Direct to garment printing has arrived

Direct to Garment printing is coming

Direct to garment apparel printing is still a nascent industry. Right now it is so new that we have a hard time understanding of what DTG printing is.

Essentially it is printing apparel using water based inks which contain no chemicals or toxic substances. The process is 100% environmentally compatible.

A few tips

A few tips to remember about DTG printing is that a quality printer is approximately  the size of a small car. But this small car is actually a ink jet printer that can print on apparel.

The most popular item to print on is 100% cotton tees. Preferably a ring spun cotton with a tight knit. A 50/05 cotton poly garment will work but the results will not be as vibrant as a 100% cotton tee.

Computer does all the work

Because the designs are processed using a computer the art work should be clean and camera ready. We prefer a 300 dpi jpg or a higher resolution the better. Drawing programs which are great for designing are Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator and photo shop. The soft ware can process these programs very easily.

The nice part of having a computer do the processing is that you don’t have to work with messy screens. This allows the design to contain as many colors as needed in the design. Screen printing requires a separate screen for each color in the design. The set up process is much longer than a Direct to Garment set up. DTG set up is just enter design into the computer, press the start/stop button and commence printing.

End result is beautiful

The end result of DTG printing is a thing of beauty. The shirt is so soft to the touch. The soft hand does not rub on your skin. A DTG garment will also survive at least 50 or more washing. We have been testing tees in our plant for over 6 years and the shirts are as vibrant as ever.

To summarize direct to garment printing is eventually going to be the decorator’s choice. It is so easy to do. Mistakes will be reduced when pre-approval is done on a computer. The actual design can be shared with the customer prior to production.

Author: Jim Mickelson

Jim Mickelson is the pioneer in the custom apparel industry since 1977. Jim is the CEO of NW Custom Apparel and Decosource and writes for industry blogs and trade journals throughout the world. Jim's work has been published in Impressions and Prntwear magazines. Jim is available for onsite consulting services when his schedule permits.