How to dry the pretreatment liquid when using a heat press?

A step-by-step guide for successfully curing the pretreatment liquid when using a heat press.

The pretreatment liquid must be dried, in order an invisible film can be created, so the inks may lay upon it and be fixated. During the drying process excess water is vaporized and with the use of a heat press the vertical fibers are held down, providing a flat surface for smooth ink coverage. If the fibers remain vertical, then these will probably be visible (not completely coated by ink) and require more ink for coating.

Steps for drying the pretreatment liquid when using a heat press:

Step 1

Make sure that your workspace is properly ventilated. The drying of the pretreatment will cause the release of vapor which contain volatile chemicals. The use of a protective mask is suggested.

Step 2

Set the heat press to the right temperature, pressure and time. Those parameters can vary depending on the solution itself, the type and thickness of the fabric that you choose to print on.

Step 3

Lay a protective sheet paper onto your fabric so that the sprayed area won’t come in direct contact with the hot surface. This type of paper gives best uniformity in drying and enables better evaporation of volatiles. These sheets should only be used once per garment and then should be disposed. This avoids build-up of residue on the sheets which can lead to staining or discoloration.

Proceed to press the fabric in the temperature and time that is suggested to each corresponding liquid. Use a high pressure setting, so the fibers of the garment could be laid down.

Step 4

If the fabric is still wet, re-press it for a few more seconds until it is dry. This means you have either applied too much pretreatment or your heat press in not properly removing the excess moisture. 

Step 5


Remove the fabric from the heat press and place it on your desirable printer platen to be printed. Follow the basic printing process with Digital Factory Apparel Polyprint Edition v10.


Tip: Learn the curing parameters used for Polyprint's Texjet Inks product range: Inks & Pretreatment Liquids: Fixation times and temperatures