1. What Is DTG (Direct-to-Garment) Printing ?
DTG or Direct-to-Garment printing is a new technology that provides full colour, photo quality images to be directly printed onto a garment with near instant-turnaround. Put simply, DTG printers are bigger versions of your desktop inkjet printer, but instead of taking paper, they can take t-shirts or other garments as the print media.
2. What Type Of Ink Does It Use?
The inks are special water-base textile pigment inks. The manufacturer (DTG digital) describes the inks as ‘aqueous base (no solvent) mixed with colour pigments’. They have certificates from environmental agencies that have performed independent tests on the inks to ensure that they meet up to the standards and regulations required. As a result of these tests, it has been found that ‘no hazardous materials are used’ which makes them ‘eco-friendly’, and means we are looking out for the environment too!
3. How long do the inks last on the garment? Does it wash well?
In regards to how long the print lasts, it really depends on how well the garment is looked after and how it is washed.
Whilst formulating the inks for use with the printing machinery, DTG Digital performed rigorous test prints to ensure that the printed ink still looked great after many continuous washes. Of course you will expect a little fade – and that little fade is a natural occurrence with any print method. But unlike other printing methods such as ‘Ink Transfers’ which are known to fade after just a few washes, or the likes of ‘Plastisol Screen Printing’, which can result in cracking or peeling after a while, the longevity of DTG prints is really very good in comparison.
We recommend our client’s to wash their printed garment inside out on a ‘cool’ wash setting, and allow to ‘drip dry’ in order to preserve the prints as long as possible.
In conclusion, the print will not crack, peel or fade after a few washes, and although it will fade a little bit over time, it does so gently and organically with the natural ageing of the garment.
4. Finally, what’s the cost if i want to make a custom order for small or medium quantities?
Unlike some other printing methods, it isn’t possible to produce a pricing structure for DTG printing, due to the many variables involved. Each and every design sent through to us has to be put through the machine to estimate ink consumption. Each design will require a certain amount of ink to make up the print, and the ink consumption will depend on the density and size of the design. In some instances a small A4 design has been more expensive than a larger A3 sized design, due to the fact that the ink density of the A4 design was much higher than the A3 design. It is therefore very difficult to provide a price ‘outright’ until the design has been processed through the machine. It is then only at this stage a quote and individual price can be given to the client.