Commonly known as DTG printing, the Direct to Garment process is also referred to as digital garment printing, digital apparel printing and inject to garment printing. DTG is a process of textile printing that involves specialized or modified inkjet technology. Atlas Embroidery and Screen Printing now offers DTG printing as one of its arsenal of specialized printing services.
The resolution and speed of Direct to Garment inkjet printers have been improved greatly in the last decade. The majority of DTG printers are computer driven with software known as a RIP (Raster Image Processor). RIP software provides several benefits: (1) it allows the use of larger volumes of ink, (2) it generates a white “underbase” for dark shirts, and (3) it provides more precise color management with color profiles.
More advanced RIP software provides the ability to drive multiple printers from one computer, advanced job queuing, ink cost calculation and advanced preview of the file prior to printing. In addition to utilizing inkjet technology, DTG involves inkjet textile inks that are applied directly to the textile. These inks are absorbed by the fibers of the garment.
The primary advantages of DTG printing include precise images with non-contact technology, lowered set-up costs and fast turnaround time. The main disadvantage of DTG is equipment maintenance and the cost of ink, but these issues are improving continually. DTG printing is simple and economical on both light and dark garments. It requires less setup time, makes less mess, and is more cost-effective.
While DTG prints best on white garments of all material types, cotton works the best. However, polyester and polyester blend garments may also be used with great results. Once you move away from white shirts and into colored or dark garments, the print quality is very dependent on material makeup. The garment must be at least 60% cotton. 100% cotton allows for the white under base to be absorbed properly. The less cotton in the garment, the worse the print outcome will be on dark garments.
Print crisp, colorful, vibrant images directly onto cotton garments without the need for coated papers, or other limiting factors. If the item lays flat, it will print. What’s more, most inkjet DTG printers will handle common graphics software such as CorelDRAW®, Illustrator®, Photoshop®, and Quark®. Finally, DTG technology is idea for short or medium runs in full color textile printing.
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