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Learn More About Direct to Garment (DTG)?

Learn More About Direct to Garment (DTG)?

Ever wonder how they got a photograph on a t-shirt? This is how!

Direct to Garment technology is like a giant inkjet printer that uses special water-based fabric inks. The ink is printed onto the shirt and binds to the fabric, making it durable as well. Just like a high-end desktop inkjet, the resolution and precision of this machine is quite high, which allows it to print even images like photographs onto t-shirts. The color range is CMYK + White, although white ink-capable DTG printers are uncommon since they require a lot more maintenance (Luckily we have one!)

Pros:

  • Unlimited Colors! The DTG can print complex designs, including gradients, delicate shading, and photographs. The colors don’t have to be separated or limited like in a screen print or vinyl.
  • High customization! An order or project can include different designs without needing special setup.
  • Doesn’t have minimums – a run can be a single shirt.
  • Prints on a wide variety of fabric types – cotton, canvas, linen, etc!
  • The final products are machine-washable! Depending on how they are treated, the ink is rated to between 30 and 50 washes.

Cons:

  • These machines struggle at high volumes – the print speed is exactly the same amount of time for shirt 1 as it is for shirt 100, so pricing can’t scale as well as screen printing.
  • Special inks like metallic or thermochromic are not available.
  • Cost per item tends to be higher since water-based inks are more expensive.
  • Shirts that require white ink will definitely be more expensive
  • Items need to have a high content of cotton or organic materials, not including silks. Since the ink is water-based, polyester resists the ink. This means that while it’s technically possible to print on polyester, it ends up looking quite faded and won’t last as long.

Common Uses:

  • Custom t-shirts
  • Art prints
  • Custom bags

Learn More