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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone printed white shirts as you would a dark shirt with a white underbase and have success?
I feel the DTG washes out on white shirts in comparison to a dark shirt. If you wash them the same amount of times the dark shirts look great with vibrant colors but the white shirts look faded and worn. Is this normal?
The reason I ask is that if a customer orders a white shirt and a dark shirt it appears to not be printed the same way.
 

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If the white shirt is cured properly there is no reason for the print to wash out or look faded more than a dark shirt.
 

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This subject seems to come up every month. There is no reason to print a white underbase on a white shirt. You are costing yourself substantial extra time and money. If you are looking for a brighter print on white shirts you can either print 2 passes or use a pretreatment such as FastCOLOR which helps brighten the print and increases washability. You should also check your drying time as you may not be heat pressing the print long enough.

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It must be the heat press method is not correct then. I am not printing the shirts myself, they are being done by a friend. The dark shirts look great and he has these coming out perfect. The white shirts look faded and bad especially after the first couple washes.

I will search here and check out curing techniques or if anyone has any tips they would care to share I would appreciate it. -Thanks
 

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You can get them both to look the same?
When printing on an underbase, less ink can be used on the color layer (think like glossy photo paper). When printing directly on a shirt more ink is used and gets absorbed. What you are seeing is most likely "defibrilation". When the printer sprays the fiber of the shirt, only the expossed fiber is covered. You either have to bridge the fiber by using more ink to soak in and around.... or use a pretreatment to coat and "fuse" the surface, so that when washed, and your fibers flip around or stand up... they don't expose the un-colored part of the shirt. Configuring your driver or rip to put more ink on the shirt (without overdoing it) is a place to start. I would guess that if the dark shirts are cured, the white ones are OK. Any CMYK color will have more pop on a smooth white substrate (remember white glossy paper) so, depending on the shirt, you may or may not have the potential for "exact" colors, but in reallity, this is the same for all CMYK printing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks zoom monster that makes a lot of sense. So does the pretreament fuse the fibers down or fuse the ink to the fibers?
 

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Thanks zoom monster that makes a lot of sense. So does the pretreament fuse the fibers down or fuse the ink to the fibers?
Hey, I'm no chemist... and my analogies are just that...analogies, but my uderstanding is that pretreatment (at least for white) is a binder or a primer that helps the particles of ink cling to the surface rather than get wicked away where they can do their job. It does matt down the surface to some degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't mean to get to technical, I was just curious if it looked like the fibers were held down or if it seemed that they were colored all the way around. A little of both is what I gathered. Thanks :)
 

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The 2 things that helped give us great results on white shirts were:
1. Use ColorFast. It helps with the ink being completely absorbed into the fabric. The colors are brighter / sharper and it helps with the washability.

2. Use a conveyor dryer over a heat press. We no longer see the initial fading that is common with the first wash of the white shirt. 2 passes through a conveyor dryer and you will get excellent washability, no yellow box around the heat press area and colors seem to stay more vibrant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well after washing the black shirts quite a few times I am seeing the ink lifting and the threads rising. This leads me to believe that either the pretreatment method or the curing of the ink with the heat press is not being done correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't seem to search and find a thread awhile ago that discusses pretreatment techniques. Heat press temperature, pretreatment and curing times. Can anyone help me please. Thanks -Michael
 
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