Direct to garment printing (or DTG Printing) is a process of printing on clothing using a modified ink-jet technology (just like your printer at home but fancier) DTG printing applies specialized textile inks directly into the fibers of the clothing that is being printed.
Over the last ten years, the resolution (precision) of direct to garment printers has increased dramatically. This means that DTG prints can look as good or better than traditional apparel printing processes, such as screen printing. You can’t feel the design on the garment, like in screen printing, since the design is embedded into the fabric of the apparel.
Technologically, direct to garment printing offers great advantages over traditional printing, such as live computer previews of prints, and running multiple printers from one computer. The amount of time and labor involved with DTG printing is significantly lower than traditional methods. It’s easy to print full color, intricately detailed prints either in volume or one at a time. This makes low volume orders easy to fulfill, and frees up time to print more orders and keeps DTG pricing quite competitive.
Even with all the cost and time benefits, there are a few drawbacks to DTG printing. In order for a printed design to look correct on dark materials, a white under-layer must be printed before color is applied. This Adds to the Cost and Time to create the print. DTG inks are also a little more expensive than traditional printing inks. Direct to Garment printing takes less time to set up than traditional screen printing; however, the printing process itself takes longer per item. Unlike screen printing, where the setup takes the longest and the printing itself is relatively quick, there are no real price or time discounts when using DTG printing in volume.