An introduction to Direct-to-Garment Printing

Direct to garment printing, or DTG for short, has revolutionised how garments are printed. With this method of print production it is possible to produce beautiful designs and vibrant colours on clothing in no time at all. Here we explore just what makes direct-to-garment so useful (from its advantages over more traditional methods through to recent advances in technology) as well as giving some insight into how exactly these kinds of prints are achieved.

Key takeaways

  • DTG Printing is a printing process that uses inkjet technology to print directly onto garments with vibrant colours and sharp details.
  • Different models of DTG printers are available for businesses of all sizes, from entry-level to commercial/industrial solutions.
  • Innovations in the industry are driving increased efficiency, versatility, and profitability while providing new market opportunities for businesses.

The Basics of DTG Printing

An example if a small DTG (direct to garment) printer

DTG printing, which stands for direct to garment printing, utilises inkjet technology as an alternative to the traditional methods of screen and heat transfer designs on apparel. This method provides numerous advantages such as outstanding print speeds, complete customisation options with garments like hats and shoes available in flexible quantities. For dark-coloured attire specifically, two passes are necessary when using DTG. First a white ink base followed by CMYK pigment prints that result in exceptionally clear visuals full of life and detail on both light or darker fabrics alike.

Advantages of DTG Printing

DTG printing is an incredibly popular choice for those in need of quick and high-quality printed garments. This method offers all the advantages that traditional screen or other methods don’t, including precise details, vivid colours which can be applied to light as well as dark coloured apparel items. There are no setup costs associated with DTG print compared to regular conventional techniques.

Small batch orders such a single custom t shirt projects benefit from this technology since it guarantees fast turnaround times. You could have your item printed on the same day if needed! Businesses seeking personalised products for their customers find great value here too due its reliable quality output combined with relatively low cost per piece results, making it ideal option when dealing direct sales requests via web stores etc…
DTG printing has become immensely favoured by companies looking to offer highly customised shirts without any hassle at reasonable prices while maintaining excellent standards in production runs

The DTG Printing Process

The process of DTG printing requires the graphic to be designed in a special program. The garment needs to fit on the printer’s platen and then transmit it onto the machine for viewing. Then press print button which will start off the process with ink being added from there onwards. To finalise this procedure, you must use either a heat press or tunnel dryer so that when washing fabric won’t peel away easily due its strong adherence quality as printed by an Inkjet Printer specifically for Direct-to-Garment (DTG).

DTG Printer Options and Features

Kornit commercial DTG (direct to garment) printer

DTG printers come in a variety of sizes and models to accommodate diverse requirements, from basic units for small businesses up to commercial and industrial-grade devices suited for large-scale production. Notable examples are the RICOH Ri 1000 lauded as one of the finest direct-to-garment printings on the market. Or Brother’s GTXpro which is best used by mid-sized printing shops.

What makes these distinct? The SureColor F2100 designed by Epson stands out due its advanced elements such as solid construction materials along with an efficient white ink circulation system coupled with quick loading garment grips, essential when it comes to high-quality DTG needs at speed.

The Digital Line 2000 offers a full Direct To Garment (DTG) solution capable of pretreatment, curing, heat pressing, printing & finishing all housed within Direct Colour Systems technology that can be managed single-handedly without additional manpower input.

Entry-Level DTG Printers

Small businesses who want to get started with DTG printing don’t need a big investment - entry-level printers such as the RICOH Ri 100 provide an inexpensive and straightforward solution. These compact machines can be used anywhere, from home studios to retail shops or event venues. Garment printers are another great choice for those seeking full-colour prints on garments. They’re lightweight and perfect for any mobile situation where quality output is desired!

Commercial and Industrial DTG Printers

Businesses and print shops looking for increased efficiency, higher production capacity, and advanced features will benefit from DTG printers like the SureColor F2100. These machines can use CMYK+ white inks along with other operator-friendly characteristics such as built-in humidifiers or intelligent platen height systems to improve the quality of prints while reducing maintenance costs. Specially designed for high-output operations running multiple shifts, these models enable you to produce large volumes of printed material quickly.

Understanding DTG Inks and Substrates

T-shirt printed using the DTG (direct to garment) printing method

When it comes to DTG printing, particular inks and substrates are needed. Most printers use textile pigment inks which can produce brilliant colours that will not fade away or wear out with repeated washing while also keeping the fabric soft.

As for fabrics suitable for this kind of printing - cotton (both 100% pure ones and blends) as well as synthetic materials without chemical pretreatments allow customers create custom apparel according to their preference, giving them a variety of options when looking into what they need from DTG printed products.

Types of DTG Inks

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) inks are specifically designed to make prints that last on fabrics, while preserving softness and adhering well. Popular brands such as DuPont, Epson, Kodak Image Armor or Ricoh all have their own DTG ink systems for the best possible printing results.

It is important to choose the appropriate type of printer model and corresponding ink when aiming for optimal quality printouts from a garment. Using an inappropriate combination might lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. It is crucial when selecting your particular set up you evaluate which option will give you desired result depending on what kind of fabric material needs DTG printing done onto them – these printers can work with multiple materials including cotton & polyester blends etc..

In summary: Direct To Garment technology uses specific types of inks that guarantee robust colour vibrancy whilst providing maximum durability against fading - eking out superior garment adhesive features compared more traditional methods used historically for producing high-resolution images directly printed using tailored solutions found within various popular branded models like Epsom or Ricoh amongst many others available currently today making sure all requirements met

Suitable Fabrics for DTG Printing

DTG printers have the unique capability to print on a wide array of fabrics, such as cotton, polyester and blended materials. Certain advanced models like Kornit can even extend this range to include more intricate varieties - including lycra, silk denim and wool, without needing pre or post-treatments. By leveraging this versatility, businesses are able to create custom designs for t-shirts, hoodies, hats or bags that will satisfy their customers’ needs and expectations.

