Direct to Garment Printing

The Four Steps of DTG Printing:

Step 1: Pretreating Garment

Shirts that are not white may require a pre-treatment application to ensure colour opacity. The pre-treatment creates a surface that the ink can print on and not be absorbed. When the ink encounters the pre-treatment, a chemical reaction causes the ink to gel on the surface of the material. Without it water-based ink would absorb into the material and translucent inks would lose their true colour, becoming much darker.

Step 2: Pressing of Treated Shirt

Requiring heat at both the start and end of the print process, 350 lbs of pressure is applied for 36 seconds to press down the fuzzy fibres of the t-shirt material. The heat press is used to cure the pre-treatment so ink can properly rest on top.

Step 3: Printing on the Garment

Like an ink-jet printer, the print head of our machine distributes the ink directly onto the item. Every bit of detail and colour in the design comes out beautiful and crisp thanks to a few passes of the ink-jet heads! Prints are usually left to rest for a few minutes before moving onto the next step of our process.

Step 4: Final Heat Pressing

Heat pressing is used at the offset to prepare the shirt for printing but heat and pressure are just as important after the printing. We use our oven-like heat press set at 375 degrees to cure the ink onto the material. The thin nature of the water-base ink requires a gentle touch. Our direct-to-garment printers are the best in the city!

Pros to DTG Printing

Low cost, High Reward.

Sometimes the smallest items make the biggest impact with potential customers. With the right design, a button can make the same impact as a billboard at a fraction of the price. Use full-colour printing and stunning imagery in a small, cost-effective format to draw eyes to your business on a large scale.

Something Different.

We love t-shirts, but we also see the value in offering something a bit different! Promotional items such as stickers and buttons allow your brand to have an edge over others.

Brand Anything.

The more opportunities you have to put your brand in front of your target audience, the better. From buttons and stickers to mugs and coasters, we have products that will appeal to any business.

Cons to DTG Printing

  1. A ‘pre-treatment’ or ‘underbase layer’ is applied to dark and coloured garments, creating a base layer and allowing the design to sit on top. Next, they are heat pressed to flatten fibres, and then cured in a small tunnel heater after printing.

  2. Sometimes the pre-treatment can react to the garment and can leave quite an obvious staining (as seen above, the “square” around the artwork). We aren’t able to know that this will happen until we have applied the pre-treatment and wait for a reaction.

  3. Prints onto dark and coloured garments can appear less vibrant and/or grainy

  4. We’re unable to match to exact Pantone (PMS) Colour Codes meaning your print may come out a slightly different colour than you are expecting or that we can achieve with screen printing.

  5. Polyester garments or sports shirts cannot be printed using this process due to the low cotton content, we suggest least 80% cotton.

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