Firebird ink Knowledge Base

FBX-100 Pretreatment Application – The Definitive Guide

in Direct To Garment Pretreating

FIREBIRD Pretreatment Application – The Definitive Guide

Whether you’re a seasoned DTG pro or just getting started, pretreatment application is a critical step in producing Vibrant Prints with Excellent Washability!
Personal In House Testing is Highly Recommended.

Recommended Pretreatment Instructions for White Ink Printing

The following 4 Steps will ensure consistent results with your DTG white ink prints.

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Wagner® HLVP

1 – Fill your automatic pretreatment machine OR manual sprayer (Wagner® HLVP) with FIREBIRD pretreatment. For best results, do not dilute.

2 – Target between 16.5g to 22.0g of FIREBIRD PT per 14” x 17” print area.
has a wide application window, but apply as evenly as possible across the shirt.
(Lighter color shirts require less pretreatment than darker color shirts)

3 – Set your heat press temperature to 330°F (166°C) with medium pressure.

4 – Heat press the pretreated area for 30 to 60 seconds, or until dry to the touch. Tip: The parchment sheet should “fly” off the t-shirt when the heat press pops open. If you have to peel the sheet off the shirt continue heat pressing at 15 second intervals until fully dried and properly cured.

5 – You are now ready to start printing!

FIREBIRD  Tips & Tricks

  • FIREBIRD PT allows for a wide application window. FIREBIRD’s in-house testing results suggests up to 35.0grams of can produce extraordinarily white prints with FIREBIRD White Ink.  However, applying more than this amount may negatively effect wash results (flaking, cracking, peeling). Applying less then 16.5g may result in a less vibrant FIREBIRD white ink print.
  • Each t-shirt brand / colors affects the pretreatment amount for an optimal print. For example, a Black Gildan Heavy Cotton is optimized at 22.0g, while a Black Spectra 2100 optimizes at 18.0g. Refer to FIREBIRD Ink Shirt Matrix to see what brand shirts print best.
  • Heat presses temperature readings are surprisingly inaccurate. We recommend checking for 330°F with a non-contact IR thermometer across the heat press platen to ensure consistently.
  • When manually spraying with a Wagner® HLVP, the optimal distance is between 8” to 12” from the t-shirt. Continuously spray from top bottom or from left to right without turning off the sprayer. Minimize any “dwelling” of the sprayer to prevent from pretreatment buildup in any one location.
  • maxx16x20
    Stahls® Hotronix

    Keep your heat press pressure at medium (4 out of 10 on a Stahls® Hotronix) – Enough to matte down the fibers while also allowing moisture to escape when curing the pretreatment. Note: When curing the final printed shirt, apply “light” pressure for most vibrant results.

  • FIREBIRD PT has a 2 year shelf life, the longest in the industry. Store in 50°F-85°F conditions away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Be sure to use a silicone-treated parchment sheet or kraft cover sheet to protect heat press from direct contact with t-shirt. The sheet also helps wick away moisture when curing.
  • Always conduct your own testing to optimize pretreatment results!

Download and Print this easy to use 5″x7″ guide.

Pretreatment Guide 5x7-2