Screen printing is a great method to use, but it makes it difficult to perfect details and, because you have to make a screen for each color at $25 apiece, it really only makes sense if you are printing in bulk and have only 1 or 2 colors in your design.
Well now there’s a new game in town and it’s called DTG (Direct to Garment) printing. It’s better for printing smaller orders, as many colors as you can imagine small or large orders, and it allows for more attention to detail such as gradients.
Read on to find out more about DTG printing and why it’s a great choice for your garments.
How Does DTG Printing Work?
With DTG printing, we like to think of it as tattooing on a shirt. The shirt is actually put into a printer and the image is printed digitally directly onto the shirt! It’s pretty amazing to watch. There is no set up time and you don’t have to create a screen so it’s great for producing Smaller orders for a sports team or for late orders down the road. (We all know there is that person late to the party with ordering.) However, you can also use this method to order in bulk.
What Types of Designs are Best for DTG?
DTG has almost no color limitation. Therefore, it’s great for colorful images, for recreating photos, and for printing realistic designs.
It is also great for bringing out details that may not be as prominent if are using screen printing.
An important detail is that DTG needs cotton to work at its best. This means your garment has to be 100% cotton or as close to it to get the best quality, brightest, and longest lasting image.
DTG and the Environment
DTG may also be preferable to screen printing because it is an eco-friendly choice. It’s ability to print one-offs means it minimizes waste. The machines used for DTG printing produce almost no wastewater and are low on energy use. Also, this method uses considerably less chemicals than your normal screen printing. Most DTG printers use water based Ecofriendly inks which also creates a softer feel.
DTG for Business
There are many screen printers out there and few direct to garment printers. Why? For a few reasons:
- The DTG process is very different than screen printing which has been the apparel industry standard for decades
- DTG requires attention to detail and specialized training
- DTG machines require a controlled humidity environment and requires regular maintenance and calibration.
- To start up a quality DTG production system requires an upfront investment of over $50,000.
Because DTG eliminates the time and dollars spent creating screens, it opens the door to experiment, quickly respond to market trends, and create truly customized apparel. DTG is growing in popularity as consumers become more and more aware of the beauty and flexibility that DTG offers.
There is still a place for screen printing in the garment industry, but DTG has provided ease of use, a high attention to detail and faster production in the customizable space. How will you be using this technology to get the unique and stylish clothing you love?