Have you been considering direct-to-garment printing on polyester shirts? Have you been told it can’t be done? Well, I have good news for you. What you were told may have been true for the company you contacted. However, it is not true for the entire apparel decorating industry. Many DTG printers and inks will not print polyester garments well. In same cases, it won’t work at all. Some shops have the right printers and inks, but don’t know how to do it successfully.
As you may have heard, DTG is designed for printing on 100% cotton garments. However, it can be used to print on 50/50, tri-blend, and 100% polyester garments. If you need to decorate using DTG on polyester garments, you have come to the right place! A+ Images can successfully print digitally on a variety of synthetic fibers. For instance, polyester and rayon fabrics work with our Kornit DTG printers! We can print digitally direct to polyester with three different options.
Sublimation with Polyester
First, if you need a full color design on a white (or very light-colored) 100% polyester garment, sublimation is probably your best option. However, you probably aren’t reading this article for sublimation techniques. Those have been around for years.
DTG with Standard Polyester
Next, DTG on light or dark regular polyester. While this option is tricky, it can be done successfully with the right printer, inks, and dryer settings. By using more pre-treatment, slower print settings, delays between ink layers, and a longer, but cooler drying time and temperature than cotton shirts to prevent dye-migration, it works. Due to the slower printing process and longer drying times, we charge a 75% premium over our regular DTG print costs.
DTG with Cationic Polyester
Finally, the third option is our favorite. We can print and dry the shirts with similar settings as cotton t-shirts. Therefore, it costs the same as printing digitally on cotton shirts. Cationic polyester is required to utilize this option. We have two preferred sources of cationic polyester garments. First, the Team 365 apparel from Alphabroder. Second, the PosiCharge® line of garments offered by Sanmar. We have noticed slightly better results with Sanmar products over Alphabroder garments.
Contact us today if you are ready to get started with direct to garment printing on polyester shirts! Alternatively, stop by our office and see our sample prints. Wholesale/contract pricing is available for our DTG and Sublimation services.