This DTG tee shirt printing (Direct to Garment) article is for information purposes only. We do not use this method. This is a guest post by Mark Barnes.
When printing photos using direct to garment (DTG) printing, the printing process is based on cotton fabrics (ie ttee shirts) and printing with a specialized large format inkjet printer.
- It is well above the screen printing (the process of pressing the inks through a stencil).
- Is more environmentally friendly, involves less time and is more cost effective for short runs.
- DTG shirt printing is more environmentally than screen printing since DTG uses water-based inks to print directly onto the clothes. This means that there is no excess of inks used in the actual printing and the only residue that occurs is cleaning the printhead occasional – should also be noted that head cleaning does not involve all external materials only ink.
Of course, the main head cleaning can be avoided with regular maintenance of the printer, and therefore a clean head per day – a matter of millimeters – is usually sufficient. Then, when the waste ink is disposed of correctly.
Printing t-shirts using the DTG method should have almost no environmental impact. Screen printing however has excess inks from parts of the template which are not printed on the shirt. When the screens are cleaned these excess inks are washed down the drain.
The process of screen printing involves creating a template and then pressing the ink through said template onto the fabric. The template can be created by hand or photo emulsion, and for each color of a new screen design is needed.
DTG Tee Shirt Printing
DTG uses only software and a computer to send a design directly to a printer and this may take a few seconds with all the colors that are printed at a time. (On darker fabrics there is a white layer printed first and then the other colors). DTG is less time consuming with respect to the facility, and this is particularly useful for printing small runs of shirts. Smaller (less than 50) runs of the shirts are much more profitable with DTG.
A minimum configuration of DTG printing means it runs as low as 1 T-shirt can be produced in this manner of with about a cost of $10 in materials (including T) and white printing can take as little as 2 minutes to produce.
Screen printers can be said that in the big races that may have an impression much cheaper but with multiple colors, then the drying time, this seems unlikely.
Printing photos using the shirts directly to garment printing is far superior to screen printing.
While both methods produce excellent quality, DTG is more environmentally friendly, less time consuming and more cost effective for short runs. While printing is a tried and true method of printing on t-shirts, it seems that DTG printing is the way forward.