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DTF print i sent out after first wash


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Only just started using DTF films after moving away from DTG, hopefully this is the first and only bad print and I don't wake up tomorrow to a couple hundred angry customers. 

For background information:

I'm fairly certain I only pressed it once (i am now pressing twice, only because I had read about pressing twice, once before peel and once after) but can't quite remember as it was last week

I also may of forgotten to pre press the shirt, I mean as I'm writing this I feel like I did lots of things wrong!

I'm using a brother GTX pro, using the DTF software supplied by Brother, the print cures after applying glue for 6 minutes at 160 celcius. I apply the glue immediately after printing, should I perhaps leave the print to dry a bit in the air? there is conflicting information on this point so I'm not sure what advice to follow! 

I press at 160 celcius for 15 seconds, quite high pressure, I'm quite strong (not being vain, just extra information) and it is tough to close the press.

Is this to much ink? Not pressed enough? Not cured properly? Sorry if this is a basic query, but I am new to this but there isn't much information on DTF out there!

 

Also bonus question, I'm in the UK - I believe my sheets are picking up extra glue around the outsides of the print due to either humidity or static (the unit I work in gets very cold). Should I point a heater at my sheets for a while, or stick them under the heat press (hovering not closed obviously) to dry them out? Or does anyone have any other tips for removing the glue around the outskirts of the print!

Thank you in advance for any responses!

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I intend on answering all your questions, if I miss one let me know. 
 

1. I always double press. For me, it seems to press it further into the fabric and makes it softer, I don’t know about durability without the 2nd press, I always do it and not a single issue. 
 

2. I have never pre pressed a shirt- and I as well remain in 60+ humidity with fluctuations in temperature. 
 

3. People recommend letting the print dry first. It will turn from a wet look to a matte look when it’s ready for powder. I run auto machines most of the time, and they always dry this much before reaching the powder- if they don’t I add a heat strip so they do. The few times I hand did them, yes them being wet vs “ matte” looking made a huge difference in quality. 
 

4. I press at 290 F for 15 seconds, twice. I notice hotter degrades the print.
 

5. your powder and film will absorb moisture. More importantly, your film. If you have powder sticking anywhere it shouldn’t without tapping it off the film, they are holding moisture. Wouldn’t cause this though. 
 

6. I as well use heavy pressure. 
 

My opinion-

cured/powdered improperly. 
 

do you have photos of your print before powdering, after powdering before curing, and after curing both front and back? 
 

 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

I intend on answering all your questions, if I miss one let me know. 
 

1. I always double press. For me, it seems to press it further into the fabric and makes it softer, I don’t know about durability without the 2nd press, I always do it and not a single issue. 
 

2. I have never pre pressed a shirt- and I as well remain in 60+ humidity with fluctuations in temperature. 
 

3. People recommend letting the print dry first. It will turn from a wet look to a matte look when it’s ready for powder. I run auto machines most of the time, and they always dry this much before reaching the powder- if they don’t I add a heat strip so they do. The few times I hand did them, yes them being wet vs “ matte” looking made a huge difference in quality. 
 

4. I press at 290 F for 15 seconds, twice. I notice hotter degrades the print.
 

5. your powder and film will absorb moisture. More importantly, your film. If you have powder sticking anywhere it shouldn’t without tapping it off the film, they are holding moisture. Wouldn’t cause this though. 
 

6. I as well use heavy pressure. 
 

My opinion-

cured/powdered improperly. 
 

do you have photos of your print before powdering, after powdering before curing, and after curing both front and back? 
 

 

Thank you so much for getting back to me! Its 2am and I've just got back from my unit, I print 30 tees all with different variables and they are all now in the wash to see what happens, and I'm afraid I don't have any photos but I will say the do look 'Perfect' when finished, their results have pushed me from heavily using DTG to DTF now, but this email I got tonight from a customer really stressed me out because I've sent off 1000+ tees since starting DTF last Tuesday and I am praying this is a fluke!

(I am thankful you don't believe it is pre pressing because I know I have only pre pressed about 4 tee shirts only by accident thinking I had put the DTF sheet on, probably would of just started crying if you said it was that)

Can I ask how long you wait after printing, to get that matte look, I know you probably don't time it but in a general range (30 seconds? 2 minutes? 15 minutes?)

Also final question, sorry if I am bothering you, but my business partner doesn't want to get a DTF printer because he loves Brother and we have a good relationship with the Brother company, so we are using their GTX - He claims DTF only printers and their ink are subpar to the GTX brother Ink and therefore will have less washability, do you find this to be accurate or is he just uninformed? I might purchase a couple of transfers off someone with a DTF printer next week to see their washability, but just thought I'd ask you because you seem to know your stuff!

