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What Not To Do When Curing Image Armor Pretreatment

White Parchment-Bakers Paper and PT CrystallizationWhat is Going On?
There are many factors when pretreating you should pay attention to to ensure you get the best, possible printing surface for your white ink.In this image you can see the pretreatment has crystallized. Normally, this will not happen however there are circumstances where it will crystallize and it is easy to remedy. (NOTE: The crystallization usually will wash out in the first laundrying).

We pretreated like normal, however when we went to cure the pretreatment on the heat press we utilized a common paper – a parchment/Baker’s type paper. This necessarily would not have been an issue, however what we did next was the cause of the crystallization appearing on the shirt.

The parchment paper was left on the shirt, to cool down, trapping steam from the pretreatment under the paper and next to the surface of the garment. The steam then cooled, and crystals formed and adhered under the paper on the surface of the shirt. The result is what you see in the picture.

The Remedy
To keep crystallization from forming and “ruining” a good t-shirt, make sure to peel your paper immediately after the heat press has opened. This will allow the steam to escape. Plus, the paper can pull the fibers of the shirt up (think of it like a micro velcro) resulting in a lot of stray fibers sticking up and resulting in a very poor, rough, white ink surface.

Another note is that you can’t re-use (it is not recommended) the parchment paper. Some pretreatment will cool on the paper and crystallize on the surface of the paper. The next time you use the paper it might transfer onto the surface of the t-shirt, revealing the crystals. Utilizing a teflon sheet and wiping it down after each pressing will remove any pretreatment residue so that it does not transfer to another shirt or print. Plus, the teflon will help give a much smoother surface on which to print.