Custom Printed DTG Shirts
Direct printing on fabric, or DTG, is one of the keywords that we are beginning to hear more frequently in large format circles. It means using a digital printer to print directly on clothes and accessories, and the process is changing many heads.
For printers and enterprising designers looking to offer new services, DTG is easy because it is ideal for short runs. DTG makes fabric design and printing simple, affordable, and inexpensive, especially compared to traditional silkscreen printing. Put a DTG printing system behind a web to print platform, supporting online customization and order processing, and you have all the ingredients for a new and exciting business model.
DTG printing using inkjet technology is attractive because creating printed clothing from scratch using traditional technologies can be long and complicated. The new printers are easy to use, affordable, and print excellent image qualities on a variety of small and medium format accessories and shirts quickly.
Different fabrics will have different characteristics, making them adaptable for different design types, and the printed result must withstand washing. Inks should keep the fibers and not lose their colors quickly, despite the time or how they are washed. And, of course, the fabric should look natural and not irritate its wearer.
Inkjet printing technologies are available in many types and can be configured to print on natural fibers, polyester, and blends without compromising the result’s feel.
The reduction in production steps, compared to traditional processes, and technology options, also means that the cost of production may fall. It will make it possible for anyone to print their clothing – with relatively little knowledge – and support business models that offer a high profit for clothing.
With reliability and productivity, the cost is one of the main drivers when choosing the ideal production technology for your large format project. But the cost can be subjective and is always relative. For example, if you are printing more than a few hundred shirts, all the same, you will probably be better off with traditional screen printing.
If you want each T-shirt to be different and want them to be printed in a four-color photographic process, the DTG digital flatbed printer is your only profitable option. It is especially true if you have a multi-layer halftone design, and you are not using special paints like metallic ones.
The high-value nature of bespoke parts is also something to consider in your DTG project planning. It is one of the reasons why DTG digital printing is taking off quickly.
It suits you!
Compared to conventional garment printing, DTG has a smaller supply chain and a much faster turnover. Unlike silkscreen printing, which requires one screen to be prepared per color, digital inkjet printing allows you to print a multicolored image directly on clothing in just a few minutes. Besides, with a DTG production line, digital color management ensures that the colors that the designer intended are the colors that the printing system will deliver.
The DTG printing system can exploit the modern, sophisticated, and widespread prepress workflow technologies used in commercial and editorial printing. These workflows can handle a wide range of production options. Although workflow management technologies are relatively new to DTG production, the basic principles of production and color management can still be applied.
DTG digital printing systems are available to handle all pre- and post-treatment to produce t-shirts, sportswear, and other clothing and accessories, as well as baby clothes, hats, bags, napkins, and towels – all on demand. Big and small manufacturers are entering the DTG world, but the biggest is Epson, which has been involved in this field for many years and is fast becoming the most well-known name in the DTG field.
For example, the SureColor SC-F2000 is a digital DTG printer that Epson designed specifically to print directly on clothing. Other devices available include Anajet, which is distributed by Ricoh. This printer requires pre- and post-treatment, using heat to cure water-based pigment inks. Kornit is another option, with platforms designed for DTG on-demand, as well as mass production.
Planning your move
Workflow is what makes or breaks almost any project, so make sure you think things through beforehand. When you create your design, consider the application you will use to make it. Ideally, you want something that supports different production formats to optimize your files for different printing systems.
Workflow is You need to be at least able to rasterize files like JPEGs and TIFFs. Consider the output size of your garment and make sure the printing system can support it. Please search for a system where the system layout software can position your file the way you want it. Your design may need to be scaled or adjusted.
Also, ensure that the layout tool can adjust colors as needed and control the amount of ink that will be deposited. In addition to concerns about quality, such as filling in your project, using more paint than you need can mean spending more than you should.
The materials you are printing should also be classified as stain and friction resistant, ideally with an AATCC rating with an international standardization method for testing fibers and fabrics. These tests measure performance criteria, such as visual appearance, colorfastness, water-resistance, and dimensional change. ISO 105-E01 is another standard for colorfastness in water.
DTG stores are starting to appear on the streets and online. Mad-in-Berlin, for example, has two stores in the city digitally printing souvenirs and T-shirts on demand and has a robust online tool as well.
Basic products like a backpack can be customized with your name and images, or you can create your products from generics on the website or in one of the Mad-in-Berlin stores. Maybe you want high visibility jackets with your logo and web address? Or raincoats with a map of where you want to go hiking? Perhaps you still want to sell covers printed with local maps of a village in the countryside?
The creation of high-value items is what DTG is, a perfect way to bring ideas to life that take advantage of personalized, customized, and localized production.
Just as digital printing technologies are increasing over conventional printing, the same is starting to happen with garment printing. It is too early to say when DTG printing will become a fully digital industry. But if you are interested in garments in short runs, prototyping, and customization, the possibilities available to you are becoming quite interesting.