What Is Direct To Garment (DTG) Printing?
Direct to Garment Printing is an innovative technology that produces high-quality print work on garments and fabric. It is nothing close to the outdated iron-style printing, which dominated the fashion industry for decades. DTG method will create high-quality prints that last for ages to reflect the consumer’s money value. DTG artwork doesn’t fade or crack when washed with detergents or ironed. Even so, you could still avoid ironing the printed area for longevity.
Some professionals will refer to DTG as ink to garment printing, digital garment printing, or digital apparel printing. If you see these phrases on a T-shirt or customized fabric, it is a DTG artwork. Picture a DTG printer as a regular printer (used in printing documents) but now prints graphics into textiles and garments. Moreover, it is relatively bigger than standard printers.
The Evolution of DTG Printing
The DTG printing technology entered the USA industry in 2005. Back then, printing entrepreneurs only had the option of screen printing, which entails a tedious manual process. You had to print an image on porous material, in this case, the “screen," before transferring it to the garment. Since then, the DTG printing industry saw several digital changes. Manufacturers can now produce smaller, heavy-duty DTG printers with eco-friendly properties. Most importantly, the digital revolution changed the whole business landscape.
Among the earliest printers that made their way to the market include Mimaki’s GP-604 and US Screen’s Fast T-Jet. The original model of this printer came from Mastermind, a Japanese manufacturer. The most significant advancement came in October 2005 when Kiosk introduced their DTG printer brand at the ITMA show in Singapore. This model had improvements from the earliest machines. The price range proved relatively affordable for entrepreneurs. It had user-friendly ink chip resetting and automated head cleanings. It also had a valve shut-off system for specific ink channels, which improved the overall printing efficiency.
Even so, the industry players printed light garments because the then machines couldn’t print white color. Managing white color could enhance printing multiple colors on dark garments. For instance, if you print yellow on black, you get a different color but yellow. However, you can print white on black and then print yellow to get the actual color. Fast T-Jet printers came later in 2005 and had a pre-treatment process that enabled white color printing. The WIMS White Ink Managed System made things easier later in the years.
Why is DTG Printing So Fast?
DTG printing changed the industry in many ways, thanks to its efficiency and ability to print bulk orders quickly. For instance, modern DTG machines can print up to 16 million colors on a garment in a single pass. That means you get to customize your design once and have it embedded on the garment. The ink from DTG machines sinks into the garment and becomes part of the clothing. Hence, it is safe for use and dries quickly to save time.
Forget about printers that require you to prepare different screens for multiple colors.
The set-up process for DTG printers is also pretty quick and straightforward. You jump straight into printing after submitting the graphics. Even though the whole printing process of DTG machines may be longer than Screen Printers’, skipping the traditional set-up process guarantees a massive turnaround in the long haul.
DTG Printing Applications
DTG printing is changing the high-end fashion industry in many ways. Luxury apparel can now place orders for special color-matching outfits and have them delivered within the shortest time possible. They can also enjoy an expanded color gamut to meet consumers’ intricate aesthetic preferences. Prevalent DTG printing applications include:
You can customize T-shirts to show off your identity, regardless of industry line or brand. DTG printing is quite forthcoming with fashionable solutions that cater to every size and gender. Whether you’re targeting kids or women, you’ll never lack an aesthetically appealing print design. Modern DTG machines can print graphics on nearly all materials, including natural cotton, synthetic polyester, silk, and semi-synthetic viscose.
• Dress Fabric
Dress fashion is evolving, even in the cooperate world. It is now common to meet an entrepreneur in a bandage dress with subtle patterns. DTG technology makes it possible for apparel to stock a variety of dress designs. You can maximize fabric without wasting ink to print images spiraling around the body to join at the seams. You can also use different palette sizes to print small or big statement images. DTG is suitable for all dress designs, including sports, print, maxis, and strapless dresses.
