Impressions - June/July 2017 - 51

A DTG printer's print head
and capping station should
be cleaned manually to help
avoid harmful buildup.

Think of the adhesives, and components within the printer
and print head, as behaving similarly. If water-based ink is used
in a solvent ink-delivery system, the components holding it
together will begin to break down.This is one reason why there
are so many issues with textile ink in solvent ink-based delivery
systems.When buying a DTG printer, the first question for the
manufacturer should be whether it is a solvent-based print head
and ink-delivery system. If so, it's a red flag.
It's critical to know if the encapsulation chemistry has been
tested for harmful substances and rendered safe for use on youth
and adult textiles. Not all DTG ink is OEKO-TEX certified.
If using uncertified ink, you could be harming your customers
or yourself and breaking the law if selling to children younger
than age 12.
Clogging Causes
Textile ink requires a specific viscosity level to flow through a
print head.Titanium dioxide pigment is a naturally heavy, sticky
and settling compound.When encapsulated in a carrier, white ink
sticks to everything and can have catastrophic clogging effects.
Consider this analogy:White ink acts like cholesterol in the
blood stream. If not managed, it will build up over time and
eventually clog the pathway. Another good example is a bottle
of Wite-Out correction fluid.That little bottle and brush would
become full of gunk almost immediately after a few uses, and
the same can happen with white ink in an ink-delivery system.
Specific procedures are required to mitigate the clogging
characteristics of white ink. Because titanium dioxide settles,
it must be agitated to suspend its particles. Some printers have
internal agitators, but most manufacturers require users to shake
the white-ink cartridge before use.
It's easy to shake an external printer component, but what
about the internal elements? This is where some machines stand
out and define what makes them true textile printers.All internal
elements require special attention for reliable white-ink use. Since
this ink settles, the lines and dampers need regular agitation and
ink flow. Some printers require the system to remain powered up
and will routinely flush ink through the print head, while others
require the ink to be removed and washed completely away.
This is ineffective and expensive, as the amount of ink required
to fully agitate the internal components or clean the system costs
too much to deem viable.The ultimate solution is to internally
circulate ink through the system with no ink waste.
Think of the top of that Wite-Out bottle and how much fluid
it accumulates.You can expect similar buildup on a DTG printer's

print head and capping station. In most cases, these elements must
be cleaned to reduce buildup. Manually wipe the print head
clean, even though every printer has a feature that automatically
does this. On solvent printers, it is done with a rubber squeegee.
This works, but when textile and white inks are added, the
rubber squeegee smears the latter along the bottom of the print
head and slowly clogs the nozzles. A fabric wiper is needed to
properly clean the bottom of the print head.
When shopping for a printer, be conscious of the most important
elements that make a white-ink system reliable. Is the white ink
OEKO-TEX certified and safe for children? Is the printer made
of repurposed solvent printer components and print heads or is it
designed for water-based inks? Is there internal ink circulation?
Do you need to spend time and money flushing out the white
ink? Does the printer have a fabric wiper or rubber squeegee?
Asking these simple questions can save frustration and, ultimately, your apparel-printing business. 
John LeDrew is the DTG director for Melco Intl. He has worked professionally in
garment decoration since 2006, managing accounts and overseeing production
for some of the world's largest brands and retailers. For more information or
to comment on this article, contact John via LinkedIn.

The major difference among
white inks offered by different ink
manufacturers is the encapsulation
chemistry of the DuPont pigment
in the carrier or solution.

JUNE/JULY 2017

P.51



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - June/July 2017

Impressions - June/July 2017
Contents
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Overheard
First Look
Scene at ISS
On Design
Childrenswear Makes Magic
Covering All Underbases
Get With the (Uniform) Program!
Make it Happen
Shop Talk
Embroidery Production
Sublimation
Direct-To-Garment
Heat Printing
Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - June/July 2017 - CT1
Impressions - June/July 2017 - CT2
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Impressions - June/July 2017
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 1
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Contents
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 3
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 4
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 5
Impressions - June/July 2017 - First Impressions
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 7
Impressions - June/July 2017 - From the Show Director
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 9
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 10
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Overheard
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 12
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 13
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 14
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 15
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 15a
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 15b
Impressions - June/July 2017 - First Look
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 17
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Scene at ISS
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 19
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 20
Impressions - June/July 2017 - On Design
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Childrenswear Makes Magic
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 23
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 24
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 25
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 26
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 27
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 28
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Covering All Underbases
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 30
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 31
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Get With the (Uniform) Program!
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 33
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 34
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 35
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Make it Happen
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 37
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 38
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 39
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Shop Talk
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 41
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Embroidery Production
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 43
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 44
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 45
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Sublimation
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 47
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 48
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 48A
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 48B
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 49
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Direct-To-Garment
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 51
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Heat Printing
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 53
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 54
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 55
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 56
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 57
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 59
Impressions - June/July 2017 - 60
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Cover3
Impressions - June/July 2017 - Cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201801
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20160607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20150607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20140607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sportsfanretailer_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20131011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20130607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20121011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012fall
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120607
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201202
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011spring
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