Ancient Story of Garment Printer Ink

          A significant challenge for early adopters of DTG was printing bright and durable prints on dark garments. As in regular screen printing, colors pop off a dark shirt when the printer first lays down an underbase.

          That base is even more critical in DTG, and it’s really a two-step process. CMYK inks sprayed directly onto a dark shirt can literally sink into the fibers, ruining the shirt. To successfully inkjet print a dark shirt, you must first pretreat the garment with a proprietary chemical, hit it with a heat press and then lay down a solid layer of white ink as determined by your artwork.

          Some decorators who jumped on DTG early struggled with white ink clogging inkjet printheads. Many blamed the printers. Vendors preached the need for factory training and consistent machine maintenance. And some decorators with the right combination of printer, training and disciplined maintenance have been happily inkjet printing dark and light shirts since day one.Other DTG printers found success with machines such as the Brother GT-541 that print only CMYK inks on light and white garments — avoiding the white ink issue all together.

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