How To Avoid The Worst DTG Printing Headaches

It takes real skills to establish and sustain a thriving business model in today’s competitive decorated apparel market. Without knowing the fundamentals of printing, transposing artwork and ideas into digital designs can be a real challenge. It’s the biggest struggle today’s digital apparel designers vying to become legacies face. If time is put into mastering the art of dtg printing, they’ll find identifying and eliminating any design distortions a lot easier.


Worst fabric design distortions explained


The precautions observed with ribbed garment construction are quite different from that of plain pieces. Zippers, pockets, and seams are typical examples of elements that can distort any print design. Although, specialized accessories have been introduced to improve dtg printing techniques, sometimes the situation requires a more practical solution. So, what makes printing ribbed fabrics so difficult? The fact that it has a form-fitting style causes an inconsistency in the print pattern. This irregularity should become evident when the material is stretched, exposing gaps separating a sequence of raised rib stitch patterns. The slightest variation in fabric proportions could possibly impact the final product, so, careful inspection of each article is necessary.


Similar to printing on ribbed texture, zippers, seams, and pockets are highly dense portions of the fabric. The use of specialized pallets to remedy inconsistent patterns in some articles is a growing trend. However, it’s not an ideal solution for every case. While form-fitting merchandise is a fast-trending fashion nowadays, it’s the least suitable for dtg printing. Against precaution, some future-forward specialists have attempted printing rib stitch garments and failed. The results have remained consistently underwhelming over the years. Disappointingly, any attempt to decorate gaps diminishes the quality of graphics, ultimately, compromising the integrity of the printed content.


Getting vivid soft tri-blend prints


Curious why tri-blend material looks vintage or fades so easily? Well, it’s a science that has many designers puzzled. What the latest textile testing revealed is that tri-blends require 100 percent water-based or plastisol dtg ink to soften fabric texture. Consequently, adding a specialized discharge solution and an underbase can also produce similar results. This should improve the overall quality and texture of the final print.


Tri-blends comprises a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. While “cotton,” for example, has a higher tolerance for heat, it’s synthetic counterpart might not survive the test. The unpredictable nature of tri-blends increase the odds of inconsistent results. Moreover, each fabric type interacts differently with elements through printing. Then there’s “polyester,” which has a higher resistance to heat but discharges ink poorly under elevated temperatures. This increases the occurrence of dye migration where the fabric bleeds its native color into the dtg ink, thus causing discoloration. The job gets harder with fabrics like “rayon” for its low tolerance for heat.


Given the circumstances, it’s necessary to explore recommended post-processing techniques such as heat-curing, pre-treating and discharge ink solution. While dtg discharge ink isn’t recommended for every application, it helps knowing when it’s needed or not. This colorless ink system eliminates the need for white underbasing. Normally, it’s applied to full cotton products or similar natural fibers, however, its performance on tri-blends is equally impressive. Another precaution is that discharge inks have certain color and dye restrictions because of its slow release rate.

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