Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing has revolutionized custom printing on t-shirts, making it easier and faster to produce one-off designs with a smaller set-up cost. DTG is an incredibly versatile printing method that is widely used in the t-shirt industry. It allows anyone to print full-color graphics onto garments quickly and easily, making it an optimized choice for businesses and individuals that need multiple designs in a short time.
DTG printing is a convenient and cost-effective way to produce goods with short runs, however there are some common mistakes that take place when using DTG printing. If you’re planning on using this method for your T-shirt designs, it’s important to be aware of them in order to benefit from the advantages of this technique. One mistake often made is not finding a reliable local print shop. Give yourself lots of time and compare any prospective shops before signing a contract with one – you won’t regret it!
1. Not Allowing for Drying Time
If you’re looking for the best results when it comes to custom garment printing, then drying your printed graphics correctly is essential. Digital direct-to-garment (DTG) printing needs time to dry thoroughly after printing. Otherwise, the ink can smudge if you stack the garments before they have had a chance to dry properly. Here are some tips on how you can make sure your design dries quickly and looks great.
Allow Time To Air Dry
After printing, allow at least 24 hours for the design to air dry in a warm, dry place. This will ensure that all of the ink is completely set and will not be affected by any outside elements like humidity or moisture. If possible, avoid stacking the designs during this period as this can cause smudging or fading of the ink.
Heat Pressing For Best Results
Heat pressing is one of the best ways to ensure that your print dries quickly and looks professional. It is important to use a heat press machine specifically made for DTG printing to achieve optimal results without damaging your design or garment. You should also use caution when using heat presses; be sure to follow all directions on how long and what temperature you should press for different types of fabrics.
Consider Pre-Treating Fabrics
Pre-treatment helps protect fabrics from color bleeding and fading over time due to washings or exposure to sun and water elements. When used with special pretreatment machines specifically designed for DTG prints, pre-treatment adds extra protection while helping ensure that designs look vibrant and last longer. Pre-treating also reduces drying time so that you won’t have to wait as long before removing the graphic from the printer.
2. Using Incorrect Print Settings
Not setting the correct print settings can lead to inadequate washing, fading, and cracking of the design. To ensure that the image is printed as it should be, it’s important to use the right settings, including the right temperature, pressure, and speed. Furthermore, the use of high-resolution artwork and a minimum dpi of 600 will help ensure that the printed design is clear and vibrant.
3. Not Testing the Color Output
Before printing a large batch of T-shirt designs, it is important to test the colors of the design to make sure it prints accurately. Color accuracy is key when it comes to DTG printing, so you should test different color swatches and make adjustments to the design if necessary. This will help to ensure that the final product looks professional and accurate.
Tips for Testing Color Output
When testing the color output of your design, there are several tips you can follow to get the best results possible:
• Always use high-quality materials such as fabric swatches or other materials specifically designed for testing DTG prints. This will help ensure accurate results from your tests.
• Use multiple swatches or fabric samples for each color to get an accurate representation of what will be printed on the garment or shirt.
• If possible, print a few sample designs before committing to a large run of prints; this will give you an idea of how the colors will look on the actual product before investing in a full production run.
• Make sure that all text and graphics appear sharp and clear after being printed; if anything appears pixelated or blurry after being printed then make adjustments accordingly before committing to printing a full run of shirts or garments with those designs.
4. Not Using the Right Type of Fabric
DTG screen printing is a great option to make personalized clothing quickly and efficiently. However, not all fabrics are suitable for this type of printing as some tend to absorb too much ink or don’t hold the colors well in the DTG printing process. Cotton is often considered the best fabric for DTG screen printing because it absorbs ink extremely well while retaining vibrant colors. Additionally, certain polyester blends and other synthetic fabrics can also be printed using DTG printers, but it’s important to test out the coloring on any type of fabric before committing to initiate a large batch of orders.
Cotton has long been considered a preferred fabric for apparel printing because its fibers are tightly woven together which helps absorb the ink while allowing it to dry quickly. This means that when using cotton shirts with DTG printing, there will be fewer instances of smudging or cracking due to the ink drying before it can completely saturate the material. Additionally, cotton also has natural breathability which helps make it comfortable to wear in any season and climate.
What About Polyester?
Polyester is another popular fabric used for apparel printing but is not often recommended for direct-to-garment because it tends to absorb too much ink and cause smudging or fading over time. That said, some polyester blends can be used with DTG if tested beforehand on a small batch of garments first. This will help ensure that you get the expected results from your design without any surprises afterward.
5. Not Using the Right type of Ink
For garment printer enthusiasts, the type of ink used during direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is crucial. Unlike screen printing, DTG utilizes two types of inks – plastisol and water-based. Plastisol inks are recommended for a garment of a lighter color while water-based works best on darker hues. It is also important to take into account that whatever ink you select won’t budge or fade through various types of washing. If you make sure to choose the right type of ink for the garment you are working with, it will help ensure that your designs look vibrant and stay true for years to come!
DTG printing is a great solution for custom T-shirt design, and with the right techniques, it can be used to produce high-quality results. However, mistakes can occur if the wrong techniques are used. By avoiding the five common mistakes discussed in this article, you can ensure that your DTG printing results are effective and long-lasting.