what is direct to garment printing (DTG)
Direct to garment (DTG) printing, also known as digital garment printing, is a modern printing method that involves using specialized inkjet printers to print designs directly onto fabric.
Here's how it works:
Preparation: The fabric is prepped by pre-treating it with a solution that helps the ink adhere to the fabric and achieve vibrant colors. This pre-treatment step is crucial for ensuring the longevity and quality of the print.
Printing: The prepared fabric is loaded onto a DTG printer, which works similarly to a regular inkjet printer. The printer applies the ink directly onto the fabric, layer by layer, using a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) inks to recreate the desired design. Some advanced DTG printers may also have additional ink channels to accommodate white ink for printing on dark fabrics.
Curing: Once the printing process is complete, the printed fabric needs to go through a curing process to set the ink. This can be done using a heat press or a specialized curing machine, which applies heat and pressure to the printed fabric, helping the ink bond with the fibers.
Advantages of Direct to Garment Printing:
- High-Quality Prints: DTG printing allows for high-resolution, detailed prints with vibrant colors, smooth gradients, and fine details.
- Versatility: DTG printing can be used on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, and even some synthetic fabrics.
- No Minimum Order Quantity: DTG printing is ideal for small to medium-sized print runs since it doesn't require costly setup or screen preparation. It allows for on-demand printing, making it suitable for custom or personalized designs.
- Complex and Colorful Designs: DTG printing can reproduce intricate designs with multiple colors accurately, including photographs, artwork, and detailed graphics.
- Soft Feel: The ink used in DTG printing is absorbed by the fabric, resulting in a soft and comfortable feel without adding extra layers to the garment.
Disadvantages of Direct to Garment Printing:
- Limited on Dark Fabrics: DTG printing may face some limitations when printing on dark-colored fabrics. Achieving vibrant colors and high opacity on dark fabrics often requires additional steps, such as pre-printing a white base layer.
- Cost: DTG printing can be more expensive compared to other printing methods, especially for larger quantities. The cost is typically determined by factors like the complexity of the design, the size of the print area, and the type of fabric used.
- Production Speed: DTG printing can be slower compared to other printing methods, as it requires individual printing and curing for each garment. This can impact production timelines for large orders.
Overall, DTG printing offers a versatile and high-quality printing solution for custom garments, allowing for intricate designs and vibrant colors on a variety of fabric types. It is particularly suitable for small to medium-sized print runs and designs that require fine details and multiple colors.
*DTG printing on white t-shirts offers the most cost-effective combination without compromising on quality.
The most commonly used method for printing t-shirt is DTG and film heat transfer. for more efficiency.
Please note: For garment printing with heat treatment, if a vector file with CMYK / PMS code is provided, there may be a 5-10% possibility of printing chromatic aberration. However, if a non-vector file or a file without CMYK / PMS code is provided, the printing chromatic aberration may be more noticeable.