Direct to Garment Printing has traditionally been limited to 100% cotton, but customers are increasingly demanding synthetic based sports and athletic wear. Some blended garments may work sufficiently, and many shops swear by one brand of shirt or another, but there has never been a single solution for DTG printing onto 100% polyester.
This problem may soon end, with FIREBIRD Digital Ink’s recent advancements in Polyester Printing Technology.
This patent-pending technology will offer consistent, high quality print results. Users can expect vibrant white ink coverage and strong wash-fastness. These optimal print traits also come while reducing the negative effects typical of printing onto polyester. Dye migration, ink bleeding, discoloration, and poor print durability will no longer be issues with DTG on 100% polyester garments.
Polyester prints are typically difficult, if not impossible, as a result of a chemical changes that occurs in the fabric at temperatures necessary to DTG. This reaction causes the fabric to discolor and appear burned. Past methods of dealing with this included screen printing a white ink underbase before printing CMYK on top, avoiding colors where discoloration of the polyester was noticeable, and undercuring prints. Each of these methods have serious drawbacks to Direct to Garment Printing. and risk wash issues once the shirt is in the hands of a customer.
This technology is not available as of the time of this writing. FIREBIRD has a tentative release date of the summer of 2017. While the F2000 in particular is compatible with this pretreat, most converted printers will need to use FIREBIRD inks to achieve quality images on polyester.