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Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

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Old May 20th, 2019 May 20, 2019 10:16:33 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

We are fighting fibers sticking up and almost all brands and styles of t-shirts. Even "preferred" ring-spun shirts.


My first instinct was to lay down more white under base but that appears to make it worse.


Currently working on Gildan 2000 (I know people say they are the worst shirt to print on but honestly we fight them less than more expensive shirts)


I have the white down to -10 and color up to 65...brightness on 10...


Prints looks better since the fibers are not sticking up but now the prints do not pop...


Any advice would be appreciated.


SETUP - Epson 2100, Lawson pre-treat, tunnel final cure. Heat press the pre-treat immediately before printing with "cure" sheet.




Thanks.
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Old May 20th, 2019 May 20, 2019 1:15:33 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

I have found that if you pretreat the shirt, press it and then pretreat it again at a lighter setting this helps to cure the problem with fibers sticking up. I have since moved over to Gildan 5000 tees because they seem to be easier to print and my customers still like them a lot.

I do still how ever like the Gildan 2000 tees but they like a lot of pretreatment and usually require a double pretreat hit.
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Last edited by gatorGRAFIX; May 21st, 2019 at 07:22 AM..
 
Old May 20th, 2019 May 20, 2019 2:00:19 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

I have learned the pretreat matters in this case of fibers. I exclusively use Firebird pretreatment because my issues were the fibers, staining, crystalization and the Firebird addressed all these issues for me. I never have to spray more than 30g on a Gildan 2000 and it does not need a double hit to lay down the fibers. The only time I double hit pretreat is for hoodies due to the poly content.
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Old May 21st, 2019 May 21, 2019 3:26:08 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

So we using setting 7 (I think) on the Lawson...
Could we just use use 3.5 to make “double hit”?

Or leave it and press start twice?

If you lay down more pretreat would I increase the heat press time to “cure” the pretreatment? If not seems like it would be wet on the printer.

I may try firebird....

Thank you both for replying.
Brent


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Old May 21st, 2019 May 21, 2019 6:07:36 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

You are trying to use a sulfate based pre-treatment as a film forming one. This is not possible as there is no binder in it.

Use the Epson, or any other film forming pre-treat instead. Less durable prints, but easier to print.
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 5:35:11 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Just hit the wet pretreat with a brush before sending down the dryer. Brush only; rollers just pick the fibers up again.
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Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 5:54:27 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBNick
Just hit the wet pretreat with a brush before sending down the dryer. Brush only; rollers just pick the fibers up again.
He is heat pressing the pre-treat... which is pointless for the type of pre-treat used. If tunnel drying, then yes, using a brush is the best way.
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 6:04:24 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

The brush doesn't care what type of pretreat you're using. It's an extra layer of protection, so it's a good idea on shirts that are prone to fibrillation.
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:13:33 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBNick
The brush doesn't care what type of pretreat you're using. It's an extra layer of protection, so it's a good idea on shirts that are prone to fibrillation.
Easy to test, and it will make no difference with this pre-treat. I'm not saying that this is bad pre-treat by the way... It is perfect for distressed and vintage style prints.
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:16:47 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagleact
So we using setting 7 (I think) on the Lawson...
Could we just use use 3.5 to make “double hit”?

Or leave it and press start twice?

If you lay down more pretreat would I increase the heat press time to “cure” the pretreatment? If not seems like it would be wet on the printer.

I may try firebird....

Thank you both for replying.
Brent


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Printing DTG on tees can be a bit finicky. Especially on different brand of t-shirts.

A medium pass on the pretreat, a press to dry and then a light pass is much better than loading up one pass. If you get too much pretreat on the shirt on one pass when you press it dry some of it has a tendency to "crystalize" on the shirt leaving white powdery streaks.

Some brands like a lot of pretreatment and some brands seem to work better without being so picky. I just printed 200 Cotton Heritage black tees this week (which all of the DTG dealers push and and they are so damn expensive) and I'll have to say that they were harder to print for me than the Gildan 5.3 5000 tees are. Everyone has different experiences with DTG printing and sometimes you just kinda have to find your own way through trial and error. That is how I did it.
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Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:27:39 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorGRAFIX
Printing DTG on tees can be a bit finicky. Especially on different brand of t-shirts.

A medium pass on the pretreat, a press to dry and then a light pass is much better than loading up one pass. If you get too much pretreat on the shirt on one pass when you press it dry some of it has a tendency to "crystalize" on the shirt leaving white powdery streaks.

Some brands like a lot of pretreatment and some brands seem to work better without being so picky. I just printed 200 Cotton Heritage black tees this week and I'll have to say that they were harder to print for me than the Gildan 5.3 5000 tees are. Everyone has different experiences with DTG printing and sometimes you just kinda have to find your own way through trial and error. That is how I did it.
Geno is correct, to much pretreatment can lead to crystalization or even discoloring and scorching in extreme cases. Testing is always best and keep a log of what you do. And again pretreatment matters some will crystallize at 25gs on a black gildan and another pretreat may not crystallize at 60gs. The pretreat companies put a lot of time and effort addressing these issues. Find what works best for you and keep a log. I have said it multiple times in various posts when it comes to vibrancy, staining, crystallization, fibrillation and hand feel I go Firebird because they address all these issues.
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Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:35:19 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Also what FBNick said is also solid advice to brush the shirt. Go in one direction doesn't matter which way as long as it is the same way. While heat pressing does help lay down the fibers the brush does lay down more. If you are having trouble with fibrillation in general add the brush step you will see a 90% improvement regardless of type of pretreat or how you dry it. I have been brushing my shirts for over 9 years once I learned this trick.
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Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:46:46 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TABOB
You are trying to use a sulfate based pre-treatment as a film forming one. This is not possible as there is no binder in it.

Use the Epson, or any other film forming pre-treat instead. Less durable prints, but easier to print.
No one makes pretreat that is sulfate based. That's not a thing. No pretreat is sulfate based because a large majority of people are allergic to sulfates. With the exception of Kornit all pretreatment is a combination of water, salt, resin and possibly a cross linker. It is the fine folks that put the time in to test the resins and salt types to the proper ratios so there is no crystallization, fibrillation staining and all the other problems out there. Some companies do it better than others.
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:47:52 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

ok I'm stepping off my soap box now happy printing! lol
 
Old May 22nd, 2019 May 22, 2019 8:55:24 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fibers sticking up (fibrillation)

Hello there!

Silly question and one tip;
- Are you using pretreatment for dark and colours, correct? (that's the silly question)
- The tip, I've noticed that most of the times, when the t-shirts are heat pressed a little damp it helps to keep the fibers down. So set the tunnel dryer belt speed a little faster to get the t-shirts damp and dry them out with the heat press.
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