Direct-to-Garment Printing (DTG) or digital printing is highly approachable both for producers and consumers. It is trendy in each country where printing services are available. Hence we have made this guide on DTG printing. But do you know a bit of its history? 


DTG is the latest T-shirt printing method. It has been not more than 20 years since DTG printing revolutionised the printing industry. It provides us with a wide range of leverages. The fashion world has been experiencing the latest and most favourable printing techniques. People prefer this mainly for various colour options, small and mass production availability, profitability, low set cost, and faster process.


In this post, we will discuss what DTG Printing is, things to consider and contrast, primary reasons to prefer this method, pretreatment, limitations of DTG printing, top DTG Printers for 2021, and some other necessary things.


Here we go! 


DTG Printing - Everything You Need to Know


As a progressive printing method, the direct-to-garment or DTG deserves a detailed discussion. And as a manufacturer or client, it would help best if we secured a good understanding. 


What Is DTG Printing?


Simply put, it's a process to print on textiles. This is adorable to print on ready-made garments. In this method, experts insert full-colour images into the clothes. Let us ponder on to learn about the DTG printing method. 


The whole procedure is self-explanatory. In fact, with the help of inkjet technology, we command a digital printer, and it starts designing directly onto a garment. The fibres of the garment absorb the inks. That means you need to allow the ink to shoot up the garment straight. It will automatically start working on fabric. This is how it works. DTG is the best for short runs of full-colour prints onto a variety of clothing.


Back to the History 


Printing onto an object other than paper? Oh, it was unimaginable for a long time! 


The history of DTG printing is fascinating. Back in the '50s, for the first time, engineers began to develop this technology. Primarily, the experts failed to get jammed with the dry paint. But gradually, by overcoming all barriers, DTG printing services became available for all. Now we are talking about the mid-'80s. 


Later on, in the '90s, Matthew Rhome created his revolutionary prototype, and we got our first workable DTG printer. He is aptly called the father of DTG printing. 


Eventually, in 2004 during the Imprinted Sportswear (ISS) Show in Chicago, Mimaki came up with its prototype named GP-604. The US companies called  US Screens and Kormit introduced their models in the same year. The innovation of white ink skyrocketed the progress of DTG printing. Finally,  in 2014 Epson rocked the printing world with their F2000 DTG printer.


Things Need to Consider and Contrast 


How to decide what kind of printing will suit your chosen design? This is vital. Consider these three things: 


  • the number of shirts

  • the number of colours and 

  • the colour of the shirt you want 


Now come to the second part. People often google DTG vs screen printing quality to come to a decision. It shows that this is a common yet crucial need. You are probably one of them. So for your honour, we are here to briefly discuss Screen Printing vs DTG printing. 


DTG vs Screen Printing 


Let’s start with the Screen and DTG printing process. The DTG printer sprays the ink directly into the fibre, while screen printing layers the ink on top of the fibre. Screen printing isn't preferable for detailed design, but you can undoubtedly rely on DTG in this regard. 


DTG is great for on-demand printing void of any upfront cost, while screen printing is suitable for large orders. Also, DTG and screen printing differ in method and expenditure. And if you ask about washability, then, for example, the screen printed shirts are better. However, when a printer ensures proper pre-treatment, there is no issue with DTG printed shirts. As a result, DTG shirt printing is more popular than ever before. 


Pretreatment on Dark-coloured Garments


First of all, let us make it clear what pretreatment is. Pretreatment is a liquid mixture. It is an essential component of the Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing method. It helps your design get the look you want. 


You will have to spray the garment with a pre-treatment liquid or a glue-like composition. It lets the white ink get printed by the DTG printing machine to stick to and secure a place upon the garment. The mixture creates a vibrant effect. Not only the white ink, but you can also insert full-coloured images on different coloured garments. This technique helps colour sustain for a long time. That means it averts the fading of ink colours. This is most preferable for the dark-colour garments. This solution provides your dark-colour garments with a premium look. 


During the procedure, you have to press the garment within a heat press. The heat press will befriend a heat-resistant sheet. It will turn the surface smooth and flat. Then you have to press it for a few seconds. However, this is not as simple as that. You will have to go through some other procedures for the right application of pretreatment on your dark-coloured garments. These are as follows: 


  • You have to ensure a nicely ventilated room so that your staff can find it healthy. Especially, let not the spray put a bad impact on your printer. So better manage a room away from it for this application. 


