I am going to try and summarize some of the problems which do occur with DTG printing.
Purchasing a DTG Printer
One big problem is purchasing a machine which is designed for hobbyists. I won’t name them but you can figure out who they are by the price. There are distributors and manufacturers who are trying to crash the DTG market by offering a machine which looks competitive because of the low price.
One thing never believe is the amount of production you can get from a lower priced machine. It just isn’t there. When you see the demo the trick is for the sales rep to print a simple left chest design on a white tee. It looks great and you are sucked in by the productivity.
Not included in the demo is that fact that there is a pre treatment process which has to be done before printing the garment. The pre-treatment consists of spraying a pre-treatment on the shirt and then heat pressing it to prepare it for printing. Generally the demo will have all the shirts pretreated before to evade the fact that there is a process which takes time before actual printing. you should contact NWCustom Apparel if you have any serious questions.
Curing and finishing
Once the shirt is printed the design has to be cured. You can do this with a heat press machine or a dryer used for curing screen printed tees. This is all a part of the production cycle.
When you are told 50 pieces per hour don’t believe it. It just won’t happen for the lower priced machines.
You must pay for production
If you want production you must consider spending around $500,000.00 for two top of the line DTG printers. (never buy one) This will get you a machine which pre-treats and prints in one cycle. All that’s left to do is run the shirt through a dryer. Productivity with this machine will give you a 40-60 production for left chest white tees. This is a license to print money.
I will continue to update my thoughts on DTG and this is just a brief summary of my feelings.
How do you define quality when referring to embroidered apparel? There are no hard or fast rules it is a very subjective judgment.
Sometimes it is in the eyes of the consumer. Sometimes it is in the eyes of a techno freak. Every shop or consumer is different and sometimes depends on how well they know fabric and embroidery.
What’s the difference between elegant embroidery and shop rags? Our staff knows the difference.
To begin we need a good substrate to embroider on. This means a quality shirt with a tight weave fabric. Some of the best embroidery substrate is Egyptian cotton. The fibers are thin and strong. But this can also change depending on the crop and growing conditions.
Man made fibers used in manufacturing produces a superior garment which will provide a constant fabric substrate. The material is made with polyester are referred to as performance fabrics. Eventually performance fabrics will become the most popular material to embroider on.
The next step is quality digitizing. Bad digitizing we all know can ruin a beautiful design. Too many stitches will produce a embroidery which is cardboard tough. The design must be digitized to be compatible with the garment. Every wonder why companies such as Cutter & Buck have such beautiful embroidery? It is because they control the fabric which they decorate. Very simple excellent fabric and quality digitizing.
Inexpensive apparel has a loose weave which requires heavy stitching and extra backing to produce nice embroidery. But then again you end up with a piece of cardboard on your left chest.
Heavy stitches to compensate.
Heavy stitches don’t need a good substrate. The substrate is the backing and the shirt is not part of the designing process. It is important to know and learn what fabrics will produce beautiful embroidery. Decosource always produces their digitizing to match the type of garment to be embroidered. Because we always use the same thread we never have thread problems.
Most manmade fabrics or performance fabrics are excellent substrates to embroider on. Deco source always advises its clients as to what shirts will deliver the best results. Deco source has over 40 years experience doing beautiful embroidery. We know fabric and substrate.
Use the correct thread.
Always use the same thread in your product. Do not change thread manufactures because you will eventually be getting results which were designed for the original thread. Northwest Custom Apparel has used the same thread supplier for over 40 years. All our designs are digitized with this in mind. We always have beautiful embroidery
Beautiful embroidery starts with a good substrate, excellent digitizing, and quality thread and ends with a beautiful design. For advice you can call Decosource or visit us on the web for professional advice.