Direct To Garment (DTG) printing is the process of printing designs or logos on cotton based fabrics (i.e. t-shirts) using a large format inkjet printer. For smaller batch orders, DTG is considered far more superior compared to screen printing, the process of pressing inks into fabric through a stencil. It is friendlier towards the environment, takes less time, and is more cost effective.
An Environmentally Friendly Option
DTG uses water-based inks to directly print onto items, which means that there are no excess inks used when printing. Printing on shirts using the DTG method should also have almost no environmental impact. On the other hand, screen printing has excess inks from parts of the stencil not printed to the tshirt and when screens are cleaned these excess inks are then disposed of.
Faster Production Time
DTG uses only software and a computer to send a design directly to a printer and this can take a matter of seconds with all colors being printed at once. (On darker fabrics a white layer printed on first and then the remaining colours). DTG is less time consuming when it comes to the initial setup, and this is particularly useful when printing small runs of shirts.
Smaller (less than 50) runs of t-shirts are far more cost effective with DTG printing than screen printing. Minimal setup with DTG printing means that t-shirt runs as low as a single shirt can be produced for lower cost in design materials, and can take as little as a few minutes to produce. Screen printers may state that on larger runs they can produce a more economical footprint, however with multiple colours and drying time this seems unlikely.
On a DTG shirt, the images can be subtle, and photo realistic. Nearly any color of the spectrum can be re-created. The colors are bright but the finish itself is matte and somewhat muted. The shirt itself remains soft and pliable and the ink doesn't add any extra weight.
The best garments for DTG printing are white or off-white (Ash, bone etc.) as these colors show the ink the best. Darker shirts don't render the designs well at all, due to the matte finish. And the best designs are those with multiple colors. Dramatic photos and brightly illustrated artwork look great on DTG. And DTG really allows race and charity shirts to show all the colors in all the sponsors logos.
The Greatest Benefit
What’s great about DTG is that every item is a single print, and with no screen or set-up charges involved, the pricing is flat. You can create a single shirt with dozens or even hundreds of colors. Or you can print hundreds or even thousands of shirts with the same design. But the pricing remains flat. Selecting DTG eliminates the requirement to order dozens or hundreds of shirts to make them affordable. If you'd like to print a single shirt, you can. This allows even small businesses to create small batches of dramatic, professional shirts. DTG provides a great, low cost alternative to screen printing for small business to create great promotional material.
Other Items DTG Printing Works On
- Needlepoint canvas
- Tote bags
- Unfinished wood
- Polo Shirts