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What’s the trick to DTG printing bags?

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Aside from getting your printer ready for the jobs and prepping artwork for the size of your bag, there are few things to consider.

No matter what, you should pretreat the bag with the same pretreatment used for dark garment printing. Even if you are not printing white ink, the pretreatment helps give a better print surface. Most bags are not as smooth as a T-shirt and are much more porous.

Next, place the bag onto your print table/platen. You will want to use a table that allows the edges to hang over. Make sure it’s nice and flat with the edges tucked in via a tuck lock or hoop. The hardest part will be getting the bag handle(s) out of the way. Let the handle hang down and over the top or bottom of your table. Remember that if the bag fits better upside down from how you would load a T-shirt, you want to flip your graphic around 180 degrees before printing it.

Before you print, always double-check your table height. Bags have a different thickness than a shirt. Make sure that it is safe from the highest point of the area being printed on. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as print head strikes due to wrong table height may ruin the bag or, worse, the print head.

Now it’s time to print the graphic the same way you would as if it was a T-shirt. Also, use the same settings in your RIP program. If you can, it is always a good idea to have an extra bag to use for placement practice.

Once you have printed your design, you will need to cure the print. Use the same heat press settings you use for T-shirts. The great thing with bags is they don’t really get washed. However, proper curing is always ideal.

If you are using a bag that may be damaged by the heat press with melting or scorching, you can try using a heat gun to cure the ink.

Paul_Green

Paul Green

Paul Green works for OmniPrint International, distributor of the FreeJet line of direct-to-garment printers. He is also an industry seminar and webinar speaker and contributing writer. He has been in the printing industry for the last 10 years. After hours, Green is also an established fine artist and painter, and his work can be seen in group art shows around California.

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