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American Apparel Jersey Pretreatment with Firebird FBX-100

 
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Old July 6th, 2015 Jul 6, 2015 2:17:10 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default American Apparel Jersey Pretreatment with Firebird FBX-100

I had some pretreating difficulties in the beginning with my American Apparel Jersey T-Shirts (2001, 2102) even with the Firebird FBX-100, so I wanted to share what I've found.

I hand treat everything which sucks for various reasons, but I'm making due. I first started by rolling the pretreat on per the Epson video, then I was brushing it on with a Purdy paint brush--which surprisingly works fairly well--and now I have moved to spraying with an all-purpose sprayer bottle (think of a household cleaner bottle).

I was getting some serious staining on colors you wouldn't expect and they wouldn't wash out. I've found that my heatpress temp at 330 F was too high without dilution of the Firebird. I lowered the temp to 300 and had very favorable results, but I didn't want to change temps back and forth between pretreating and ink setting (or increasing ink set times) so I set out on some experiments to find the perfect temp and dilution combo--I'm a scientist by day, so it's second nature haha.

I know Firebird FBX-100 doesn't recommend dilution, but after a series of different dilutions that then underwent print and wash tests, I have found a 2:1 pretreat to water ratio to show favorable print and wash results. When diluted 2:1, I can keep my heatpress at 330 F.

The colors I have been able to successfully pretreat this way are:
Ash Grey
Black
Cranberry
Creme
Fuchsia
Grass
Heather Grey
Kelly Green
Navy
Purple
Red
Royal Blue

The ones I have NOT been successful in pretreating:
Teal
Slate -- Firebird says this color can be done, but I haven't succeeded in doing so.

For those who may be worrying about whether you can get an opaque white when diluting the FBX-100, I have been able to get very nice results. I am attaching a photo printed with GC with a level 2 white.

I hope this helps anyone who may be struggling with these shirts in particular!
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Old July 7th, 2015 Jul 7, 2015 11:34:49 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Apparel Jersey Pretreatment with Firebird FBX-100

Your print looks fantastic!
 
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Old July 7th, 2015 Jul 7, 2015 11:47:02 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Apparel Jersey Pretreatment with Firebird FBX-100

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Originally Posted by gatorGRAFIX
Your print looks fantastic!
Thank you!
 
 
Old July 7th, 2015 Jul 7, 2015 12:29:53 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: American Apparel Jersey Pretreatment with Firebird FBX-100

I would suggest not using a hand pump sprayer.

Your best pretreating results will be with an automatic pretreater (of course ) but you would get much better pretreating then you are getting now with a hand power sprayer like the Wagner Control Spray Double Duty. More control and probably use less pretreatment also. Can buy it on Amazon.

_
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