Printing 100% Polyester: Wash Tests Done To Nike Standards

To help our customers who are printing 100% polyester products, we recently published an article with a suggested protocol for printing onto polyester garments, which we suggest you can review in tandem with the information that follows. By way of providing our readers with a more visual guide as to the likely expected outcomes, we have carried out wash tests to Nike® standards.

What are Nike standards?

Nike® has approved various inks from the Lancer range for use on their product line. This includes rigorous third party tests to ensure conformity with safe ingredients. In addition, a wash test for longevity is done. For the purposes of wash testing, products are subjected to five washes at 60°C and should show little to no change to the printed layer.

Wash tests: Before and after results

The Lancer lab technicians set to printing 100% polyester samples and the photos below show a red 100% polyester product printed as follows:

Please note: This layer is not visible in the photo as it is an underbase. If you look very carefully at the right hand top area of the white circle, you can just about make out the underbase . SportPro Defender is available in PVC-free as well as Plastisol (phthalate-free) versions and can be an invaluable tool when printing 100% polyester.

  • Layer 2: Mesh 63T / 160 using Miracle White (596) mixed with 5% low cure additive and 5% high stretch additive
  • Layer 3: Mesh 63T / 160 using Blue RS (from the 551 ColorPro Pantone ® mixing kit as a representative colour) mixed with 5% low cure additive and 5% high stretch additive

Dwell time in dryer: 45 seconds

Temperature of imprint when exiting the drying tunnel: 155 °C / 310 °F

Image 1: Before wash testing

Printing 100% polyester | Wash tests: Before washing

Image 2: After wash testing

Printing 100% polyester | Wash tests: After washing

Summary of results

A very minimal amount of colour was lost from the blue print layer. The print passed all Nike® requirements. Using our suggested protocol for printing 100% polyester garments will ensure you are on a path to success. Apologies for the rudimentary nature of the print. The lab technicians are scientists first and foremost, not screen printers 😉