In this post we’ll be taking a look into the steps and tools needed to print a great looking canvas with FIREBIRD Direct To Garment Inks. Canvas is just another cotton substrate, which allows the DTG machine owner to expand their product offerings.
Choosing Your Canvas
We went with the Value Series sold at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store. This Canvas comes kiln dried with an acrylic gesso treated surface. This is a very inexpensive framed canvas that worked great for testing. A higher quality canvas will produce a better print, but more testing is required as each brand’s style can be different.
Pretreating Your Canvas
For our sample prints, no pretreatment was used. You may find that you’ll need to use our FBX-VIVD when printing onto a higher quality canvas that comes clean of any sort of treatment. A light garment pretreat may also improve the quality, vibrancy, and clarity of certain prints, depending on the fabric and design.
For our prints, we created a graphic that was .5″ larger than the actual canvas itself. This helps make sure the entire canvas was printed onto evenly. The graphic we used was a high resolution image (300dpi).
You may find that printing max color will cause ink bleeding or blurriness. This effect can be avoided with a light garment pretreat. However in this case, we fixed this by lowering the ink output to a setting that worked best for us (testing is required to find best setting). We tested at a setting that was very low and did 3 passes until the print looked its best. Note: We only printed CMYK as the canvas was already white.
Curing the ink is easy and almost unnecessary. We printed at such a low ink output that our ink dried extremely fast, but to be safe we did a few sweeps across the canvas with our heat gun. Another option is to spray your canvas with a clear acrylic spray.