Direct to garment printing (DTG) is printing on textiles using inkjet technology which usually
utilizes specialized water-based inks. Most systems are CMYK however there are exceptions like
the Kornit DTG Hexachrome system. DTG is particularly effective for short runs, full color printing,
or for reproducing fine detail.
STEP 1: PREPARING THE GARMENT
DTG usually requires a pre-treatment solution to be applied to the garment before the
ink can be printed on it. This solution is a “primer” that is designed to create a bond
between the ink and the garment. All dark colored garments require this process but it is
optional on light colored garments. Depending on the equipment, the pre-treatment may be
applied by the DTG printer or it may have to be applied beforehand in a separate process.
STEP 2: PRINTING
The shirt is placed on a platen that keeps it flat and smooth during printing. It is essential
that the shirt is flat as possible or the print heads will move away from the substrate and the
printing can become blurry. The artwork is loaded into specialized RIP software (rasterized) and
is sent to the printer. For light garments the machine makes a pass over the garment surface, while
applying a highly controlled spray of each of the process inks. This may be one or multiple passes.
For dark garments it rst lays down a white underbase and then returns to print the process inks.