Just like in screen printing, the type of garment will affect how you print via Direct-To-Garment (DTG). This week, expert Luke Ryerkerk dives into the specifics about printing 100% cotton on a DTG printer.
For any type of garment with DTG, the garment quality will affect the overall quality of the print the most. For 100% cotton, you’ll want to stick to Ringspun or Carted Cotton Ringspun for the best results.
Pretreat is also extremely important. This goes for all garment types, but here are some overall recommendations for 100% cotton:
25 - 30 grams is recommended for most ringspun apparel.
The higher quality the knit, the less pretreatment you typically need.
Garments with open-ended cotton, like Gildan UltraCotton, will need more pretreat (20-40% more on average).
Pre-pressing for 5-10 seconds will help tremendously!
This is a huge tip, especially in high-humidity areas.
It removes the excess moisture from the garment and preps a dry surface for the pretreat to adhere to it.
Rolling the garment while pretreat is still wet will help with high-fiber material.
Dealing with apparel that has a lot of fibers? This is a big trick that will help battle them.
Use a 4-6” foam roller (ones typically used for painting cabinets)
Roll one direction with little pressure while pretreat is still wet.
You’ll see the areas you’ve rolled have the fibers pressed down in one direction.
Use a light/white garment pretreat for white shirts.
Cotton loves to soak the ink up.
When NOT printing white ink (on white and some light garments), using a special pretreat will help.
Use as little as half the amount you use for dark garments.
Firebird’s FBX-VIVID is a great choice for pretreat!