direct to garment printing

Direct to Garment Printing Novice Guide

DTG printing machine

Direct to Garment (DTG) printing is a modern printing technique that uses specialized inkjet printers to directly print digital designs onto fabric. This printing method is ideal for producing high-quality, full-color images, designs, and text with vibrant and long-lasting color. The technology has revolutionized the apparel printing industry and has become increasingly popular among small businesses, designers, and individuals looking to produce high-quality, custom-made garments.

DTG printing works by using specialized inkjet printers to print directly onto the garment. The printer uses water-based inks that are specifically designed for the fabric. The inks are absorbed into the fibers of the fabric, producing a high-quality, long-lasting print that is both durable and flexible. The inks are also environmentally friendly, as they are free from harmful chemicals, making DTG printing a more sustainable alternative to traditional screen printing.

One of the biggest advantages of direct to garment printing is its ability to produce high-quality, full-color images and designs. The printers used for DTG printing have a high resolution, meaning that the images and designs produced are sharp, clear and vibrant. This is particularly useful for small businesses, designers and individuals looking to create custom-made garments with intricate designs, logos and images.

Direct to Garment Printing vs. Screen Printing

Ink is sprayed directly onto a garment in direct to garment printing, also known as direct to fabric printing. The ink can then sink into the garment’s fibers. It’s the same idea as printing straight onto paper, except instead of paper, you’re printing on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, or fanny pack. Another advantage of DTG printing is its versatility. Unlike screen printing, which is limited to a specific number of colors, DTG printing can produce an unlimited number of colors. This means that designers and businesses can produce truly unique and custom designs, with the added benefit of being able to reproduce these designs with ease. 

Screen printing is another popular method for creating personalized clothing. Ink is pushed through a mesh screen, or stencil, onto fabric in this process. As a result, the ink does not penetrate the fabric and instead sits on top of it.

Which Method is Right for You?

direct to garment printing

While both printing technologies have merits, there are a number of reasons why direct to garment printing has become the industry standard.

For starters, there’s the issue of setup time. Direct to fabric printing has essentially minimal setup time, making it suitable for both bulk orders and one-offs. Preparing and setting up the stencil for screen printing, on the other hand, can take a long time. As a result, screen printing is advised for larger orders.

There are also quality concerns. Screen printing works well for simple forms, but it does not provide the level of detail that DTG does. The explanation for this is straightforward: It takes a long time to create a highly detailed and exact stencil.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with screen printing, each color is sprayed on independently. As a result, when working with a limited color palette, screen printing is usually preferred. Direct to garment printing allows you to print complicated designs, capture realistic details, and work with a larger color palette.

Furthermore, many print-on-demand merchants and personalized garment firms are becoming more environmentally conscious. DTG printing is more environmentally friendly than screen printing since it can print everything to order. Screen printing, on the other hand, frequently entails working in volume, which can result in unused or unsold goods being dumped someplace.

What To Remember When Designing for DTG Apparel?

Color Vibrancy Varies Depending on Cloth
When printing on non-white or black clothes, the garment colors may show through your printed graphics. This is demonstrated by the Yellow Haze and Mint Gildan outfits, both of which are 100% cotton. Several of the fabric colors can be seen peeking through the photographs when compared to their black and white equivalents.
While designing for DTG, keep in mind that the same picture may not be appropriate for all garment colors or materials. You may need to modify each design to achieve the desired result.

Avoid Using Transparent Pictures

The image of the orange slice wedges shows varied degrees of opacity. From top to bottom, clockwise: 30%, 100%, 20%, 0%, 100%, 85%, 75%, and 40%. As you can see, at 40% opacity, the image is hardly visible and almost unidentifiable at 30% and below. As a result, we highly advise you to avoid using transparency in your designs.

DTG printers attempt to lay tiny droplets of ink on tiny droplets of white under base when employing Transparencies in your design. The results will rarely fulfill your expectations, and depending on the color of the clothing, they may not appear at all. If you must use them, we recommend testing your design before releasing the product, or using halftone gradients instead.

direct to garment printing
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