In addition to screen printing, we also offer direct-to-garment or “DTG” printing.
DTG Printing might be right for you if you answer yes to the following questions:
- Do you want something printed in full color or is your artwork complex/very detailed?
- Do you have a tight deadline to get your custom-printed items?
- Do you have different artwork for most or all items?
- Is the number of items you need less than 50?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, DTG is likely the best printing method for your project. So, while we provide more information on DTG further below, we’d be happy to help you determine what printing method best serves your needs and meets your budget.
Contact us today to get started discussing your project further and/or get a price quote.
We look forward to answering your questions!
Direct-To-Garment Printing 101
What Is Direct-To-Garment Printing?
Direct-to-garment printing, or DTG as it is commonly referred to, is a method of printing in which the artwork is printed directly onto the garment.
Once the artwork is finalized on the computer, this method of printing is usually accomplished in a few steps.
First, the garment or apparel is prepared to be printed on by being pressed in a heat press. A heat press acts like a big iron that flattens out the material/fibers so that the ink can be applied during printing without wrinkles or creases which create poor-quality prints.
Once pressed, the garment is placed on a platen. A platen is just a flat surface that is part of the printer and allows the garment or apparel item to be sent into the printer in a completely flat state. The part of the garment that will be printed on is aligned appropriately on the platen. Once the artwork file is sent to the printer the platen moves the garment into the printer and the DTG printer prints directly onto the garment before sending it back out of the printer.
Once printed, the garment and its fresh ink need to be cured to ensure that the custom printing will be long-lasting. The freshly printed apparel item is then moved to another heat press (or back to the same one as before) and pressed one final time in order to cure the ink.
While that’s a simplified version of a process that is a mix of both art and science, just like that the blank garment becomes a custom-printed shirt, hoodie, etc.
Why Direct-To-Garment Printing
There are a few key advantages that DTG printing has when compared to screen printing.
First, is the ease of printing. As outlined above, the process to print something is very simple and quick. So long as you have the necessary high-resolution artwork the steps needed to print something using direct-to-garment printing are very straightforward. When compared to screen printing and its artwork preparation, screen creation, inks, and printing process DTG offers a quick and easy way to customize a wide variety of items.
Second, is the versatility of printing. DTG printers can print on a wide variety of items so long as they are big enough to do so and you have the right type of platen. Further, DTG printing allows for full-color printing much easier than screen printing does.
Lastly, DTG printing is perfectly suited for small batch or low quantity print runs due to the easy printing process and lack of one-time setup needs and costs. Thus, if you’re looking for 5-10 shirts or hoodies then DTG printing is very likely going to be the most cost-effective option for your project.
What Printing Method Should I Choose?
While understanding the differences and pros/cons of the primary printing methods within the apparel industry is helpful it is far from necessary if you just want some custom shirts or hoodies printed.
If you’re not sure (most aren’t!) what type of printing method you need, we’re happy to help determine what is best for your project and its unique needs. We’ll work with you to determine how quickly you need your project printed, what your logo/file might look like, and how many items you need printed. Based on these factors, we’ll make sure that you get a custom-printed item that you’re 100% happy with without worrying about all the nuances of custom printing!