Consumers love unique accessories that reflect a detailed fashion statement. Some fashion accessories that you can print with DTG technology include shoes, bags, and scarves. You can print the graphic designs directly onto the product. In case the accessory is already factory-finished, you can still create the graphical designs from cut-piece printing.
• Street Wear
Even though street ware is a unique identity in itself, the fashion trend is always dynamic. Streetwear is about a combination of t-shirts, hoodies, sporty garments, skate, and hip hop designs. DTG technology eliminates the embroidery and patch problems on denim to achieve unique and luxury designs. Moreover, you can print literally anything provided you create the right graphic.
• Active Wear
Performance clothes help athletes and gym enthusiasts stay relaxed and comfortable to enhance activity. Users may need to wash these clothes more regularly than other clothes because they often drench in sweats. Use DTG technology for printing high-quality, durable graphics on sportswear. The print design won’t crack, peel, or wear off after washing and drying.
• Home Textile
Another recent application for DTG printing is home textile. You can quickly customize duvets, child beddings, table cloths, and even bedding sheets. The printing process is similar to that for t-shirts and types of denim. Prevalent home fabrics for DTG printing include cotton, polyester, linen, or a blend of the three.
How DTG Printing Stacks Up to Screen Printing
Both DTG and screen printing will give you high-quality prints, but the latter allows customization of detailed designs. For instance, you can use more than 16 million colors in a graphic design and embed all the colors onto the garment in a single pass. Briefly, DTG printers give you an unlimited color palette compared to screen printing machines.
DTG printing doesn’t have order minimums. You can place thousands of orders and have them delivered within a reasonable timeframe. These machines guarantee on-demand fulfillment. On the other hand, screen printing has minimum order requirements and doesn’t fulfill on-demand applications. Both printing technologies have bulk order discounts, but DTG will prove sustainable in the long haul than screen printing.
Running a Direct To Garment Printing Apparel
DTG printing has made entrepreneurship simpler than before. Unlike screen printing, you don’t initial investment commitment to set up a DTG printing apparel. Most importantly, the modern DTG printing business model saves you the time and resources of handling customer orders. The customer places the order, and the printing company receives it as it is. The company ships the printed product to the customer’s address without you handling it. The process is quick and efficient to forge loyal customer relationships. You’ll likely experience more returning customers with DTG than screen printing apparel.
Modern DTG third-party printers don’t require minimum orders. Thus, it eliminates the need of maintaining stock. You only place orders according to demand to ensure that you get the most out of your business. Moreover, a dependable third-party DTG printer will fulfill your orders almost immediately; as soon as the print graphic comes through. You only need to employ strong marketing skills to set up a loyal customer base, and you’re good to go.
Is DGT Printing Eco-Friendly?
The average consumer wants to associate with apparel that promotes a greener planet. Incorporating DTG printing in your fashion business will help you earn the trust and loyalty of such consumers. The whole DTG printing is generally eco-friendly. Modern machines are noiseless and consume minimal energy. Moreover, they feature low-emission designs to reduce carbon footprint in the long haul.
Modern DTG printers use water-based pigmented inks. This ensures that the end product is generally eco-friendly, especially if the fabric material is of high-quality design. The ink pigments also emanate from natural, environment-friendly sources.
Take Your Apparel Business to another Level with DTG Printing
DTG printing gives you endless possibilities when it comes to stocking your apparel. Consumer needs are increasingly becoming diverse, and it will help if you keep up with the trend. The catch in the DTG printing industry is that you can introduce new designs into the market without spending money. You also don’t need to worry about the machines as there are reputable third-party printers such as get things printed who will stay with your business right from the first order to on-demand seasons. Trust our experts to customize your logos for promotional purposes. This can be in t-shirts, caps, denim jackets, or even accessories like fabric bags. You don’t need to purchase designs as you can quickly use our readily available Online Designer platform to create graphics that reflect your taste, uniqueness, and preferences.