A step-by-step guide for successfully curing inks when using an oven dryer.
All inks that are used in the dtg printing process must undergo curing with heat, in order to stabilize on the garment’s surface and to have wash endurance. Oven dryers are suitable curing equipment when it comes to the fixation of dtg inks. In contrast with the heat press, they lack the pressure feature and that is why the print has more texture and it’s a bit rougher to the touch. This adds a certain character to your designs that you can actually benefit from and make your creations unique.
Steps for curing the ink when using an oven dryer:
Make sure that you have a properly ventilated surface. The drying of the inks will cause the release of vapor, which contains volatile chemicals. The use of a protective mask is suggested.
Set your oven dryer to the right temperature and time. Those parameters can vary depending on the ink characteristics. Every set of inks has different fixation parameters that usually are suggested from the manufacturer.
Note: Keep in mind that dtg inks require an increase in time and temperature, when are cured in an oven or a tunnel dryer than in a heat press.
Gently remove the printed garment from the printer and lay it carefully on the heat drawer. Make sure that the fabric is not folded where ink has been applied.
Tip: You can cure up to one garment per drawer, depending on the drawer capacity. If you do so, be careful not to overlap the printed areas of the garments.
Proceed to cure the fabric in the temperature and time that is suggested for each corresponding ink set.
Note: If the inks are still wet, cure the garment for a few more seconds until it is completely dry. This may be an indicator of excessive ink. You should, also, check if your oven dryer provides the hot air evenly and if it properly removes the moisture from your garments.
Remove the fabric from the heat drawer and let it cool off.
Tip: Oven dryers are the most suitable choice when it comes to screen and digital mix printing. In order for the paste to dry successfully and stabilize, the air flow that these ovens provide help to achieve optimum results.