Direct printing on white clothes - with or without treatment?

Direct textile printing has a number of funny peculiarities that can have a huge influence on the final result of your T-shirt printing job.


Talking a little about direct printing itself, and at the risk of repeating something we've already said several times, it's a printing method that will work much better on 100 per cent cotton items. If we use garments with lycra or polyester we will cause unnecessary problems and the quality of the work you receive will reduce considerably.


Direct printing on dark backgrounds

When we print on garments that are red, blue, black, green or any colour other than white, we are forced to use white ink underneath the print. A kind of first coat, like when you're painting a wall. Only after this primer can we print the colour of your logo (it works a bit like screen printing). Now, this white paint will only stick to the garment if we apply a pre-treatment. This pre-treatment is a liquid that will "bind" the white paint to the garment.


As we use water-based inks, this is a necessary and obligatory process on T-shirts of any colour, otherwise the ink will disappear into the garment and your logo will no longer be visible.



Direct printing on light backgrounds

On white or light t-shirts (beige, for example), this treatment is not compulsory and in most cases we don't even apply it, since we're printing directly on white.

However, not applying treatment or printing white on white has its disadvantages. Being water-based paints, they tend to "seep" into the fabric and the colour ends up "dying" / fading a little.

Direct to Garment


How do we solve this problem?

It is also enough to apply a treatment, followed by white ink (primer) before printing the other colours.

Now, this isn't a mandatory process as you can print the colour directly onto the garment, but when you have an image with very vivid colours, it's definitely a great option to consider.



Advantages of treatment on light backgrounds

  • Brighter print colours
  • Longer print life


Disadvantages of treatment on light backgrounds

  • Higher value - the same price as printing on dark backgrounds
  • The print has a touch, it's not as smooth as without the treatment



At the end of the day, the decision will always be yours. For our part, we're not in the habit of using direct print treatment on light backgrounds, but there are some jobs that will benefit greatly from this application.

estampagem têxtil


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