Use Guide

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PRETREATING GUIDE TO IMAGE ARMOR PRETREATMENT SOLUTIONS AND GARMENT TYPES

Image Armor LIGHT Shirt FormulaImage Armor Light Shirt Formula Image Armor DARK Shirt FormulaImage Armor Dark Shirt Formula Image Armor ULTRA Pretreatment for White Ink DTG PrintingImage Armor ULTRA Shirt Formula
100% Cotton
White: RECOMMENDED – Increases vibrancy and washability
Lights: TESTING REQUIRED – Incredible Brightness and washability depending on the color – Use for CMYK ONLY or W+CMYK. Great for Light Greys, Athletic Grey, Light Blues, Pinks, Similar colors. 
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use 
White: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Lights: TESTING REQUIRED – Incredible Brightness and washability depending on the color – Use for W+CMYK (with white under base)
Darks: RECOMMENDED – Incredible Brightness and washability
White: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Lights: TESTING REQUIRED – Incredible Brightness and washability depending on the color – Use for W+CMYK (with white under base)
Darks: RECOMMENDED – Incredible Brightness and washability
50/50 Cotton/Polyester
White: RECOMMENDED – Incredible Brightness and washability 
Lights: TESTING REQUIRED – Incredible Brightness and washability depending on the color – Use for CMYK ONLY or W+CMYK
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
White: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Lights: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
White: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Lights: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
100% Polyester
White: RECOMMENDED – Increases vibrancy and washability
Lights: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
White: NOT RECOMMENDED for Dupont Inksets. RECOMMENDED for Brother Inksets.
Lights: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use on polyesters. Visual residue of PT on shirt.
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use on dark polyesters. Dye Migration is an issue causing poor whites.
White: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Lights: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use
Darks: NOT RECOMMENDED – Not recommended for use

All Image Armor Shirt Formulas:

Recommended – Starting Point depending on the weight of the shirt would be 16-22 grams for a 14″x14″ area. Heat Set 330F for 30 seconds, additional 10 second intervals until dry.

APPLICATION AND USE INSTRUCTIONS

Before Use:

  • You DO NOT need to mix down Image Armor. It is ready to use (RTU) right out of the container.
  • Always SHAKE the container before using or pouring into your pretreatment machine container.
  • When returning unused pretreatment from a machine, strain it to ensure no fibers or dirt, dust, contaminants are in the solution. A clean solution keeps you happy.

 

Application:

  • When applying pretreatment to the garment, make sure to apply it as evenly as possible (mechanical pretreatment machines are the best).
  • Depending on the shirt being pretreated there are some variables to consider on how much to apply.
    • A good starting point is 15-18 grams per 14″x14″ area.
      • NOTE: 18-26 grams may provide you with better washability and white optical brightness. This is opposite of what other manufacturers recommend. Test to find your best laydown for the garment you are pretreating.
    • The heaver the garment, the higher the amount of pretreatment needed.
    • The darker the color, the more pretreatment is required.
    • The lighter the weight of the shirt, you can usually reduce the amount of fluid applied to the garment.
    • The lighter the color of the shirt, less pretreatment is usually required.
  • Always use a high quality garment that is ring-spun with a tight knit weave. The smoother and tighter the weave, the better your final DTG print.

 

Curing:

  • Set your heat press to 330F
  • Cure time: 30 seconds. If after 30 seconds there is still moisture on the shirt, re-press in 10 second intervals to ensure garment is completely dry.
  • Pressure setting: You don’t need a lot of pressure. Use light to medium pressure to start. Heavier pressure can be used if required.
  • It is suggested to utilize a teflon sheet, coated Kraft paper or parchment paper when pressing the pretreatment dry. DO NOT allow cover sheet to remain on garment after pressing or crystallization can occur as pretreatment vapors cool.

 

Storage of Garments:

  • Pre-pretreated shirts can be done ahead of time. Try to use them as soon as possible. It is not recommended to go more than two weeks after pretreating before using.
  • Always re-press the garment for 5-10 seconds with light pressure if they’ve been stored for more than a day. The shirts will collect moisture, and moisture is the enemy of good pretreated shirts. ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR SHIRTS ARE MOISTURE FREE BEFORE PRINTING.
  • DO NOT OVERHANDLE the shirts. Touching, bending, folding, throwing shirts around will damage and break the pretreatment down on the shirt. For the best results, try not to “man handle” the garments prior to printing.