What is Digital To Garment Printing(DTG)?

DTG printing is not cheap iron-on transfer or cut out vinyl you used to find on t-shirts back in the day, or on boardwalks, that would start to peel off after one wash. We pride ourselves on quality and stand behind our product from poor washing and fading after a single wash. DTG is actually a relatively new method of garment printing that produces full color high-quality images and a process that is set to stay put for some years yet!

Direct to Garment printing is the process of printing directly to the shirt from an electronic inkjet printer with a printhead that houses CMYK colors and white ink. Similar to your desktop printer at home, but more advanced,bigger, waterbased inks, and includes white ink. The garment will be preateated first with precise amount of pretreatment(yes that is really what it is called), dryed and than pass through the machine. The printhead will move back and forth at a resolution of 1440 to generate the image whether 1 color or full color picture images. The ink is than cured to correct temperature.

Why No Minimums?

What makes DTG printing no minimums is that there’s very minimal setup time involved, and the entire design only require one single pass to be printed. That’s regardless of the number of colors in the design unlike screen where you basically need a new screen for each additional color. Images are adjusted by our design team to make sure each one is print ready, than it’s sent off to the print team. Print team preps the shirt with pretreatment(so the ink will bond better) loads the graphic and prints. It makes perfect sense therefore to use DTG for small orders, the prices for each t-shirt being a lot less when many colors are involved. Of course, for bulk printing, the price for each tee goes down further.

When to use DTG Printing?

Here at Breakthrough Custom Clothing, DTG printing is our specialty. We do however offer other methods including screen printing, embroidery and heat transfers(for specific athletic wear that requires a stretchable vinyl).

Each method that we use has its own pros and cons. So, before deciding on a method of printing for your order, we need to consider the details of your project and how you envisage your final apparel to be.

Pros

  • No extra cost for extra colors
  • The detail is a higher resolution than screen printing
  • You can print an infinite number of colors, making it the preferred method for photos
  • It’s cost effective for small orders; indeed there is no minimum order
  • Can change the size of the image for larger or smaller shirts
  • The finished product is soft to the touch and not thick

Cons

  • For larger orders, it is not as cost-effective as other methods
  • Each t-shirt individually takes longer to print
  • Not all colors shirts may be available
  • Preferred to be printed on cotton fabric only or high cotton content.
  • Some garments may have a stiff feel from the pretreatment(will wash away after first wash)
  • The durability of the ink is a little less than the thick screen printing inks

Pricing Guidelines DTG vs Screenprint

1 color image under 12 pieces
2 color image under 18 pieces
3 color image under 24 pieces
4 color image under 36 pieces
5 color image under 48 pieces
6 color image under 60 pieces
Full color image under 150 pieces

Direct to Garment Design Examples