When it comes to the color white you can always count on it needing a little more work to use. No matter if it is house paint, car paint, toy model paint, art paint or DTG ink you will need to do some shaking or mixing before you can use it. No matter the application white has to be a very strong color with a heavy pigment. For garment printing white ink is used as a base coat for the color when printing on dark garment. Because white is such a heavy pigment it likes to float to the bottom when not being used.
No matter what printer you use for direct to garment you will need to shake the white ink bottles or cartridges before printing. One of the main reasons I am writing this blog is to help give a little more insight on why and how we need to do these things. Most people know to shake the white but do you know how to shake for the best results? The first thing is you do not want to shake up and down if your ink is in a bottle bulk ink system. Instead, swirl the ink around inside the bottle and do it as vigorously as possible. The swirling motion is much better because it will not cause major bubbles and foaming. Ink cartridges however can be shaken up and down. For a long time we have always thought to not use a lot of force but as time has gone by it has proven a stronger agitation is needed. Why? Because the white ink pigment going go to the bottom will sometimes sit for a while on and off a sludge can begin to build up over time. Shaking things up with a little more energy will help break down any buildup of ink and help keep the sludge factor at bay.
One more thing while we are on the subject of shaking things up, are you shaking your pretreatment? Pretreatment has a similar process of particles that will move to the bottom when not being used. Always give the container a good shake before using and filling your pretreat sprayer. If you use wagner sprayer also give that a shake before you begin.You may be getting poor prints because a weak mixture of pretreatment is being used.