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A freshly printed shirt is wet to the touch and will air dry. To maintain durability and the industries best washability, you must cure the garment with a heat press or conveyor dryer.

Best washability in the industry:

By now you must know the F2000 offers the highest rating in garment decorating washability. UltraChrome ink in conjunction with Epson pretreat yields as good or better durability than properly cured screen printing.

Non-Toxic Certified Ink and Pre-treat:

Epson is the only DTG manufacture that offers Oeko-Tex certified ink and pretreat. These products “pass the requirements of Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for human ecological requirements of Class 1 products for adults, children, and babies up to 36 months.”

Curing Garment With a Heat Press:

A high quality heat press is essential to ensure proper curing of DTG prints. Low quality heat presses often do not maintain consistent heat throughout the heating element resulting in inconsistent curing and poor washability. Melco sells Hotronix heat presses because they are the extremely high quality and durable, plus Epson uses them and that means Melco sells them. You can view our presses, available for a discount, at www.shopmelco.com

Heat Press Settings:

It is highly recommended you use upper and lower platen covers on your heat press. Additionally you will need a teflon sheet, parchment or baking paper, to gently lay on top of the garment between the print and heating element. You can purchase paper here.

John LeDrew Epson F2000

parchment paper on print before curing

Heat Press Temp – 338°F/170°C

White Only 45 sec/1-3 PSI
Color Only 45 sec/1-3 PSI
White & Color 75 sec/1-3 PSI

Note: Heavy ink loads may require longer press times

Tip:

When laying down white ink first, hover or lay your heating element on top of the print for 20 seconds before applying full pressure. This will allow the ink to flash cure and avoid smearing or distorting of your print.

Curing Garment With Conveyor Dryer:

Conveyor dryers are a smart way to increase efficiency and add speed to your production environment. You can read my article on this topic here. Conveyor dryer final results are often preferable to heat press curing. Conveyor dryers allow for a slight hand to the print, less of a heat transfer feel, and helps maintain color vibrancy. Your dryer should be forced air for quickest cure. You can view our full line of conveyor dryer options here.

Conveyor Dryer Settings:

Heat Conveyer Temp – 320°F/160°C

White Only 3.5 to 4.5 min
Color Only 3.5 to 4.5 min
White & Color 4.5 to 5.0 min

Note: For heat conveyers the temperature refers to the surface of the garment not the equipment setting. Surface temperature should not exceed 356F (180C).

Tip:

Use your conveyor dryer to cure your wet pre-treated shirts!

Recap:

  1. Epson F2000 offers best washability and is non-toxic.
  2. Use high quality heat press for curing and use parchment paper and platen covers.
  3. Use forced air conveyor dryer for speed and higher quality results.

Email me with questions.

Happy Printing,

John R. LeDrew • DTG Director • Melco International

5 thoughts on “Curing Shirts With The Epson F2000

  1. Hi John,

    We have just purchased the Epson SureColor F2000, we have been following the proper instructions for curing using a heat press but it just seems to lose all quality in the print. no matter what heat, pressure, covers are used! Would you recommend a air conveyor dryer for better quality finishes?

    • Hello,

      I apologize for the delayed reply, I must have overlooked this notification.

      Heat presses can reduce vibrancy as heat and pressure drive the ink into the fibers of the shirt and can cause a bit of dye migration. If you use a heat press, the solution is to reduce pressure to where the heating element is just sitting on the surface of the garment.

      A conveyor dryer will definitely help, they allow for more vibrancy and better hand. I like conveyors for production efficiency as well. Good practice with conveyor dryers and pretreat application can eliminate the need for a heat press at all.

      Another factor could be blank manufacturer and materials. Always check the 3 most critical elements if your designs are not coming out vibrant. 1. Perfect nozzle check. 2. Did you pretreat properly. 3. Use a high quality blank that will not dye migrate and accepts white ink well.

      • One other thing. If you are considering a conveyor dryer you must use forced air. There are a few good brands out there that are affordable and will do a good job, lawson or BBC are my recommendations.

        BBC just released the Aeolus and this thing is sick! I went to their facility and was absolutely blown away at the speed and quality of the results. It was designed to work with the Epson and it works beautifully. Melco will be showcasing it at SGIA in New Orleans October 10-12. We are running a 20% show special. http://www.shopmelco.com/Epson_F2000_Conveyor_Dryer_p/35014.htm

    • Yes. Typically we cure at 320 for 75 seconds with white ink, and 45 seconds with color only, pressure at 0-1. You can always reduce heat and time though you sacrifice washability.

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