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.
STEP 3: CURING
Once the image is printed on the shirt, the ink needs to be cured in order to make the image permanent.
This heat may be applied in a conveyor oven (dryer), a special drawer-based cabinet oven (dryer), or
using a heat press. The length of time and amount of heat are dependent on the exact ink system, and
the thickness of the ink. As with all types of inks on all garments/ fabrics the atmospheric conditions
or the temperature or humidity in the garment may also a ect the cure.
DTG is less complicated than traditional screen printing. Compared to screen printing,
DTG requires less experience and specialized knowledge, it is simpler with less steps,
it uses fewer chemicals, and it takes up less floor space.
100% Ring Spun cotton fabrics garments are the easiest substrate for good results with
DTG since they have a smooth print surface. Many blended fabrics also work but they can
be more difficult. 100% polyester previously was not able to be printed DTG but now advanced
equipment and ink sets are available which get superior results, even on polyester.
DTG is a great solution for print-on-demand, on-line stores, and for individual special
projects. It allows for single pieces or short runs to be affordable or when there is particularly
A high resolution is best for artwork. 300 dpi at full size is the minimum resolution
for the best results. Artwork with an inferior resolution will not give ideal results but
with DTG you may get passable results that are superior to screen printing from such files.
For the highest level of quality always pre-test the exact garment you are going to print.
Different garments in terms of color, fabric, and means of manufacture require different DTG
printing parameters. Garments of the same color and style but from even a different factory
(for example a different country of origin) may require different printing parameters and
therefore should be retested.
Heat pressing the garment before printing can give superior results as a nice flat surface
is the best printing surface.
CancelYou have not entered a valid day.You have not entered a valid month.You have not entered a valid year.You have entered an invalid date.You must enter a date.The entered date is too high.The entered date is too low.Please enter a word or phrase to search for.OKUnautorized Access