Image Armor for Dark Shirts is an new formulation designed for the DTG printing industry. It is easier to apply, easier on your pretreatment machines, increases printability, and improves wash fastness of up to 50% or more than the leading pretreatments currently in the market. Image Armor Dark Shirt formula is designed for use mainly on, obviously, dark shirts. This would include (but not limited to) black, navy, and similar colors. Some users may find that on lighter colored garments that discoloration will occur (this is mainly due to the chemicals and water used during manufacturing). Testing is recommended before any production run. However, we are also working on releasing a Light Shirt formula that resolves the discoloration on lighter colored fabrics.
Image Armor Dark is a great improvement over the leading brands. The image to the left (click image to enlarge) was printed on a 100% cotton Hanes tagless black shirts. The reason we chose this image is it has a lot of subtle detail that fades out, which is one of the hardest printing aspects to hold during wash testing.The shirts were first pretreated with a ViperONE pretreatment machine using the same exact of amount of pretreatment (18 grams for a 14″x14″ area per shirt), and heat pressed using a Hix S650 Autorelease with a pressure setting of 2. The shirts were then cured for 30 seconds until dry. The designs were then printed on a common Epson based DTG printer. After printing, the shirts were washed together(hot/cold) and dried (hot dry) for 30 cycles. Degradation of the image started to appear after the first 5 washings in the Leading Brand X pretreatment. After 30 washing-drying cycles, it is clear there is a significant increase in wash durability of the Image Armor Dark pretreatment vs Brand X.
What This Means to You and Your CustomersThe biggest issue with direct to garment printing has been the wash-ability of the garments. Many have been disappointed with the white ink wash-fastness of all the direct-to-garment printers on the market. Part of this is relative to the ink sets used, however, the foundation for the entire DTG printing process is the application of the pretreatment. More specifically, the pretreatment chemistry itself. Image Armor is designed from the ground up to be the industry’s most technologically advanced solution for improving long term washings of your images. The results speak for itself. Better wash-fastness means your customers will be happier. If your customers are happier, that means more sales for you in the long term (and less stress related headaches due to not knowing if your images will wash well or not). This is our job. To help you Protect Your Image.
Benefits of Image Armor Pretreatment
- Reduced Pretreatment Stains
- No Crystallization of the pretreatment after pressing
- Much wider margin for application – in reverse to the leading brands the more Image Armor applied actually increases washability.
- Easier on your pretreating equipment. Less clogging issues.
START PROTECTING YOUR IMAGE TODAY!
How To Use Image Armor Dark Pretreatment
- You DO NOT need to mix down Image Armor. It is ready to use (RTU) right out of the container.
- Always SHAKE the container before using or pouring into your pretreatment machine container.
- When returning unused pretreatment from a machine, strain it to ensure no fibers or dirt, dust, contaminants are in the solution. A clean solution keeps you happy.
- When applying pretreatment to the garment, make sure to apply it as evenly as possible (mechanical pretreatment machines are the best).
- Depending on the shirt being pretreated there are some variables to consider on how much to apply.
- A good starting point is 15-18 grams per 14″x14″ area.
- NOTE: 18-26 grams may provide you with better washability and white optical brightness. This is opposite of what other manufacturers recommend. Test to find your best laydown for the garment you are pretreating.
- The heaver the garment, the higher the amount of pretreatment needed.
- The darker the color, the more pretreatment is required.
- The lighter the weight of the shirt, you can usually reduce the amount of fluid applied to the garment.
- The lighter the color of the shirt, less pretreatment is usually required.
- Always use a high quality garment that is ring-spun with a tight knit weave. The smoother and tighter the weave, the better your final DTG print.
- Set your heat press to 330F
- Cure time: 30 seconds. If after 30 seconds there is still moisture on the shirt, re-press in 10 second intervals to ensure garment is completely dry.
- Pressure setting: You don’t need a lot of pressure. Use light to medium pressure to start. Heavier pressure can be used if required.
- It is suggested to utilize a teflon sheet or parchment paper when pressing the pretreatment dry.
- Pre-pretreated shirts can be done ahead of time. Try to use them as soon as possible. It is not recommended to go more than two weeks after pretreating before using.
- Always re-press the garment for 5-10 seconds with light pressure if they’ve been stored for more than a day. The shirts will collect moisture, and moisture is the enemy of good pretreated shirts. ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR SHIRTS ARE MOISTURE FREE BEFORE PRINTING.
- DO NOT OVERHANDLE the shirts. Touching, bending, folding, throwing shirts around will damage and break the pretreatment down on the shirt. For the best results, try not to “man handle” the garments prior to printing.