Printing Season

DTG digital printing - everything you need to know about it

Published 19 October 2020

In today's post you will learn more about one of the most modern methods of printing on garments, the DTG digital printing (Direct To Garment). You will learn what this method of labelling garments is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. This will make it easier for you to decide which printing method to choose for your project.

Direct printing is a relatively new technology - it appeared on the printing market in the 1990s. At first, not many printing houses used this innovative (for those times) method. In fact, it is only recently that DTG printing has become a viable alternative to traditional production methods, such as the well-known silkscreen printing.

Why is it called direct printing?

DTG printing is based on a rather simple principle - it can be compared to an ordinary inkjet printer, which probably everyone has at home. In the DTG studio, instead of a sheet of paper we have, for example, a T-shirt, and instead of a home printer we use a large industrial printer, adapted for printing on clothes.

As the name suggests, digital printing involves directly applying ink to a T-shirt or other garment. The ink goes deep into the fabric, so the print is not at all noticeable under the fingers.

Advantages of DTG digital printing

Direct printing offers many advantages over other, traditional printing methods.

  • Wide range of colour options - you don't have to limit yourself to a few colours, like with screen printing.
  • It can be used for detailed designs, for example to print photographs.
  • High productivity and extremely quick turnaround time - we use up to 3 Epson F2000 industrial printers in our studio, so even large orders will be processed in a short time.
  • Printing is cost-effective from just 1 piece - you can print up to one t-shirt with us; especially useful if you need to have samples or run a small business.
  • Very accurate colour reproduction - DTG printing is ideal for colour graphics.
  • It is suitable not only for printing on T-shirts or sweatshirts, but also for cotton bags.
  • The print is imperceptible to the touch, and because the ink soaks into the fabric, nothing will crumble or crease, even after many washings.

What are the disadvantages of direct printing?

Like any method of printing on clothing, digital printing also has a few limitations:

  • The best effect can be achieved on natural fabrics, i.e. all kinds of cotton blouses, T-shirts or bags. The maximum addition of artificial fibres such as polyester must not exceed 20%.
  • Restricted design positioning - print must be placed on the front or back of the printed T-shirts, it is not possible to print sleeves or the whole garment with one pattern.

Why use DTG digital printing?

Direct printing will be a great choice if you want to produce a short run of garments with your print. It will work well for a corporate event, for example, when you need t-shirts with your company logo on them. It will also be suitable for all kinds of promotional clothing.

The design that is applied to the garment should be a digital image - so you can use a photo or create your own design in a graphics program. It is also worthwhile for you to learn more about how to prepare the file for printing, so that the final result will satisfy you in 100%.

How to prepare a project for DTG printing?

With the digital method you have no limitations when it comes to the colour range - you can use as many colours as you like in your design. DTG can cope with detailed designs such as photos or graphics with lots of gradients. The most important thing is the correct file format that you send to us. For projects without a background it must be in PNG format, for others (e.g. photos) you should change the file format to TIFF with a saved colour profile.

By properly preparing the file for printing, you can be sure that imprint on t-shirt or bag will look identical to the design on your computer. With direct printing there is absolutely no loss of quality and the accurate reproduction of every detail means you will always receive a top quality product.

Digital printing - the best choice for getting started

Using DTG printing is the best option if you're just starting out in the clothing business, or if you run a small local shop and don't need to keep a large stock in your warehouse at the moment. Digital printing will also come in handy if you just need to try out a new design, or need a small run of promotional t-shirts for an event.

Thanks to this method, you can easily introduce new designs to your shop, without the risk of being left with a hundred unsold T-shirts because you just didn't meet your customers' tastes. DTG printing is an easy solution to grow your business in a sensible way, without having to worry about sinking money right from the start.

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