Advanced printing techniques using a DTG printer are all about trial and error. As you continue to use a DTG printer, you understand fundamental limitations and how to get around them. For example, say you’re printing on a pocket that is 4″ X 4″ in size, but your design is 7″ X 8″. Where the pocket is raised, the image is crisp, but where there is no pocket, the print is blurry. In this scenario, if you print in a uni-directional mode as opposed to bi-directional, the entire image will be crisp. It takes longer to print, but because it prints correctly, you won’t waste time and money in the process.
I’ve attempted to print using a glow-in-the-dark powder by sprinkling it on white ink and curing. It worked incredibly, except when it came to washing the garment. If I wanted to continue refining this process, I might attempt to combine a topcoat for screen printing in the mix, but again it has to do with trial and error. We’ve also tried glitter and foils, all of which have worked exceptionally well, but throughout the process, we discovered different techniques to make them work. Since it’s not the same for every garment, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact procedures. So throughout these types of experiments, it’s essential to record your findings. If you are anything like me, the processes are in your mind until the next time you take on the project, and then it’s a head-scratcher as to what you did before to make it work.
The great thing about DTG printers is they allow you to think outside of the proverbial box of traditional garment decoration, but for that to happen, trial and error are key. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask others about their experiences!