Four Misconceptions about DTG Printing
Direct-to-garment treatment has seen an evolution and major improvement in its two-decade existence. Direct-to-garment (DTG) uses an inkjet technology method: DTG does not have a color limit, large equipment footprint, or setup charges. This makes it a great offer for an in-house, smaller run. In the printing world, there are some misconceptions about DTG printing. Here, we dispel four of them.
Quality is Substandard
DTG printing can create a photographic-quality print. As long as the ink stays on top of the shirt and pigments and quality are top notch, prints will maintain bright and washable. When an imprint is pre-treated and cured, it can be washed multiple times without fading. DTG printing is successful because of pre-treatment spray. Pre-treatment spray permits wet-on-wet printing: inks won’t seep into the fabric and color layers won’t run. In addition, you don’t need to cure the print with a heat press between layers. The heat press is only needed at the end of the process, in order to cure the print and lock everything in place.
Production is Complicated
DTG isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Once you invest the money to start the process and learn what fabrics and designs work best, you will become more of an expert. Once you purchase your new equipment, technical support and ample training will be at your disposal. Like everything, the more time you take to learn the process, the easier the process will become.
Printers require a lot of Maintenance
Like all technology, DTG printing has improved and evolved. Both machines and ink chemistry have advanced, making maintenance a smaller part of the process. For example, ten years ago, heavy pigment white ink needed to be agitated in order to avoid settling… machines could not handle it. Now, with technological advancements, machines are equipped. Wet cap systems prevent print heads from drying out and filtration systems keep the inks flowing thus eliminating clogs. When you are ready to purchase a DTG printer, make sure it has all the technological advancements in order to avoid painstaking maintenance like manually circulating ink.
Costs Too High for Profit
DTG printing can be a completely vertical system and boost ROI. Ink can be poured into machines instead of cartridges, which reduces the cost per print by 50 percent. New software can assist with color matching and pricing by eliminating cost-straining test prints and ink use measurement. As technology advances, you can eliminate unexpected costs and nail down costs when quoting.