What is Digital Printing Machine?
Direct to garment printing, also known as DTG printing, digital direct to garment printing, digital apparel printing, D2, and inkjet to garment printing, is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialized or modified ink jet technology. The three key requirements for a DTG printer are a way to hold the garment in a fixed position, an inkjet print head, and specialty inks (inkjet textile inks) that are applied to the textile directly by the print head and are absorbed by the garments fibers.
Difference Between Screen Printing & Digital Printing
Screen printing involves creating a stencil (printers call this a “screen”), and then using that stencil to apply layers of ink on the printing surface(Garment). Each color is applied using a different stencil, one at a time, combined to achieve the final look or Design.
Digital printing is a much newer process that involves your artwork being processed by a computer, and then printed directly onto the surface of your product(Garment). Digital printing is not a heat transfer or appliqu’e, as the ink is directly adhered to the fabric of your shirt. Each printing process has its strengths, and our artwork team will weigh these when deciding which to use for your design.
Impact & Benefits
- Lack of set-up costs and instant turnaround time not associated with traditional garment printing methods such as screen printing. Direct to garment printers are essentially a push button operation. Start it up, let it warm up and you are ready to go.
- Many complicated patterns and colors can now be instantly printed on textiles, giving images and original art-work a new canvas.
- Small orders and one-offs print at a reasonable price.
- Print images on direct to garment printers are highly accurate and detailed.
- Unlike screen-printing, direct to garment printer shops do not have to charge by the color, so full-color printing is extremely affordable.
- Direct to garment printer inks attach directly to fibers, with a superb hand that almost feels like part of the fabric.
Compare direct to garment printers to Screen-printing
Screen-printing is expensive and labor-intensive, especially with setup. Direct to garment printers have almost no setup at all. That makes DTG printers much more cost effective for one-offs and smaller orders (up to about 100 garments). With screen-printing, several garments need to be in a minimum order, to make up for setup costs.
With screen-printing, after setup, cost of screen-printing can be less than direct to garment printer designs. However, screen-printing does not reproduce the accuracy or the range of colors of DTG. Screen-printing also uses a variety of different types of ink, such as metallic or glow-in-the-dark. On the other hand, direct to garment printer inks work with DTG Foil if you want a shiny designs with a DTG printer.
Heat transfers use heat with pressure to bond ink on the surface of a substrate, whereas DTG binds directly to a fabric’s fibers and does not need the heat component, except to dry the ink. Direct to garment printers provide a much better quality product than heat transfers.
Direct to garment printers and dye sublimation are both types of digital printing, so they each convert digital images from computer to the substrate of a garment. Dye sublimation uses heat to transform ink from solid directly to a gas, bypassing the liquid form of DTG Inks. Heat creates the gas that infuses the substrate’s fibers, so they can print on polyester that direct to garment printers can only do with proper pretreatment.
By learning the differences between direct to garment printers and other types of printing, you will see that DTG is the ideal method for virtually every project!