Can you apply too much pretreatment to a shirt? The quick answer to this is yes! When your first start to learn pretreatment by hand you may go through this. You may also go through this when dialing in your pretreatment machine. Sure it may be better to error on the side of too much than not enough. With too much you may still get a decent print. The problem is that it may suffer from poor wash results. Too much pretreatment may also cause your white ink to puddle more and not dry quickly causing issues when the color pass is printed.

The main point is too much application is creating a very heavy layer on top of your garment. This pushes your print away more from the surface of the garment leaving it less bonded to the actual fibers. Because of this you will more than likely notice poor wash results. Your print may look great but it just does not have anything holding it tight to the actual shirt.

It’s going to take a small learning curve to figure this out, here are a few ways to tell if you have used too much.

• If your pretreatment moves down the garment when picked up you have used too much. The area should look wet but should not drip or move down the garment when held upright.

• When you dry the garment on a heat press you are still seeing a lot of steam when the garment should be dry. You don’t want to see lots of steam in a shirt you are about to print on. This means there is still a decent amount of moisture in the garment that needs to be removed.

• Once the pretreatment has been cured the shirt should feel slightly stiffer but not by very much. When you over do the pretreat you will notice that the area is very noticeably stiffer. In bad cases it will almost stand up by itself.

There is definitely a learning curve to pretreating but take your time and dial in the amount you use. In the big picture you will be using less product and getting great wash results.