  • It would help best if you employed a High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray gun. We recommend the Wagner Control Spray Gun and Campbell Hausfeld Paint Sprayer for a smooth operation. 


  • You will have to spray an even amount to where the material comprises an even wet sheen. Another important thing is, you have to apply this only on the portion that you are going to print.


Basic Reasons to Prefer 


  • You can print any design that you want, choose any number of tones!  Here you are free from the hassle of matching colours through inks and pantones. That means you don't have to face typical colour limitations; instead, you can enjoy the full-colour spectrum in the DTG printing technique. 


  • This is the best means of custom tee shirt production. What other method allows you to print images on a garment directly?! 


  • Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing solution leverages the designers to showcase their versatility. So with DTG, you have the increased chance of having the best creative shots! 


  • The DTG printer is easy to set up. You need to follow a few simple steps. A top-notch quality setting indeed takes a bit longer time while working, but if you balance up between the quality and speed, you will rock! 


  • It is the ideal option for print on demand. The DTG digital printing facilitates you to run 'on-off prints' comfortably! 


  • DTG is the ideal option for cotton garments. Do you know why? The reason is- this method can deal with water-based inks. And who doesn't know that people in Great Britain crave cotton t-shirts! 


  • DTG has low setup costs, so it works well with 'on off prints.' For this reason, DTG is the printing technique we use for our on-demand services. For low-volume runs, it can carry up to 1. 


  • You can deal with any complex design by DTG tshirt printing advantage. The DTG printer can clone intricate details for producing unique t-shirts. 


Feeling enthusiastic? Okay, let's get to know the limitations too.


Limitations of DTG Printing  


  • You won't be able to print polyester garments or sports shirts by DTG printing. It is not suitable for polyester garments or any materials that fight off liquid.


  • The pre-treatment or underbase layer on dark and coloured garments makes a base layer. It can leave spots around the design. 


  • The more cotton you feed this technology, the more it will excel. This is also a drawback where you are a bit compelled to maximising the amount of cotton. 


  • Are you looking for custom DTG printing to print t-shirts in bulk? Sorry, you can produce excellent customised t-shirts but cannot produce them in bulk within a short time! You have to go through a long-tiresome procedure to print a single t-shirt. In that case, it won't be a cost-effective solution either!


  • You may have a slightly different colour with the end product.


  • The DTG printing cost for t-shirts in the UK is affordable. The average DTG printing cost per shirt is £ 3.00-5.00. But this technology is costly. On average, a single DTG printing machine costs around £10,000 to £200,000. 


Top DTG Printers for 2021


Printing procedure is tremendously fast with the direct-to-garment printers. The good news is, engineers are improving this technology to make the process easier. Here we present the top DTG printing machines for 2021. If you ask the UK’s best DTG printing company, concerning this, their reply would be almost the same!


  • M&R Maverick 

  • Epson SureColor F3070 

  • FreeJet 700TX DTG Printer 

  • RICOH Ri 6000 

  • NeoFlex 800 DTG printer 

  • DTG M6 Industrial Direct to Garment Printer 

  • Aeoon Flatbed DTG Printer 

  • Azon Tex Pro DTG printer 

  • Brother GTX Pro Direct to Garment

  • Summit RT Direct to Garment Printer 


Print Britannia for Your DTG Printing


How about Print Britannia for DTG t shirt printing? If anyone is wondering out there like what is the DTG printing near me, we welcome. Print Britannia has been reputedly providing DTG printing services for years. 


Yes, we believe in our performance. What do you want: on-demand DTG sleeve printing or DTG printing on dark shirts? Whatever it is, we can make you smile at the end of the day. Just knock us! We are one of the top DTG printing companies in London! 


Ending Thoughts 


We prepared this guide on DTG printing. In the present day, if you are in the printing business, it would be best to apply the latest technology. The importance of DTG printing is more extraordinary than even screen printing for on-demand tee-shirt production. Hopefully, you have already been clear with this printing process, its advantages over the rest methods, probable cost, required logistics, reliable shops, and so on.