In the world of design, there is a point at which printing meets up with every other operation. This printing denotes the physical representation of what has been conceived visually either in the mind of the designer or on a software. There is thus the need for the best media for transferring these design ideas to their ‘canvasses’ – so to speak. Of these media, Direct to Garment printing holds its head high as one of the best – if not the best, that is – form of transferring visual ideas in form of designs to clothes. Being a relatively new process, the procedure is still one not very widely known by many. That is why we have come up with this post to tell you not only about the general scope of DTG printing but also give you an insight into every other thing you should know.
What is DTG Printing?
Direct to Garment (DTG) printing is an almost self-explanatory technique. It can be deduced from the name that this procedure deals with making prints on clothing materials. What the name does not tell you is that the process also requires a sophisticated technology that prints directly onto the surface of cotton fabrics. This is achieved by the employment of specially optimized ink jet technology. In operation, the DTG printer will hold the fabric in place to eliminate risks of smudges and crumpled designs. The intended design (from a computer) is then sent into the printer for processing. Interpreting this information, the printer takes on special inks and sprays them onto the body of the fabric. While in the printer, the fabric absorbs the ink to form the intended design. DTG has not always been around though. Bursting onto the scene in mid to late 2000’s, the method has had stunning growth over the years. The good news is that it does not seem to be slowing down as new technology keeps emerging to change the way and ease at which DTG operations are carried out. For the fear of sounding too cocky, we would have said DTG holds the promise of being the most viable fabric printing method on the current market. And yes, we did consider heat transfers, screen printing, embroidery and the likes in making that statement.
Advantages of DTG Over Other Printing Models
It is one thing to tout the advantages of using screen printing over other models, and it is yet another thing to back it up. To put our money where our mouth is, here are some talking points to consider:
- Fast turnaround time: When dealing with smaller orders, DTG can help get things done in relatively no time. DTG requires almost no set up time and you could be on your way to producing shirts in no time. This allows you meet up with rush requests and fulfill impromptu printing needs.
- Less elaborate requirements: One of the biggest beauties of DTG is in how clients can place their orders over the air. All the printer needs is a small digital file that shows what the client wants on their materials and off they go.
- Great for photos: Want to print some photos on shirts and would like them to come out just right? Don’t even think about it twice – DTG is the option for you. If you want some quality work done, that is.
- No minimum order: Designers have a business to run too, and they want to keep it profitable. To do so, some printing methods have a minimum order that can be run at once if the designer is to break even at all. When you opt for DTG, you have the flexibility of choosing just any number of products to be done.
Demerits of DTG Printing
As great as DTG printing is, there are some instances when it might not be the ideal option for a printing job. When large enough orders are in question, the production cost starts to stack up and it fasts becomes a non-viable procedure. Likewise, there is a fabric problem with DTG printing once cotton is not abundant. To rephrase, a fabric material has to have at least 50% of cotton to absorb the ink the right way. That is not to mention how inks on dark garments can come out dull and grainy, kind of. We definitely recommend sticking to 100% cotton garments for the best results.
As of the time of writing, up to 21% of all decorators perform DTG printing for their clients. Bringing in no less than 20 orders a month for 28% of these designers, it is evident that clients are really loving the output of jobs they get from the procedure. If you still can’t decide whether or not this is the best technique to trust your order to, kindly get in touch with one of our representatives and we will be happy to guide you through whatever you need to know.