DTG Printing – Process And Development

The DTG printing approach is still unfamiliar to several customers. Direct to garment printing, which is often referred to as digital printing, D2, or DTG, is undoubtedly the most significant breakthrough in apparel decoration in the previous century. It is now simple to print on need. But what is DTG printing?

DTG printers are commercial inkjet printers that produce full-color pictures directly onto clothes using specific inks. It enables infinite colors in a single pass.

The graphic picture quality produced on the cloth is substantially more outstanding and crisper in DTG Printing. In addition, unlike other printing technologies, DTG printing makes it easy to share a single t-shirt or many at a low cost.

Tasks that were formerly too little for a screen printer may now be printed rapidly. Additionally, DTG printers don’t need a huge expense.

What is DTG Printing?

Direct-to-Garment Printing, or DTG printing, entails jetting or spraying specific watery inks from inkjet printing straight onto the surface of fabrics, most commonly t-shirts.

Unlike other t-shirt printing technologies, which are restricted and often demand an extra price for each color, DTG printing provides infinite shades in a single pass.

Process

By using the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key color) chroma model, the digital tech utilized in DTG printing enables the production of realistic pictures.

The device must be set to the proper pre-treat level, ranging from 1% to 200 percent saturation. Since this enables precise, lasting prints, the concentration level also serves as a reference whereby the ink level must conform.

The inks are jetted or sprayed into the clothing while printing, and they soak into the textiles, completely staining them. Following that, heat is used to dry the ink.

Features

Color flexibility:

DTG printing enables the creation of a wide range of colors simultaneously, and these colors are produced as accurately as possible.

Design accuracy:

Similar to the findings of traditional printing, printed designs or pictures are incredibly detailed.

Price:

DTG printing enables the printing of t-shirts at a reasonable cost. They are, in fact, priced for small amounts.

History OF DTG Printing

Knowing more about the past direct-to-garment printing techniques will assist you in sorting through all of the current product alternatives.

Recognizing where the process has come from and where it is headed can enable you to clarify all of the remarks you come across during your investigation.

Pre-2004

In 1996, DIS of Bradenton, Florida, released the first commercially accessible DTG printer, the “Revolution.” It was built on a Matthew Rhome innovation.

Rhome was engaged in the DTG concept for several years. He submitted a patent application in July 1996. As a result, the first DTG invention was obtained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in August 2000.

2004

Screen printing was the sole alternative available to printing business owners. Although most t-shirts before then were printed the same way, you’ve undoubtedly had some familiarity with screen printing.

Mimaki and US Screens were the first to invent the T-Jet printer legally developed in Japan. It is a primarily manual procedure that entails spreading ink throughout a porous “screen” with a picture on it and then applying the ink to the fabric below.

The bespoke t-shirt industry, like the move from large business printing and publishing corporations to pc printing decades before, was primed for a digitalization.

The Mimaki GP-604 was a C, M, Y, and K-only device. However, the GP-604D included an additional unit that discharged fluid onto clothing to release the colors. It was a brilliant concept.

But in order to obtain reasonable accuracy, you require to utilize discharge-ready clothing. This was more expensive than other clothes and had fewer patterns and colors. In addition, the discharge fluid was severely harmful to the printers.

The GP-604 had a starting price of roughly $30,000. However, the Fast T-Jet was a seven-color printer (C, M, Y, K, Lc, Lm, Lk) that couldn’t print darks. As a result, the Fast T-Jet had a $10,000 starting price.

2005-Brother introduced their GT-541

GT-541:

Brothers introduced the GT-541 as a lightweight alternative to just printed shirts. Afterward, as the Brother Graffitee DTG Printer series, this brand controlled numerous printing businesses on the streets of The Capital.

At ITMA Asia, numerous developments and attempts to improve DTG resulted in the debut of the Kiosk brand in Singapore.

WIMS:

White color printing on hefty cloth was nearly difficult to do at first. On the other hand, white ink was invented as a primary method for printing various colors around the end of 2005.

So, the DTG White Ink Management System (WIMS) was created. In addition, US Screen introduced white ink for their Fast T-Jet printers, which marked a significant shift in the market.

Even though the pre-treatment procedure was quite tricky, they were ultimately capable of printing on dark clothing. This was conceivable because, for instance, once you put a coat of white ink upon a black t-shirt, you can then set the red ink on top of it to produce an actual red hue.

The servicing concerns related to the setting of white ink were considerably reduced as a result of this discovery. Unfortunately, this ink was only available with US Screen’s Fast T-Jet printers.

A year later, Brothers made white ink available to other industry providers.

