How to Effectively Use Metallic Foil on DTG Prints

Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best results when applying foil

One of the easiest and most profitable ways to expand your product line in a DTG business is to offer metallic foil prints.  By adding a few simple steps to your printing process and a few pennies worth of foil, you can easily add $5-10 to your selling price of a garment without changing the design file.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Prepare your graphic, ensuring you are using a white under-base.

Step 2: Print your garment and immediately move it to your heat press.

Step 3: Apply the foil sheet shiny side up on the printed surface.

Step 4: Clamp down the heat press with moderate pressure — typically for about 90 seconds.

Step 5: Remove the garment from the heat press and allow it to cool slightly.  Then, peel away the foil sheet to reveal your finished product!

In addition, here are a few tips to ensure you get the best results when applying foil:

  • Pre-cut your sheets of foil prior to printing (or while the garment is printing) to ensure the ink is still wet when applying the foil.
  • Always print with a white under-base when applying foil. Even if your final product will be on a white garment, you still need a white under-base because the white ink acts as glue for the foil. CMYK ink alone will not work with the foil.
  • Avoid allowing the foil to slide around on the pint so you don’t smear the ink.
  • The foil is semi-transparent. There will be a hint of the underlying color passing through the foil.  Experiment with this to enhance the look of the final garment.
  • It is important to apply a good amount of even pressure with the heat press to help the foil adhere to the garment properly. If your foil is not sticking to the garment, it is likely you are not applying enough pressure, or you do not have a white under-base.
  • Get creative by adding or removing foil on part of the graphic to draw attention to something on the garment — rather than foil the entire graphic. You can even use different colored foils on the same garment.
  • Try crumpling the foil prior to applying it to the garment for a different look. One example is to use crumpled gold foil to produce a gold bar effect.
Paul Crocker DTG Connection

Paul Crocker

Paul Crocker has accumulated over 20 years of experience pursuing his passion for the art and science of customer centric marketing. A pioneer of Search Engine Marketing, Paul also spent 10 years running his freelance consulting company Spider SEM — a firm that specialized in helping small companies build and maintain profitable search campaigns to drive growth in their businesses. Paul entered the DTG industry in 2014 launching several new DTG printers with Anajet and Ricoh DTG as their Marketing Director. In 2020, Paul joined forces with Karl and Adam to launch DTG Connection.

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