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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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!

SIGN UP BELOW



Anajet - Image Armor TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

Anajet – Image Armor TRY BEFORE YOU BUY Pretreatment Offer

Anajet - Image Armor TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

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.

Anajet 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!



Trigon Imaging Solutions Image Armor Dealer

Trigon Imaging Solutions the Newest Image Armor Pretreatment Dealer

TRIGON IMAGING SOLUTIONS THE NEWEST IMAGE ARMOR PRETREATMENT DEALER

Trigon Imaging Solutions Image Armor DealerTRIGON IMAGING SOLUTIONS THE NEWEST IMAGE ARMOR PRETREATMENT DEALER

Image Armor Pretreatments is excited to announce that Trigon Image Solutions is the newest dealer for the Image Armor line of pretreatments.

Trigon Imaging Solutions is located in Milford, Oh (south of Columbus and east of Cincinnati) and is a full service center for wide format printers, UV printers, laminators, engravers, cutters, supplies and more. Their product line also includes the Epson F2100 series Direct To Garment printers and supplies.

The Image Armor pretreatments are a great substitute for the original Epson OEM pretreatments. Image Armor ULTRA is a one stop solution for white ink printing on dark garments for everything from 100% cotton to even printing on 100% polyester.

For more information or to order contact Trigon at 877-319-3359 or visit their offices at 575 Chamber Dr, Milford, OH 45150, or by calling (877) 319-3359.

DTG Tips and Tricks PT Tube Holder

Image Armor DTG Tips & Tricks – Pretreatment Tube Holder

Direct To Garment Tips & Tricks - Pretreatment Tube Holder

Most people just open their pretreatment container, stick the supply tube for the PT machine into the container and forget about it. But often times these tubes are curled and will want to "pop" or flop out of the pretreatment solution. So what is a Direct To Garment printer to do?

Simple. Make a DIY pretreatment tube holder in a short time that will keep your pretreatment supply tube in place, submerged and keep your pretreatment cleaner (no lint, shirt fibers, or dust and dirt). Watch our DTG Tips & Tricks video to see what and how we did it.

Image Armor Pretreatments Certified CPSIA Compliant - Lead Free- Prop 65 Certified - Phthalate Free

Image Armor Pretreatments Certified CPSIA and Prop65 Compliant, Phthalate Free, and Lead Free

Image Armor Pretreatments Certified CPSIA Compliant - Lead Free- Prop 65 Certified - Phthalate Free

Image Armor is proud to announce in our effort to be as environmentally conscious as possible that all of our pretreatments have recently passed a battery of tests and have been found to be compliant with the following:

  • CPSIA Compliant - Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
  • California Prop65 Complinat
  • 100% Lead Free
  • 100% Phthalate Free

Now, you can use our pretreatments with more peace of mind knowing we are in line with some of the strictest compliance regulations in the United States. We are completely Lead and Phthalate free resulting in our compliance with Proposition 65. 

DTG with the best, and one of the only few truly compliant and tested pretreatments available specifically for direct to garment printing. For further questions please feel free to contact us.

If you need the Letter of Compliance for your records you can download it here.

What's in your pretreat? We know. We've Tested It.

Axiom America Now Carrying Image Armor DTG Pretreatments

Axiom America Newest Image Armor Dealer with Locations in California and North Carolina

Axiom America Now Carrying Image Armor DTG PretreatmentsImage Armor is proud to announce that Axiom America is one of our newest DTG pretreatment dealers. Axiom America has offices in High Point, North Carolina as well as Irwindale, California. They sell the Brother GTX direct to garment printers as well as embroidery,  sublimation printers, lasers, other supplies garment decorating supplies and equipment.

Started in 2004, Axiom has been a nationwide leader in decoration technologies that help companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by combining best of breed products with unparalleled technical support and manufacturing consulting. They are highly involved in the sublimation and Direct To Garment printing industry and Image Armor is excited to have the entire Axiom team covering the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Los Angeles area.

Axiom America can be contacted at their North Carolina office in High Point at (336) 882-8729 or at the California Irwindale office at 800-697-6523 or locally at (336) 882-8983.

The Image Armor products are available on their website at www.axiomamerica.com.