DTG printing, also known as digital printing or direct-to-garment printing, has only been on the market for about 20 years. However, in such a short period of time, this printing technique has revolutionized the fashion world in ways that no one could have predicted. DTG printers produced higher-resolution images than any existing fabric printing method within a few short years on the market, and the market quickly learned that this printing method is much cleaner and easier to set up than screen printing. While other garment printing techniques exist, DTG printer has become the preferred printing method for thousands of professional apparel printers worldwide. (Read: The Fact of DTG printing to learn the advantages)
So you want to make clothing with printed designs. What are the best methods for printing designs on clothing, and what is the difference between screen printing, digital printing, heat transfer printing, and DTG printing? This guide will introduce you to the various printing processes available, as well as how much garment printing costs and how long it takes. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about launching a new line of high-quality custom apparel with your favorite full-color prints.
As a designer, you have many options for taking your concept from concept to finished product. If you intend to print a design on your garments, there are several printing options to consider before making a decision. Whether you’re looking for incredible detail, bulk volume capability, or a soft-touch print finish, there’s a solution for you out there, and you can find it right here on Sublistar.
What Is the Best Way to Print on Fabric?
Since the beginning of the fashion design industry, people have been printing designs on fabric. People used plant-based dyes to put designs on clothes in the past, and embroidery was also a popular way to put images on shirts, jackets, and pants.
To transfer incredibly vivid images onto T-shirts, hoodies, and other garments, clothing manufacturers now use high-tech devices such as industrial screen printing and modified inkjet technologies. The various printing methods available today all produce different results, and consumers have learned to distinguish between the good and bad methods.
What Is the Process of Direct-to-Garment Printing?
DTG printers work on the same fundamental principles as inkjet printers. Water-based ink is applied to fabrics using specialized print heads in these printers. Because this type of ink is only effective on natural fibers, DTG printing is ideal for fabrics such as bamboo, cotton, and hemp.
Your printing company will use a process known as pre-treatment before using this type of modified inkjet printer to print a design on your garment. The printing company will use a heated press to compress the fiber in order to pre-treat your garment. Cotton and bamboo fibers tend to stick up and away from garments, and this pressing process flattens the fibers, making the printing process more effective.
While pre-treatment is not required for every garment, it is required when applying light-colored or white ink to dark garments. Your printing company will transfer the garment to a special type of table that holds the item in place during the printing process after it has been pre-treated. The print head will then use the exact design that the printing company has loaded into the computer.
What Is the Cost of Direct-to-Garment Printing?
Before we get into how much DTG printer will cost you per garment, it’s important to understand the expenses that printing companies incur in order to provide this service. There’s no getting around it: DTG printing is simply more expensive than other types of fabric printing services, and even the most successful printing companies will have to make sacrifices in order to offer DTG printing.
The most expensive DTG printers cost more than $15,000. For example, the brand-new Epson F2100 costs between $16,000 and $17,000, while the older F2000 still costs between $12,000 and $14,000. Even if you make millions of dollars per month, $17,000 is a lot of money, and smaller printing companies won’t be able to justify the cost of this high-tech equipment.
DTG printer ink is also not cheap. Printing companies can save money by purchasing this specialized type of ink in bulk, but companies that print large volumes of DTG garments will end up spending thousands of dollars per month on ink.
The high cost of DTG printing cannot be avoided, but the more a printing company prints per month, the lower their prices. To get the best price, look for a reputable DTG printing company.
The cost of DTG printing a design on a garment varies depending on several factors:
1. First and foremost, consider the company’s volume. Companies with higher volumes charge lower prices, while companies with lower volumes charge higher prices.
2. Next, consider the DTG printing technology used by each company to print garments. When it comes to direct-to-garment printers, the Epson F2000 and F2100 are considered the gold standard. Companies that use other printers may charge less, but the results may be less impressive.
3. Keep in mind that even though DTG printer is more expensive overall, printing companies can save money by using it. Because this type of printing requires little setup, printing companies can save money on labor by using DTG printers
4. Finally, the cost of printing designs on your garments is affected by the quantity of your order. Most businesses will provide bulk discounts that increase in size as you place more orders.
For DTG printing, printing companies will charge between $3 and $7 per garment. This price varies depending on the size of the print area, the size of the minimum order, and the company’s overall volume per month.