Polyester printing in the Direct To Garment printing arena has always been an issue. Pretreatment box staining, white ink changing colors due to dye migration, and just plain impossible. This has led the industry to try to create new printers and solutions to do DTG on polyester with limited success or at a very expensive investment in equipment.
RTP Apparel is excited to announce another industry FIRST with our new line of 100% polyester shirts - the HERO - as a solution to all of the above polyester related issues when printing with DTG.
Our patent pending process allows RTP Apparel to manufacture an incredible performing polyester garment that virtually any DTG printer using standard inks can print even RED 100% Polyester garments with absolutely zero dye migration.
The HERO (Style #2000) in the RTP Apparel line of DTG Ready To Print garments is our solution to polyester printing. Featuring 140gsm bird eye interlock fabric structure, tear away labels and integrated with RTP's proprietary manufacturing process we've produced the worlds first Ready To Print 100% polyester garment with ZERO dye migration. The HERO is able to be printed on anywhere, including the front, back, side - even the label (i.e. you can print the LABEL & the front of the shirt at the same time - perfect for building your own brand).
Please note that successfully printing the HERO does require modifications as to how the shirt is printed. We have an online documentation (click this link to learn more) to help you learn how to master polyester printing. However, here are some tips to be successful.
- ALL moisture must be removed prior to printing in the area to be decorated.
- If using a heat press, use extremely light pressure (i.e. just "kiss" the garment). This will require a longer time to remove all moisture than a standard press.
- When printing, a fine underbase under every color must be applied. Typically this is an extremely LIGHT layer of white. Too much initial underbase will result in the white ink "pooling" up and causing the print to look uneven.
- After this underbase is applied, then you can "print like normal" typically. We have found though that layering a couple layers of white ink will provide the best results. Typically a big increase in the final white is required to get a great looking print. Sometimes this can be an increase of 25-100% of the normal white applied (this is polyester).
- CURING the inks. You can cure with a heat press or conveyor dryer. However, if using the heat press, just as in removing moisture, just "kiss" the garment. The issue here is that the time required will increase significantly to fully cure the ink (heat transfer is related to time/temperature/pressure). Typically you might need to 2x the original time of curing a normal shirt when "kissing" with the heat press. ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN TESTING TO ENSURE PROPER CURE OF THE INKS.
- NOTE: When heating the shirt, the heated areas will get stiff. This is compeltely normal. This will break down and become softer as the shirt sits and can re-absorb moisture, it is handled (wrinkled, folded), and after washing/drying. This can be of concern to some people, but it is a result of the process to allow us to do DTG printing on polyester with zero dye migration. Steaming the shirt can help too loosen the fabric and then immediately "handle" it by wrinkling, stretching, etc.
We are working with and will have RIP software available in the near future to make the control of printing polyester easier. Standard print drivers typically can not successfully print the HERO and achieve the best results. However, do your own testing to find the correct settings.
Be a HERO to your customers. This is just the beginning of the future of DTG printing and RTP Apparel is leading the way.
Make it Ready To Print. Make it RTP Apparel.
The new HERO Polyester shirts area available HERE.