What’s Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing and How Does It Work?

Direct to Garment (DTG) Printer

What’s Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing and How Does It Work?

Printing T-Shirts using Direct to Garment (DTG) printing, the process of printing to cotton based fabrics (i.e. t-shirts) using a large format inkjet printer, is far superior to screen printing, the process of pressing inks into fabric through a stencil. DTG t-shirt printing is more environmentally than screen printing. DTG uses water-based inks to printing directly onto clothing.

Printing them yourself is done with heat applied transfers. In my experience they are hard to do right at home with an iron. You really need a heat press which is much more expensive than just designing the shirt online and having someone else print it professionally.

The first thing you’ll want to think about is if you’d like a slogan, a slogan with an image, or just an image. The pricing of custom t-shirts is usually based on how many colors the design you come up with. If you just have text with 1 color, it is way cheaper to print than say a photographic image. So if you are choosing to add an image, you’ll want that image to be as few colors as possible, unless you are ready to spend a lot.

Once you know what you want the shirt to say, you’ll want to start playing with fonts. Font selection can really improve the way the t-shirt looks. You want to choose something that is easy to read unless your goal is to have people staring at you for a while with a confused look on their face. Bolder fonts of course will print better, especially on darker colored tees. A custom tee with text that matches the graphic will be the best. So for example, you might want to pick a techno looking font for a shirt you are going to make about clubbing. Or you might want a computer font for a technical joke. The font selection for your idea is very important.

Once the shirt arrives, you are now ready to show off how witty you are. You can get hooked on making custom t-shirts, as all you may be the envy of all your friends with your intellectual prowess being shown on your chest. Wear your design with pride and get ready for the compliments!

We use a technique called DTG (direct to garment printing). There are a few companies beginning to specialize in this technology now and it’s advanced at an amazing pace over the past few years. Without wanting to put too fine a point on it (and I am over-simplifying here so apologies to the makers and inventors of the machines), it’s essentially ink-jet printing for fabric. And it has some great advantages over screen printing for us particularly.

DTG printers are garment printers which, are at the very basic level, an inkjet printer usually based on an Epson printer principle and they work in the same way as the one that sits on the desk printing invoices. A tray holds a platen onto which the t-shirt is placed and which then moves under the print-head similar to the way paper moves through a printer.

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