DTG Printing: What, When and Why

 

Custom DTG Printing

Brother DTG Printer

Direct to Garment printing (also known as DTG printing or digital apparel printing) is a method of printing designs directly onto t-shirts and textiles using a modified ink printer.

Direct to Garment printing is a direct descendant of ink jet printing. That means no screens, no mess, no thick plastisol ink–yet great detail and stunning color possibilities. How it works is a t-shirt is loaded onto the machine, and your design is printed directly onto the shirt using specially formulated water-based inks. The design is then heat set using either a heat press or a tunnel dryer. In the same way that your inkjet printer can print extremely detailed image, a DTG printer is able to produce photo-quality images on shirts that still have a soft feel.

Custom DTG Printing

No color limitations with DTG Printing means you can print what you want without the price going up. Photo courtesy of Behind the Blank

Sounds great, right? Well, Direct to Garment printing can does have it’s limitations. Specialized ink means it’ll end up costing a little more. It’s also a lot slower than screen printing (think of standing in front of an ink jet printer and waiting for a piece of paper to come out), so labor costs are higher as well. And the printable area is a little smaller, too.

So with so many factors to consider, the real question is when to use Direct to Garment and when to screen print. The basic formula is if you’re printing a multi-colored and detailed design with less than 50 shirts, Direct to Garment is the more efficient and cost effective choice. Once you start hitting quantities over 50, then screen printing becomes the faster and cheaper option. DTG is also the go-to option if you’re looking to print a photo-realistic image.

 

Custom DTG Printing

Print your illustrations right onto a shirt with DTG Printing

When printing DTG, the fabric content of the garment is by far going to be the main factor to consider when choosing which shirts to use. Lots of printers insist on going with only 100% cotton (like the Cotton Heritage MC1040 and the gildan 5000 ). We recommend going a step further and and choosing ringspun cotton (like the Next Level 3600 or 11600 Delta Apparel), which is much softer and smoother–and thus prints better. You could also choose an organic cotton shirt, which is great for marketing.

In general, screen printing is going to be a better choice for blended t-shirts if you’re looking for vibrant colors. This is because DTG Inks are best absorbed by 100% cotton, and the color won’t take as well to man made fibers. However if you’re looking for more of a subdued print with vintage-style faded colors, DTG could be the perfect choice for your design. White blended shirts print very well, but if you’re using anything other than that we suggest consulting with one of our print reps to be sure there won’t be any issues.

Next step–generating your custom DTG print quoteblankstyle.com is your one stop shop for all of your blank and printed apparel needs!

Amy on Google+

Next Level Apparel: The Best Bang for Your Buck

suededbannerKnown for their premium trendy blanks, Next Level Apparel is becoming more and more popular as an affordable, high-quality option for t-shirts and clothing. They continue to turn heads by providing consistent innovation and progressive designs, all in a unique and exciting color palette.

With fine ring-spun cotton making up a large portion of their product offering, quality polyester blends and the occasional splash of rayon or spandex provides for ideal color vibrancy, printability and stability. Next Level specializes in multi-dimensional fabrics, like heathered jersey, burnout, thermal, French terry, tri-blends and sueded jersey. Their 15 custom fabrics are specifically engineered to offer prime results for embellishing, as well as superior softness and stretch. t’s hard for consumers to find any areas where Next Level doesn’t beat out their competition!

One of the most popular tees is the Men’s 3600, which is perfect for anyone seeking a cheaper  alternative to American Apparel style 2001. It’s a 100% combed cotton jersey crewneck available in many unique colors, and offers almost zero shrinkage. Another note-worthy style is the Next Level 6210 unisex t-shirt. This shirt is a cotton-poly blend with a tear-away label. It has a low wholesale price and is perfect for relabeling because of it’s classic, contemporary design that pushes the standards for today’s printable tee. For ladies, their tanks are crowd favorites. The 6533 is a burnout and is one of their best sellers. Next Level’s poly/cotton burnout shirts are even printable!

YOUTH2Next Level apparel partakes in a continuing effort to revolutionize the standards of apparel manufacturing and outsourcing. All of their factories are WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production). The brand, and the practices that the company adheres to, are dedicated to ethical standards of conduct.

In addition to these products being child labor and sweatshop free, most Next Level garments discharge well with both water-based and discharge inks. They also provide tear-away tags and for an easily-rebranded product. Next Level acknowledges that embellishers are looking for a garment that will support and enrich the prestige of their brand. A garment that can roll with various types of dye processes. They are looking for innovative sourcing of quality yarns, and premium fabrics made of fine cotton and quality manufactured fibers.

CVCbannerThis brand continues to push boundaries and provide top-notch products at affordable pricing! Their continued growth and praise as an industry leader for fashionable blank clothing is a testament to the passion that they carry for their products, and the dedication they have to their customers.

Amy on Google+