Preparing for DTG Printing: Prepress and Pretreatments

Design Preparation

To ensure the best quality Direct to Garment printing of your design, there are several preparatory steps that must be taken. First and foremost, use vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator for creating or importing your artwork. Make sure it is saved in a format compatible with DTG printers then set its resolution at 300 dpi for better results. Fewer colours should also be used when possible (4 to 8 shades being optimal) while complex designs may require simplification too.

Garment Pretreatment

In the DTG printing process, garment pretreatment is essential for ensuring that white inks are tightly fixed to the fabric and have a smooth area so detailed graphics can be printed with precise colours. To help you meet these goals there are various approaches such as pre-treatment machines, DTF powder, or even specialised solutions designed specifically for dark garments. Ensure that you pick out an appropriate approach suitable to your desired print outcome and type of fabrics being used when it comes to DTG printing.

Finishing Touches: Curing and Post-Processing

Once a DTG print is applied to the garment, heat presses are used as part of curing the ink for long-lasting results. The post-processing stages include adding labels and tags along with folding for proper presentation before being shipped off. Curing dtg printed garments ensures that they can be washed without affecting their quality or vibrancy of printing inks.

Curing Methods

When it comes to DTG printing, two main curing methods are available: heat presses (tabletop type) and conveyor dryers. Tabletop models of heat presses offer a user-friendly experience at an economical price point but lack the effectiveness of conveyor dryers. In contrast, these larger machines require more space and money investment upfront. They provide quicker results with greater print capacity. It’s important to take into account your needs, budget constraints as well as workspace in order for you to make the ideal decision between utilising tabletop or converyer drying solutions for digital textile printing activities.

Post-Processing and Packaging

Once the DTG printed garments have been cured, it’s time to add those last details and give a professional finish. Labels, tags and folding should all be considered as part of this process - it’s important for your business that customers receive products in pristine condition. That means careful packaging is essential when presenting them with their order. Post-processing & packing will reflect positively on you by creating an overall perfect product experience that leaves your clients impressed.

Innovations and Trends in DTG Printing

The DTG printing industry is constantly transforming and reshaping itself, with new advancements in printer technology as well as emerging business opportunities. Efficiency, versatility and profitability are rising due to improved cleaning systems, ink supplies suited for various fabric surfaces plus the opportunity of exploring a broader range of fabrics for dtg-printing purposes. This combination presents an exciting future that has been enabled by these trends and developments within the DTG field.

New Printer Technologies

Advances in printer technology have boosted the DTG printing process. For example, automatic cleaning systems and sophisticated ink formulas improve print quality while reducing upkeep costs significantly. This means that print shops and businesses can provide their customers with a much wider variety of products such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats and bags, without compromising on results or incurring unnecessary expenses associated to it . Our printing solutions achieve outstanding prints whilst ensuring revenue is secure for shop owners! Allowing customers access to shirts printed using superior technologies made via our own processing system they would not be able find anywhere else yet maintain high standards at an affordable price.

Emerging Market Opportunities

The increased appetite for one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories has motivated the spread of DTG printing to fabrics and products with more varied textures. This is an opportunity that businesses should tap into, as they can reach a wider audience by providing personalised items which will significantly boost their business profits.

As DTG printing advances, it presents fresh possibilities in garment production that companies have the chance to pursue or take advantage of modern developments within this field.


DTG printing has come a long way, allowing businesses to replace traditional methods of garment production with quick and effective direct-to-garment (DTG) solutions. This process is capable of producing striking prints for custom apparel in only minutes - transforming the world’s outlook on personalising garments. With new opportunities arising from printer technology advancements, companies can take advantage by extending their product offerings, improving processes and creating bigger returns. Directly embrace DTG printing and discover all it offers your business!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is direct to garment printing worth it?

When it comes to smaller orders, DTG printing may be more cost-efficient. The quality and durability of such prints can’t compare. The inks used for direct to garment processes tend to wear off when laundered or tumble dried which means they won’t last nearly as long compared with those that have been screen printed. If you are considering investing in a print design that will endure time then maybe this method is not your best option.

Which is better DTF or DTG?

When it comes to choosing the best printing technique, consider what you need. DTG offers fast turnarounds and precise designs for organic fabrics while DTF provides bright colours that can be printed on a wide range of materials with greater durability.

Either way, both methods have their advantages depending on the desired end result!

What is the disadvantage of DTG?

DTG printing is a type of print which can be slow To other methods and often encounters issues such as clogged ink nozzles or head errors, thus making it an inconsistent option. Despite this, DTG remains popular for its use with certain types of projects requiring specific dyes and hues that are not achievable

What is the average cost of a DTG printer?

The price tag for a fully functioning DTG printing setup typically ranges anywhere from $20,000 to an impressive $250,000 depending on the model chosen.

What are the main advantages of DTG printing over traditional printing methods?

DTG printing is an optimal choice for businesses or personal designers due to its ability of creating high-quality details with vivid colours, along with fast turnaround times and the capability of printing smaller amounts or singular customised items.

To ensure the best quality Direct to Garment printing of your design, there are several preparatory steps that must be taken. First and foremost, use vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator for creating or importing your artwork. Make sure it is saved in a format compatible with DTG printers then set its resolution at 300 dpi for better results. Fewer colours should also be used when possible (4 to 8 shades being optimal) while complex designs may require simplification too.
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