2007 April 21

In the past, you may have told customers ‘no’ on small runs of multi colour print T-shirts because it just wasn’t worth it. While the margins may have been good, the amount of time it took to prepare the equipment, set-up the design, print each color, and so on was too much. That was until digital garment printing came along.

What is Digital Garment Printing?

This form of printing has a few names including inkjet garment printing and direct to garment printing (DTG), but it’s all the same – an inkjet type printer that can take any design and print it out directly onto fabric.

With this technology, you are able to:

• Print multi-colour runs easily.
• Decrease the man-power and mess of traditional screen-printing.
• Be able to accept jobs that traditional screen printers would have turned away.

How Digital Garment Printing Works

The printing process is similar to that of a desktop inkjet printer. You place t-shirts or other items into the tray, upload and edit your design onto the computer and press print like you would with a normal inkjet printer. After the design is printed, you have to cure it using a heat transfer press or dryer.

Advantages of Digital Garment Printing

The main advantages to this printing process are in the process itself. You no longer have to worry about creating screens and cleaning up afterward

Being able to print garments quickly and easily saves time and money.

Offering Your Customers More

Even if you have been accepting smaller runs of less than fifty garments, chances are you had to charge considerably more per garment for the service. On small runs a digital garment printer is able to print t-shirts for a fraction of the price of screen printing allowing them to take on more work and increase profit margins.

What Digital Printing Can’t Do

While the advantages are many, there are drawbacks including:

• Unsuitable for larger runs. As each t-shirt has to be loaded and printed individually digital printing is much slower than traditional screen printing.
• Unsuitable for dark colour t-shirts. Although print quality can be excellent, printing white ink is still a problem

But as technology continues to advance, so will digital printing.

Why Your Business Needs Digital Garment Printing

Have you ever turned down business because of the following:

• Run wasn’t large enough
• Short-staffed
• Amount of time didn’t justify the money earned

The Bottom Line

The screen-printing industry is changing. In a year or so, most promotional clothing printers will have one of these machines. If you don’t have one, then you may begin losing business to those who do.

Investing in the right equipment will help you maintain customers and also allow you to take on smaller runs, which increase sales and your customer base. Return customers are vital to the success of your business. By being able to offer them the opportunity to place smaller orders, you will see more return business than ever.

1 Comment | Add your own
  • milton mupfayi&hellip
    March 22nd, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I am interested in screen printing, could you plaese give me more information on how I can start this course; especially on T-shirts.

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