2009- Unique Belt-fed System

The DTG Viper debuted in early 2009, setting new performance benchmarks. A business may now establish a “print through” process with its unique belt-fed technology. This layout was more efficient, especially in stores where size was not a significant consideration.

A user may also make numerous clothes at once using the DTG-developed 4-2-1 platen system. Again, it won’t require devoting a large amount of room to big printers.

The Viper also signified a further milestone in the DTG line’s evolution. It was both the WIMS system improved to include a stirrer in the white ink bottle and spreading the ink through the system.

However, the color ink structure was also compressed to remove ink flow problems during peak production durations.

2010/11- DTG M2

Before late 2011, when the DTG M2 was initially introduced at the Fort Worth ISS Show, most DTG companies had relied on Epson printers.

Epson is still the industry leader today, with devices like the Epson SureColor F2100 DTG printer building on the performance of prior printers. In addition, the technical approach used to create this type of printing avoids the need to update ink chips and waste monitors.

The output of the first DTG printers has been doubled due to this innovation. The nicest thing about this printer is that it has improved DTG printing on various materials, not just because of its widespread adoption.

2019- DTG G4–Automatic Pretreatment

Things moved rapidly as ColDesi’s DTG team, Belquette team, and DTG Digital engineers worked to finalize the DTG G4 – the next version of the DTG branded printers.

The DTG-G4 includes facilities for automatic pre-treatment. It adds a new revolution to the printing sector.

The G4 was formally introduced in the United States in November 2019 and included the quick vacuum platen. The patent was issued in June 2020.

It also provides a new, better Kodak ink combination that resulted from multiple works by all three businesses and Kodak scientists. Two of the key advantages of the new ink set were faster dry times and improved colors.

Bequette Edge technology is the latest technology to enable tailored drying that reduces time and energy. It is best to focus on pre-treatment. The One-Step is unquestionably the forerunner in terms of pre-and post-treatment.

Process of DTG Printing

You can use the DTG printing process to print on both light-colored and high-quality garments. All you need is to follow some simple steps.

DTG printing process on light-colored garments

Printing on light-colored materials is a DTG technical milestone and one of the most straightforward techniques. The following is a standard printing routine for light-colored clothes.

Step 1: Heat press the clothing for 5-10 seconds to let moisture escape and prevent wrinkles.

Step 2: Pretreat the layout with the pre-treatment liquid. Such solutions can be applied physically using automated pre-treatment equipment or a manual sprayer.

Step 3: To stabilize the pre-treatment solution, heat press the clothing one more.

Place a piece of insulating paper on top of your cloth. Those papers must be used just once per clothing before being discarded. This prevents the accumulation of debris on the sheets.

Continue to press the cloth according to each solution’s time and temperature recommendations.

Step 4: Select the desired image and make any necessary revisions using the RIP program.

Step 5: Place the clothing in the printer and print it. Again, make sure you’re using the appropriate platen and that it’s correctly adjusted.

It’s critical to have the appropriate location to get the intended result and avoid wasting any cloth. The printing process is now underway.

Step 6: Take the printed garment with care and set it on the drying apparatus. A heat press or an electric dryer can be used.

Cure the cloth according to the times and temperatures recommendations for the inks you’re using.

DTG Printing On High-Quality Custom Garments

For high-quality custom garments, perform the steps listed below:

Step 1: The printer must apply up to 3 coats of ink in a continuous, homogeneous way over 288 square inches (16×18 platen) without making any mistakes.

Step 2: To dry appropriately, one must hold the white ink at 356°F for at least 5 minutes. The clothing should then be examined for flaws.

What Is “Pre-Treating” For DTG Printing?

The pre-treatment permits the DTG ink to remain on the fabric rather than be absorbed. So, when completed print does not turn out as expected, the basis of the difficulty is nearly often a pre-treat error.

As pre-treating is necessary for DTG, it’s crucial to use the appropriate quantity. Consider some factors when deciding how many solutions to use:

  • 1.4-1.6 grams per unit length is a decent starting point.
  • Pre-treating heavier clothing needs more pre-treatment solutions, whereas pre-treating lighter garments necessitate less. The weight and structure of the dress are likely the most crucial factors to consider.
  • High-quality, ring-spun garments with a strict weave are preferred.

Conclusion

DTG printing has exploded in popularity during the last ten years. The expense, environmental friendliness, and convenience of use have played a role in this development. As a result, lots of small enterprises in the United States are now based on this printing process.

We think we’ve covered everything there is to know about the DTG printing process and development. DTG printing is in high demand since the final printing grade is both durable and reliable. It is a major revolution in the garments sector!