Today we will show you how we print a personalized garment!
First the garment is loaded onto the printing pallet and a metal clamp is placed over it. This metal clamp is held in place by magnets on the underside of the pallet to ensure that the garment doesn’t slip during printing.
After the garment is loaded, the pallet moves into the printer where it is automatically sprayed with a water-based solution called Fixation Agent. This fixation agent creates a layer that helps the ink adhere to the garment, providing vivid colors and long-lasting washability.
Later, during the curing process, the fixation agent is evaporated in the dryer. Sometimes this leaves a faint vinegar-type smell on the finished garment. But don’t worry – it will disappear with the first washing!
All printing is done with five colors of ink: Cyan, which is a shade of blue, Magenta, a pinkish-red color, Yellow, Black and White.
Similar to school children mixing red and yellow finger-paint to make orange, or blue and yellow to make green, the opaque quality of the CMYK inks allows us to achieve all the colors in the CMYK color gamut by printing one over the other.
The white ink is printed onto the garment first, to create what is called a white under-base. This white under-base prevents the garment’s fabric from soaking up too much of the colored ink, and is important to achieve vivid color.
After the white layer has been printed, the pallet moves to the front of the printer, and the colored ink is printed over the white under base.
When the printing process has finished the metal clamp is removed and the garment is placed onto the dryer.
The garment rides a double return belt through a gas dryer set to 330 degrees Fahrenheit. It travels through the dryer on the top belt, flips over at the end of the dryer and is returned to the operator on the bottom belt about nine minutes later.
Now the garment ready to be folded, packaged, and shipped to the customer.