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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
Something I've been meaning to ask is the level of pretreatment you're supposed to put on shirts. It seems like the only way I can get a good, vibrant white (and vicariously color) imprint is if I essentially SOAK the shirt in pretreatment. I need to get that thing sopping wet in order to even have a shot at getting a good print (I've experimented with different levels of coating). The shirts have surprisingly held up fine in the wash (up to wash 5 on our test shirt without any chipping at all) but we are blowing through pretreat solution like crazy. I'm mixing it 50% with distilled water.
I guess what I'm asking is, what am I doing wrong? Why do I need to, in essence, wash these things in pretreat solution in order to get a proper print?
Some info for you to digest:
printer is Anajet Sprint
100% cotton shirts (Mostly Port Authority)
Mostly black shirts but on occasion ash/dark purple/neon orange
We are using the Wagner Control Spray that Anajet sent us
We are using the official AnaBright Pretreatment Liquid
All nozzle checks fire fine before printing
Humidity is at or near 50% at all times of the day
We have tried multiple print settings (Medium3, Heavy 2, etc.) for both the white and color passes. While some work better than others, none of them give us that vibrant, solid look unless we soak the shirts
We are spraying at roughly a foot away from the shirt and using a squeegee with firm, hard pressure to matte the fibers down
We have tried both immediately drying the shirts via heat press (hovering above the shirt, then pressing once its mostly dry) and line drying overnight. Neither seems to affect the print quality too much in our experience.

I plan on uploading a YouTube video later if we can't get this figured out. Maybe seeing what I'm doing will spark an idea in someone. Thanks everyone!
 

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i set the trigger dial at about the half-way position and i spray left to right, right to left, then left to right, letting up on the trigger at each edge so it feathers, per location. if the pretreat is dripping off the bottom of the shirt, then you're using too much. you should see a "frosting", or like the morning dew on grass. i then use light pressure with the squeegee to smooth the shirt, and lately i've been heat pressing with heavy pressure. that has given me a nice smooth surface to print on.

as for the brightness, are you sure you're getting pure white ink and not the separated ink that occurs in the lines?
 

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Another interesting factor is the shirt. Today I had a job, Black PC61 shirt
Front and Back and started to notice an inconsistancy on how the white underbase was coming out. I check the nozzles, everything firing. I print on one of my many tester shirts, perfect print. The x factor was the batch of shirts. Half my XLs were from Haiti and the other from El Salvadore. I did notice that the Haitian shirts started to get "that gloss" after 12 seconds of spray. I could keep pretreating the Salvadorians past 20 with just barely any sheen. I tried to soak the El Salvador with water spray to keep it from sucking in the pretreat with only a slight improvement.

I print a lot of Dark PC61 without any trouble, but black in a lot of brands can be trouble because they can be re-dyed from bad batches of other colors. Keep an eye on what works and what satisfies the most in your shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i set the trigger dial at about the half-way position and i spray left to right, right to left, then left to right, letting up on the trigger at each edge so it feathers, per location. if the pretreat is dripping off the bottom of the shirt, then you're using too much. you should see a "frosting", or like the morning dew on grass. i then use light pressure with the squeegee to smooth the shirt, and lately i've been heat pressing with heavy pressure. that has given me a nice smooth surface to print on.

as for the brightness, are you sure you're getting pure white ink and not the separated ink that occurs in the lines?
My lines are all good, so I know its not that. It's the weirdest thing because I know what proper pretreatment SHOULD look like; I just can't seem to get a good print from it (on any brand shirt). Heavy saturation is the only option thus far.
That said, I'm gonna try your settings and methods on the sprayer and see how things turn out. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another interesting factor is the shirt. Today I had a job, Black PC61 shirt
Front and Back and started to notice an inconsistancy on how the white underbase was coming out. I check the nozzles, everything firing. I print on one of my many tester shirts, perfect print. The x factor was the batch of shirts. Half my XLs were from Haiti and the other from El Salvadore. I did notice that the Haitian shirts started to get "that gloss" after 12 seconds of spray. I could keep pretreating the Salvadorians past 20 with just barely any sheen. I tried to soak the El Salvador with water spray to keep it from sucking in the pretreat with only a slight improvement.

I print a lot of Dark PC61 without any trouble, but black in a lot of brands can be trouble because they can be re-dyed from bad batches of other colors. Keep an eye on what works and what satisfies the most in your shop.
I've heard of this happening before. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it. Thanks!
 
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