We get a lot of questions about the DTG process and how to make a great DTG shirt. There are a lot of questions about the DTG process and how to make a great DTG shirt. In this article we differentiate DTG and screen printing, and lay out the process to creating a great DTG garment. Let’s start with what DTG is.
DTG stand for Direct to Garment, and is a process by which a garment is placed into the printer, and a set of heads move over the garment printing the design incrementally across the garment. Rather than pushing ink through a screen like the screen printing process, the process of printing of the shirt is similar to the process used to print a document in an ink jet printer.
DTG printing is very different from screen printing, not only in the process involved, but also in the outcome. Screen printing requires simple lines and a definable color palette. While screen printing can match industry pantones and custom colors, it cannot recreate a photo realistic spectrum of colors. The net outcome is a garment with a bold, glossy finish, but that ink adds some rigidity and has some palpable weight. On a DTG shirt, the images can be subtle, and photo realistic. Nearly any color of the spectrum can be re-created. The colors are bright but the finish itself is matte and somewhat muted. The shirt itself remains soft and pliable and the ink doesn’t add any extra weight.
The best garments for DTG printing are white or off-white (Ash, bone etc.) as these colors show the ink the best. Darker shirts don’t render the designs well at all, due to the matte finish. And the best designs are those with multiple colors. Dramatic photos and brightly illustrated artwork look great on DTG. And DTG really allows race and charity shirts to show all the colors in all the sponsors logos.
But the biggest benefit of DTG shirts? Every shirt is a single print, and there are no screen or set-up charges involved, so the pricing for DTG is flat. You can create a single shirt with dozens or even hundreds of colors. Or you can print hundreds or even thousands of shirts with the same design. But the pricing remains flat. Selecting DTG eliminates the requirement to order dozens or hundreds of shirts to make them affordable. If you’d like to print a single shirt, you can. This allows even small businesses to create small batches of dramatic, professional shirts. DTG provides a great, low cost alternative to screen printing for small business to create great promotional material. More details about MyTShirtKings