ImagesMagUK_June_2024 50 images JUNE2024 Industry experts provide insight and guidance in all areas of digital garment and textile printing Digital helpdesk Want to know whether a hot wash will trash your carefully applied DTF print, or if a fast spin cycle will compromise its longevity? David Sweetnam, director of lab services at Keypoint Intelligence, reveals the results of his independent DTF wash tests customer is also more likely to pass on your name to others. Win-win. So, how do you guarantee a happy customer? Hand-feel and the quality of printing are important factors linked to customer satisfaction when buying direct-to-film (DTF) garments, giving you the chance to remedy the problem of an unhappy customer. The same is not true of the other major factor influencing customer satisfaction: washability. The impact of repeated washing may not be apparent for months after purchase, making it very difficult to argue with the supplier, and a result typically just gets put down to experience, leaving the customer with a bad taste in their mouth, and you with no chance of repeat business and the risk of bad publicity. Washability test Our company, Keypoint Intelligence, runs independent testing of DTF Acrucial element to any printing business is revenue generated through repeat business. A customer happy with their first purchase is more likely to come back and less likely to haggle over pricing as they already know the quality of your product. A happy equipment, with washability being a key test element. We conduct our tests using domestic washing machines set to 30°C and a 800rpm spin cycle with garments turned inside out. The garments are then dried using heat pump tumble dryers set to ‘hang dry’. While these may be optimum conditions, we know that ideal is not always reality. A ‘cotton’ program on a washing machine is typically preset to 1,400rpm while the ‘care’ cycle, often used by families with babies, is typically preset to 60°C to kill bacteria, viruses and other nasties. We set out to see which of these factors has the bigger impact on DTF wash performance. The test was conducted on black Next Level 100% cotton T-shirts to maximise the visual impact when cracks start to appear. We ran one set of garments at 60°C and 800rpm (the ‘high temp’ condition) and the other set at 30°C and David Sweetnam