Direct To Garment Printing

Direct To Garment Printing

Direct To Garment Printing is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialized inkjet technology.  A new technology, first introduced in 2004, it is also known as DTG printing, digital direct to garment printing, digital apparel printing, and inkjet to garment printing.

Sweatshirt by Direct To Garment Printing
Sweatshirt By Direct To Garment Printing

Advantages of DTG Printing

  • Economical one-off and short-run printing
    For decades, the technology of choice for decorating t shirts was screen printing, a process where each color of ink in a design is applied separately through a custom-prepared printing screen.  The cost of this method is in the screen preparation, and screen printing becomes economical only with print runs of at least twelve per color in the design.  In direct to garment printing, a digital design file drives an inkjet printer that sprays the image directly on the cloth surface. Discounting the cost of the design file, the first and the fiftieth garment have roughly the same cost.
  • Fast turnaround
    Besides adding cost, the preparation of screens for screen printing takes time.  With no screens to prepare, direct to garment printing usually takes less than five minutes.
  • Full color images
    In screen printing, each color is applied separately, and colors don’t blend.  In direct to garment printing, the inks blend to yield a full palette of colors.  Unlike most other inkjet printers, DTG printers include white ink, which enables printing of white and pastel images on dark fabrics.

Limitations of DTG Printing

  • Works best on cotton
    The first direct to garment inks gave best results only on white or light-colored cotton.  Introduction of white inks resolved this problem.  Designs can be applied to dark brown, forest green, navy and black t shirts, but prints on white cotton still have superior color strength and vibrancy.  Similarly, although the new inks can be used on cotton/polyester blends, new 100% cotton garments fresh-out-of-the-package, still give superior color and ink retention.
  • Design quality
    The appearance of inexpensive digital direct to garment printing spawned a brood of online DTG printers that print what they receive with little or no design involvement.  While this may be wonderful for the home hobbyist, business people usually prefer designs prepared with the involvement of professional graphic artists.

Artwork for DTG Printing

Expressive t shirt printing, garment printing or embroidery starts with superior artwork.  Our graphic designers understand how to create artwork that will look good on cloth.  We can work with your project from whatever stage you bring it:  from a concept, a pencil sketch, or from print-ready digital files.  And after we’ve finalized a design, we always provide a proof for your  approval.

Start your garment printing project by calling Streamline Print & Design today at 816-459-7552 in Kansas City, MO.

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