When unpacking a new shirt or hoodie with a direct-to-garment (DTG) print, you might notice a vinegar-like smell or an off-white residue. Don’t worry, that’s not unusual – it’s from a fixation agent applied during the printing process and it’s not permanent.
Fixation agent (sometimes known as pre-treatment) is used for all DTG prints across the industry. It helps the ink bond with the fabric, and without it, the ink would flake off the garment.
The solution is simply to wash the garment! Neither the residue nor the smell is permanent and both should go away after one wash. If the discoloration is noticeable, the quality control team will include a card explaining that it’s from the fixation agent. Here’s how it looks:
In order for you to prolong the life of your custom print, we suggest following the care instructions below:
Machine wash cold, inside-out, gentle cycle with mild detergent and similar colors. Use non-chlorine bleach, only when necessary. No fabric softeners. Tumble dry low, or hang-dry for longest life. Cool iron inside-out if necessary. Do not iron decoration. Do not dry clean.
Be wary of washing and drying on a high setting, especially when the garment is 100% cotton. High-temperature washes can fade and crack the print, and a high-temperature dryer settings can shrink the garment, as well as damage the print.
Sublimation apparel (All over prints) can be washed at any temperature setting without affecting quality. But we recommend washing with like colors, as the polyester fabric may make colors run. High temperatures during washing and drying may shrink the fabric.
We use the latest direct-to-garment (DTG) printing technology to offer a wide variety of printable garments and design color options at an affordable price. The DTG ink in this process is different from the ink screen printers use. Keep in mind that the original manufacturer’s care instructions don’t take into consideration the DTG printing process.