Kornit Printing a Nascent industry waking up

DTG Printing a nascent industry on the cusp of exploding.

That’s a pretty bold statement to make but it is true. Are screen printers turning into dinosaurs? The question is answered by companies who use the latest printing technology from Korneit.

Not quite yet, but the gap for DTG printing is closing as technology improves and prices come down.

Environmental laws are slowing creeping up on anyone using ink and chemicals in their process. Print shops do not have the best housekeeping which gives a wide opening to government inspectors. Screen printers are an easy target for those whose job is to enforce rules and make life miserable.

It might be one day that Berkowitz and Berkowitz is advertising on TV “ Have you worked in a screen print shop, then you should call 1-800-getrich because settlement money is waiting for you.”

Once the government regulates you out of business your next move will be DTG printing.

DTG or Korneit printing is chemical free and meets all GOTS standards. The inks are guaranteed environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and user healthy. Screen print inks do not meet these standards.

Decosource is the only company in the Pacific Northwest who can meet all government regulations for safety. Children under 12 years old can safely wear Decosourse products. Decosource meets all Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for children’s apparel. PTA mothers do not want their children exposed to harmful chemicals containing carcinogenic compounds.

Child safety is becoming the issue. Kornit printing relieves all these fears about what a child is wearing and breathing.

To summarize Decosource just south of Seattle in Milton meets all standards of environmental safety.

Decosource is patiently watching as Screen Printers become dinosaurs.


Jim Mickelsn DTG Expert

Contract Embroidery

What is contract embroidery

I get the question all the time. “Are you a contract embroiderer?” What does a contract embroidered do?

To summarize it up the business model it is the same as a building contractor. The customer supplies the raw goods which are generally cut pieces for sewing or finished product which are to be stitched with a brand logo.

The contract process is very simple consisting of  three parts to complete an order. The first part is the design. The design has to be converted into a embroidery computer program which will transfer the directions to a multihead embroidery machine. What actually happens is that the design to be embroidered is actually stitched one time by a computer aided program. The most important part of this process is to have a programmer (digitizer) prepare the design for sewing. A skilled digitizer generally has 4 years of experience before they achieve the skill levels needed to program a design.

The second part of the process is to stitch the design into the garment or cut panel. The operator has to know what thread, backing and topping to choose to run sew the order successfully. The backing is needed to create a substrate which will hold the stitches while the design is being created. Some fabrics are so delicate that the actual sewing is done into the backing or topping.

At decosource the  final part of the order is the finishing. Decosource steams all garments to remove the water solvable topping and get out any wrinkles in the garment. The final step is to fold and bag for delivery to the customer


Jim Mickelson

Northwest Custom Apparel

Kornit increases cash flow

Holding Inventory

Holding inventory for any fulfillment program is costly and sometimes risky. The trend is for companies to require the decorator to hold inventory for at once delivery. It’s ship whenever the customer wants it.

The risk is transferred to the decorator. If the decorator wants the business they have to share 100% of the risk. This is a killer for cash flow and potentially inventory shrinkage.

But the answer to this monumental problem is to print and ship on demand. Enter Kornit DTG printers.

Using the Kornit DTG and a vendor with one day shipping is the answer to this problem. Decosourse has a tight relationship with a very large vendor who guarantees next day delivery if the order is in by 3 pm.

Using this formula creates the ideal fulfillment business model. Customer get immediate delivery of their product and now has the option of choosing different colors, sizes, and quantities. The Kornit DTG is easy to set up once the original art work has been loaded into the data base and recalled when needed. Try doing this with a screen order.

The big advantage of using the Kornit DTG is small run quantities, print on demand, cash out will almost match cash in. If you have COD customers its a slam dunk. Generally suppliers will give you 30 day terms which is a comfortable envelope to work in.

Decosource has 2 Kornit printers and can deliver around 800 full color units a day. Not bad for one operator.


Jim Mickelson, CEO

Northwest Custom Apparel


What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Why Kornit is Expensive

The most expensive apparel printing machines on the market are made by Kornit. But are they that expensive? Lets address the question of quality and reliability. The kornit hands down is the best machine on the market.
Where can you go from customer design to printing a tee shirt is less that 30 minutes? Impossible if you are a screen printer.

The kornit will allow you to print as many colors as needed with only one set up. Try doing that with a 6 color printing press.

If you factor in the ease to set up and print on a Kornit,  the cost element goes away.
Decosource has two Kornits and they have given us a license to print money. Our customers love the work and the soft hand from the Kornit water based ink.

The rumor from very reliable sources is that Kornit is building a machine which will do in excess of 500 shirts and hour. Can you imagine 600 multi color shirts with less than 30 minutes setup time. Your art work transfers directly from Corel and Adobe formats. No dirty screens to work with.

Addressing the cost of ink. For a full multi color print on the kornit the cost is around 1.65 each. This is nothing compared to the selling price. Small order runs less than 24 pieces have a average selling price of $12.95. This whole project can be done in less than 4 hours. Try matching this using the screen printing process.

the Kornit inks are organically friendly. The new consumer protection act is requiring that inks contain no carciogenic compounds. The majority of inks which are not water based do violate the new consumer protection act for children under 12 years of age. Decosource products are all chemical free. No harmful chemicals for the kids. Decosource uses Kornit inks exclusively.

Installing a new operating system for a Kornit Printer


It is quite common for equipment manufacturers to change operating systems as new software is being written. Their business model mandates that they write new software upgrades to sell to existing customers.

The problem is that can happen after formatting a hard drive (installing windows 7 over Windows XP) is that the new program won’t work. You might be the victim of a beta test. The software writer hasn’t warned you of this potential failure.

This has happened to Northwest Custom Apparel in the past and we were stranded with a program that did not function. But it will never happen again.

The answer to this problem is that when you are installing new software do not write it over an existing program or operating system. The answer is to buy a new hard drive and keep the old formatted hard drive with programs that work as a backup.

We had this problem again when installing new software on our Kornit printers. Fortunately we installed new hard drives and loaded them with the new program. The new program did not work.

For a $50.00 investment we removed the new hard drives and inserted our old drives back into the computer. The writer of the software did not know this little trick and will be forever thankful that we taught him this little trick.

The result is that we can become operational again using our old software. We can wait while the software developer fixes the glitches.

Word of advice when installing new software. Buy new hard drives and keep your formatted hard drives as backups. I think this will become a part of Kornit’s installation manual.

Jim Mickelson


Northwest Custom Apparel