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Hi Elliot I read your post and join. We also have Brother GTX printers and for some months we have been doing DTF with good results but with some things still to be corrected. Unfortunately Brother does not give many indications and leaves users to experiment: we love our printers but when you buy a 35,0000 euro machine you expect a different support.
We have never had problems with washing: only on 2 nylon jackets (out of a production of 20) but I think the problem is the nylon which deserves a separate discussion.
In my opinion the main problem is that 6 minutes of drying is really too much and could cause the ink to lose elasticity.
We dry for 2 minutes.
For the problem of excess glue, we've been through it too. This is caused by various factors including humidity and static electricity.
We advise you to keep the glue very well: we use a shaker that turns it every now and then and keeps it warm (very slightly).
Above all, we have noticed that after printing the sheets should not be immediately processed with glue: we let them rest on the oven surface which is slightly warm and helps eliminate static electricity. After 1/2 minutes the sheets are dusted off without glue residues.
The biggest problem we're having is that we haven't found the perfect film for ink brothers yet. Some seem to work well but then you may have prints with some solid color blocks and notice banding as if the color is not spreading well on the sheet.
Soon

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5 hours ago, Creative Promotion said:

Hi Elliot I read your post and join. We also have Brother GTX printers and for some months we have been doing DTF with good results but with some things still to be corrected. Unfortunately Brother does not give many indications and leaves users to experiment: we love our printers but when you buy a 35,0000 euro machine you expect a different support.
We have never had problems with washing: only on 2 nylon jackets (out of a production of 20) but I think the problem is the nylon which deserves a separate discussion.
In my opinion the main problem is that 6 minutes of drying is really too much and could cause the ink to lose elasticity.
We dry for 2 minutes.
For the problem of excess glue, we've been through it too. This is caused by various factors including humidity and static electricity.
We advise you to keep the glue very well: we use a shaker that turns it every now and then and keeps it warm (very slightly).
Above all, we have noticed that after printing the sheets should not be immediately processed with glue: we let them rest on the oven surface which is slightly warm and helps eliminate static electricity. After 1/2 minutes the sheets are dusted off without glue residues.
The biggest problem we're having is that we haven't found the perfect film for ink brothers yet. Some seem to work well but then you may have prints with some solid color blocks and notice banding as if the color is not spreading well on the sheet.
Soon

“Above all, we have noticed that after printing the sheets should not be immediately processed with glue: we let them rest on the oven surface which is slightly warm and helps eliminate static electricity. After 1/2 minutes the sheets are dusted off without glue residues.”

 

this isn’t due to static, this is due to moisture. The inks consist of glycerol, ethylene glycol, water, pigment and the pigment carrier. The reason it’s heated before powdering is to get that excess water out, leaving behind the glycerol. While static can be an issue, that stems mainly from roll printing, plastic film sliding across a surface creating static. A flatbed printer shouldn’t experience this. 
 

the pretreat sheet ( film) absorbs the ethylene glycol and water, causing a “ halo” effect as it wicks into the film with moisture if not heated/air dried. If powdered before it’s heated/air dried, too Much powder will stick to the ink, causing a thick transfer, as well as the “ halo”. 
 

another thing is it doesn’t have a large effect, but the powder and film both absorb small amounts of humidity. A roll of film, for example, left in a humid environment, the parts of the film exposed will absorb some moisture and powder sticks to it where it shouldn’t. Cut that off, throwing away the exposed material, works fine. 
 

if your powder is too dry though, ( like if you remove all the moisture entirely) then it clings like crazy to the ink and film ( if it has any humidity in it at all) irregardless. 
 

as for the inks, no I don’t believe the inks are really any different. Look at the ingredients and search across multiple brands MSDS, cross referencing every chemical. These inks are almost all the same, in terms of ingredients, while the clear variables are simply substitute/nearly identical chemicals with very different names. 
 

i have used Chinese ink since Dec. 2020, and I haven’t had any issues related to it. In fact, Dupont 5000 DTG inks, and Kodak inks caused more problems than DTF ink for me. I ran DTG for quite a few years as well.
 

i get brand loyalty, but a million variables can’t be reduced down to a “ best case” scenario when many of them are based on your opinion. If it works for you and you like it, go for it. 
 

personally, I’m using Epson conversions and have been with excellent results. I don’t know how many transfers at this point, but I do know I have used over 45 rolls of 13x325FT long film, with these conversions with a simple click and print interface after initial setting it up. I walk away for 2-3 hours at a time while they print. I have about $1,200 in each printer/shaker combo, in my scenario. Currently I do 12 sq ft an hour per printer, or  30 sq for black or white per printer. Not terrible fast, but I’m also not doing anything but waiting. 
 

i also make due financially, so I make do with what I have. Personally, I don’t care what brand or model it is, because I’ll figure out how to use it as long as the main components can take constant printing and support my ink needs. If you need support, definitely stick to a reputable company. It would be nice, but I definitely can’t afford to spend XXX more in trade for X time to figure it out on my own. My time isn’t worth the cost difference, lol. 
 

good luck! 

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