We have been asked on a regular basis what the shelf life for the RTP Apparel brand of DTG Ready To Print shirts is that they remain good for DTG printing. In the past we've joked that we have not yet found a shelf life. In saying this, it has been true. We have not yet found a shelf life for the RTP branded shirts.
This morning we decided to pull a shirt from our original batch from the 1st quarter of 2016 and print it to see the results. We followed all of our standard procedures of pre-pressing the shirt to remove any and all moisture prior to printing.
We printed on an Epson F2000 with OEM inks, set the White and Color LEVELS to 2 as we normally do for our prints with that ink set. This is the result that we got.
As can be seen, the shirt printed perfectly well after sitting on our shelf for 3 YEARS (actually more than three years, but who's counting?). The whites were white and the print looks fantastic.
That is the beauty of our RTP Apparel shirts. Not only were we the first to bring Ready To Print DTG apparel to the industry on a big scale with multiple colors and styles, but we are also the original and can claim a shelf life.
So, anyone telling you that the pretreatment is only good for 6 months or you need to use the shirt as soon as possible or it may not be good is just plain wrong. We proved that with this print.
We do suggest using the shirts as soon as possible. Not because of a shelf life, but because if you have shirts sitting on your shelf for more than three years you have bigger problems with your business to worry about than the shelf life of a shirt.