Digital Printing

What is Digital Printing and How Does it Work?
Digital Printing or Direct to Garment printing uses a process very similar to your home printer…with a few larger modifications. Using the same inkjet technology, our specialized printers are able to print inks directly onto cloth; and while most printers are only able to print on white fabric, we are one of the few printers that can digitally print on both light and dark colored fabrics. Our process includes a pre-treatment that helps the ink stick to your product of choice and stay a bit longer. It helps with color vibrancy as well!

Digital/ DTG is a fairly new - and always developing/ improving print method that allows us to have no minimum for your print needs as well as permitting us to run a full CMYK color set. This way we can get you what you need faster and without much hassle!

Step 1) Pretreatment 

To print consistently across various t-shirt compositions and colors, we use a pretreatment machine. The best way to think of pretreatment is a washable liquid that allows the ink to bond with its own surface instead of the t-shirt. This creates dependable, and long lasting, outcomes. The excess pretreatment is washed away when you wash your new t-shirt for the first time. 

Digital Printing - Pretreatment

Step 2) Art Work Preparation

DTG is different from screenprinting in that vector based artwork is not required. This flexibility means you can also use unlimited colors. Our Art Department will double check your artwork to ensure the outcome is what you'd expect. 

Digital Printing - File Preparation

Step 3) Printing

The process of printing is similar to what you'd expect from a traditional inkjet printer. The t-shirt is installed on the platen to guarantee print placement and sent into the machine. 

Digital Printing

Step 4) Drying

Once printed, the ink will remain wet to the touch. We often run the prints down the same dryer we use for screenprinting to help aid in the curing process. 

Digital Printing - Printed T-Shirt

The Pros:

  • More cost-effective for smaller orders (requires no minimum order)
  • Easy to print images containing multiple colors and complex designs
  • Affordable setup keeps costs down
  • Produces high-quality images
  • Allows you to easily customize different shirts

The Cons:

  • Designs may not last as long as screen printed shirts
  • Colors may not be as vibrant as screen print
  • Images may not be as crisp if an low resolution image is uploaded or used

Want to see a video of how digital printing works? Click Here


Digital Printing Services | DesignAShirt