Feel The Heat!


direct to film and what dtf mixed media all american print supply co

"Heat leaves its mark on every shared breath" 

― Lori Zujito

One of my favorite parts about this job is testing out new products before it hits the shelves. This article is for my direct to garment audience and we’re talking about pretreat. Possibly my new FAVORITE pretreat: Firebird NOVA. If you have any knowledge on the field of direct to garment printing you already know pretreating is the most important part of the process as it can literally make or break your actual print. With tradeshow season picking up I had the chance to work with this new formula EXTENSIVELY mass pretreating in bulk cases of blank garments in preparation for days and days of DTG demonstrations and wanted to share my findings as to why you need to know about this product.

First off, this pretreat solution is EFFICIENT. Boasting the tagline ‘the most efficient pretreatment in the universe’ I have come to find this may in fact be the case. If you have ever worked with pretreat you are probably aware this liquid bonding agent can get sticky - it’s essentially a watery Elmer’s glue that allows the white ink to print and bond to the shirt before being layered with CMYK ink. This has to be the least ‘sticky’ pretreat solution I have ever worked with. When we dry the pretreat in the heat press we protect the actual heating element with a double sided silicone coated sheet. In a production setting after preparing t-shirt after t-shirt even our quality silicone sheets can begin to accumulate a layer of residue that if left unchecked can begin to stain garments in this drying process. I was baffled at the amount of shirts I was able to pretreat before needing to replace the sheets - and I pretreat a bunch of garments. Cases. What this equates to additionally is LESS pretreat machine maintenance which means less downtime.

When I began my testing I knew right away on the first black garment this was the pretreat I was going to print with in preparation for the next show. Using different amounts of pretreat saturation I was able to determine the correct amount of pretreat needed to get a solid white print - less than what I have seen recently from other formulas. With this information I began printing our test files and the results were VIBRANT. Fine detail, solid opacity and sharp line work in every image - that’s what we’re really looking for in a good pretreat. On top of that the hand feel was immaculate. No stiff or starchy feeling which I 100% attribute to the low amount needed to get the killer results we enjoyed. When I want to show a potential customer what the direct to garment printing process can do THESE are the things I look for in a good sample. From that customer’s perspective, this is what I want to offer to my customers to keep them coming back for more.

Is this surprising? It is and it isn’t. I’ve been to their facilities in Connecticut and when I tell you that the team over at Firebird are scientists I mean. Not one to stand on their laurels, they continue to push the limits, reformulate and always with an eye to the future. So the results we achieved with the low amount of pretreat we used were surprising but when you consider the source I expect nothing less. If you print direct to garment on black shirts and are looking to up your game a little, Firebird NOVA is the pretreat for you.

Meet our author

All American Print Supply Co Estevan Romero Profile Picture

Estevan Romero

Brand Marketing Lead

Esteven Romero began making YouTube videos back in 2017 to help new business owners learn how to use their products and grow their operation.


He has been featured in many companies content such as Siser North America, Key Print Co and more. He has been featured as a speaker/presenter nationwide across the tradeshow circuit sharing information and insight to the print community audience and brings 13+ years of experience to the table.

You can meet Estevan and more of the friendly All American Print Supply Co team by visiting the company live events calendar and our YouTube channel.

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