Image Armor is proud to announce the newest product release to its popular line of pretreatment solutions for DTG printers. Aerosol versions of the LIGHT Shirt and DARK Shirt Formulas are now available in 16oz Net Weight spray cans. These spray cans will allow for 20-50 pretreated shirts per can depending on the sprayed image area and the amount applied.

Their unique foaming action that allows you to more easily see exactly where you have pretreated and how much you’ve applied. After application you can either brush or squeegee down the fibers or just got straight to the heat press.

LIGHT Shirt Formula Aerosol Spray Can features:

  • Increased vibrancy and image sharpness on 100% cotton, 50/50 blends, and 100% polyester.
  • Sublimation like images on 100% polyester fabrics when printing white and light colored shirts.
  • Great for improving the quality of prints.
  • Can print and use white as an underbase or just a highlight with the LIGHT Shirt Formula.

DARK Shirt Formula Aerosol Spray Can features:

  • White ink printing on mid dark to black colored 100% cotton garments.
  • Quick, easy application without setting up the pretreatment machine.

Now you can have ease of use and quickly pretreat a single garment without firing up the pretreatment machine and worrying about having to clean it out when done. Simply shake the can  well, apply to the pretreated area until it is covered in layer of foam, and heat press as you normally would any other pretreatment. Then print! Depending on the

Image Armor Aerosol Spray Cans are shipping now to distributors and customers. Find where you can purchase Image Armor products by visiting our Dealer Page.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:1. Shake Aerosol Spray Can well.
2. Holding the nozzle 6″ off the surface of the shirt will result in a 4″+ wide spray area. The further you hold the nozzle away, the larger the spray area.
3. Spray in straight line areas. If doing a larger area, do multiple passes. A 12″ high area would be 3 passes (left to right or up and down) at 6″ from the garment surface.
4. After spraying, wipe the nozzle clean, turn the can upside down and spray for a second or two to clear the tip and line, and replace can cap.

Image Armor Testimonials


Tribal Graphics



“The implementation of Image Armor pretreatments into our DTG printing process has been a much needed upgrade from the former pretreats we had been using. Image Armor Dark formula has helped increase wash-fastness and white ink opacity on dark shirts while decreasing “shiny box” outlines and frustration associated with trying to dial in the amount of pretreat needed for every brand and style of garment. Image Armor Light formula has taken our light shirt prints from a washed-out look to appearing as vibrant as a water-based screen print with similar durability. IA Light has also enabled us to expand our product line beyond cotton, as we are now able to print on light 100% polyester garments with great detail and vibrancy. Thank you to Image Armor for helping Articulate Creation and the rest of the DTG industry with these revolutionary new products!”

Jeffrey McGurren Founder | Designer of Articulate Creation | Wicked Sick Tees


Interested in having your company profiled here? Send us your testimonial and you might be featured on the Image Armor Testimonial web page!

DTGPrinterParts.com now distributing Image Armor in California

Image Armor Pretreatments Have Hit the West Coast

DTGPrinterParts.com now distributing Image Armor in California


We have GREAT news for our west coast customers. Image Armor Pretreatments are now available for purchase from our newest distributor, DTGPrinterParts.com!

DTGPrinterParts.com started in 2006 back in the infancy days of the direct to garment printing movement as a web store. Providing parts, inks, and service DTGPrinterParts.com have become one of the biggest distributors DTG and wide format printers on the West Coast.

DTGPrinterParts Store FrontImage Armor is excited to have Anthony and the crew at DTGPrinterParts.com carrying Image Armor Pretreatments in Selma, California – just north of Los Angeles. Now Image Armor customers don’t have to ship from the east coast anymore and can usually get it shipped next day. If a job just can’t wait,  just stop into their offices and pick up your pretreatment in person.

DTGPrinterParts.com is located at 1948 High Street, STE 102 in Selma California or by calling them at (855) 384-7278. You can also visit their website at www.dtgprinterparts.com to purchase Image Armor Pretreatments. Tell them you saw their debut press release here on the Image Armor website!

10x Washing Update on Soon To Be Released Light Shirt Formula

10X-Washing-Polyester-Sample-Test-#39100% POLYESTER FABRIC TEST PRINT 10X RESULTS
Here’s the 10X washing and drying of our soon to be released Light Shirt Formula. This formula is designed to be applied to white and light colored shirts that are 100% cotton, 50/50 blends and 100% polyester garments.The photo to the left is printed on a 100% polyester fabric (click image to enlarge). The top half of the image is the unwashed control sample with the left side having NO pretreatment applied and the right side pretreated. The bottom half of the picture is the same shirt washed and dried through 10 cycles. As can be seen in the photograph, there is a slight loss of color between the unwashed and washed versions on the pretreatment and un-pretreated sides.Again, a significant difference can be seen on the washed version between the pretreated/no pretreatment versions. As can be seen, there is a significant difference between pretreating and not pretreating a garment.

Below is the 100% cotton shirt sample showing the same scenario of the polyester shirt above. The new Image Armor CMYK formula really enhances the end results of the DTG print. Our goal is to continue to improve and further the direct to garment printing industry’s ability to provide our customers with the easiest to use, best performing products we are capable of manufacturing.



We are expecting Image Armor LIGHT Shirt Formula to be released early December 2013.