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DTG (Direct to Garment) Printing vs. Screen Printing

Garner Houston

Posted on August 05 2017

Ok, here is the deal.  You have a cool idea and you want to have a shirt made with your cool idea.  So, you call the local Screen Printing shop and tell Old Man Screen Printer all about your cool idea.  You say “I want you to make me one shirt with my cool idea on it”.  Old Man Screen Printer says “No problem.  One shirt, 8 colors, that will be $65.00”.  Before you hang up the phone you think to yourself “How can one measly t-shirt cost $65.00 to make?”  Well I’ll tell you why, Old Man Screen Printer charges you for the setup of the machine, art fees, color changes, screen charges, flash charges and tons and tons of LABOR.  All that stuff takes time and Old Man Screen Printer doesn’t work for free!   This is why Screen Printers don’t like to do small quantity jobs for you. This however is what we love to do for you and here is why.  We print your cool idea directly on your shirt!

Direct to Garment (DTG) printing has only been around for about ten years.  When it first came out, it was kind of clunky.  The big boys in the printing industry thought they could just take their regular ink jet printers that they made to print on paper and use them to print on cotton or 50/50 blends.  Well, that didn’t work too well no one bought in to the technology.  So, to their credit, they and other companies developed the ink, the delivery systems and the software so that it made sense to use this technology to print incredible designs directly on a shirt.

This is where you come in.

Now you can print just about anything on a shirt and we can send it to you.  You have an Ugly Sweater Party coming up and you don’t want to wear one from the Consignment Store, bam! Choose fonts and icons from our website and you will have the ugliest ugly sweater/t shirt in the joint.  Your Mom’s retirement Party is next month and you want to commemorate it, bam!  You upload a picture of her here add some text and suddenly you have 20 shirts with your Mom’s face on them.

The way we do this is pretty cool actually.  DTG printing works kind of like the way your ink jet printer at home works only we print on shirts, not paper.  All we need is a digital image from you.  Then we transfer that digital image to a shirt.  The way we take all of the colors from your image and make your fantastic shirt relies on the CMYK color model.  CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key color which is black.  We can combine these four colors in thousands of combinations to take your cool idea and make you a cool shirt.  Traditional Screen Printers (the ones that charge you $65.00 for your shirt) know this as four color process.

Our printers apply the ink directly to your shirt and the ink actually binds to the garments material.  What this gives you is a very soft, vibrant, detailed print that feels and looks cool, just like your idea.  We do all of this without all of the expense that is associated with traditional screen print shops, that’s why we can offer you WAY more reasonable prices on smaller quantity orders.

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