DIRECT TO GARMENT PRINTING
- also abbreviated to DTG Printing – is a digital print technique. DTG printers are full colour inkjet printers which print a design directly onto textiles or garments. DTG printers can produce high quality photo-realistic print results, and because there are no setup fees associated with this print technique, they are our default method for all one-off prints, photo prints, sample runs and delicate full colour designs.
HOW IT WORKS
We often compare our DTG printer to a household desktop printer; just instead of printing on a piece of paper, we print directly onto a piece of material!
The garment is loaded into the DTG printer manually by laying it onto a flat print platen, ensuring it sits nice and straight. Once the design file is loaded into the printer, the print command is made with the push of a button and our state of the art printer performs the print.
A DIFFERENCE IN COLOUR
DTG Printing works on both white and coloured textiles but is limited to garments that are made from at least 50% cotton. For printing on coloured or dark apparel, the printer needs to print a white undercoat onto the garment first. This requires the garments to be pre-treated so that the white ink particles can bond with the colour pigment in the garment fabric. Due to these additional labour steps, it is generally cheaper to print on white textiles, then on non-whites.
As the pre-treatment acts like a surface for the white ink and subsequent coloured top layer inks to sit on, you can expect a higher colour brilliance when printing on coloured or black garments compared to printing on white garments. As coloured designs can be printed directly onto white fabrics, the inks are ‘soaked’ up by the garment fibre and show therefore a slightly duller colour result.
DTG prints delight in their soft feel; prints on white textiles can’t be felt at all if you run your hand over. Prints on pre-treated garments can be felt slightly as a somewhat waxy feel. Because the inks ‘sink’ into the garment fibre as opposed to sitting on top of the fabric – as it happens with screen prints or heat transfers, DTG prints require a little more care than other print techniques. They should be washed inside-out and should not be tumble dried or heat ironed. This extra care however does come with an upside: the inks used with our DTG machines are 100% eco-friendly, water-based inks which are gentle on our environment and your skin.