It's really cool stuff! Our digital technology allows us to offer small quantity tee-shirt printing (less than 12 pieces) to folks who would otherwise not be able to bring their incredible tee shirt idea to life. How does it work? Well, it's literally a big inkjet printer, very similar to your desktop printer, except it's HUGE. Not a printer and transfer system, the DTG printer is literally a big printer into which we load an entire tee shirt, send a design file from a PC (just like you'd send a file from your computer to your printer) and out comes a tee shirt!
So is DTG an iron-on transfer? Absolutely Not! The ink is printed directly onto the tee shirt and cured at 350 degrees, just like screen printing.
How big can the print/design be? With digital printing, we can go the full 14" x 16" pallet size if we want to and if it makes sense to the design. How does it compare to traditional screen printing? Well, it doesn't really "compare" in an apples-to-apples sense, because Digital Printing is different from screen printing. Each has it's own merits based on the application. Screen print is the method of choice in some cases, whereas digital printing is the best route for others.
Does it wash off? No, it does not wash off. All tee shirt prints will begin to fade after dozens/hundreds of wash cycles. Under normal conditions, DTG will hold up just fine.
What's important to remember when digital printing? Digital inks are water-based and are not opaque, which means you can see through them. So, you cannot use digital technology on certain dark colors of tee shirt such as black, navy and purple. The ideal tee shirt color for DTG is white, followed by natural, greys, light and dark tans, and then the pastels. It's important to note that the shirt color will show through your design area. So if you're a photo on a light pink shirt, the white parts of the photo will be pink. Certain vibrant colors such as the primaries (ie red, kelly green, orange) and a variety of deep fashion colors (ie hot pink, lime green, etc) are also an acceptable base for a solid black print.
There also no white ink in digital printing. So if you're printing an American Flag on a pastel green tee shirt, the area that would normally be white stripes will be the color of the shirt, in this case green. What are some of the best uses for Digital Printing?
Photo tees is the best example of a digitally printed tee shirt. There is no better way to print photo tees.
A single line (or more) of text/lettering only. So if you have that great idea for a gag gift, or want to print just a nickname on a shirt, this will be your method of choice.
Small quantity orders of single color prints on a light colored tee (ie sport grey) is another great example of digital tee shirt printing.
When you need FULL COLOR for a just a few pieces, digital is the method of choice. Why? Because screen printing multiple colors involves a lot of setup time and multiple screens (stencils), usually resulting in far more expense than the average person is willing to spend on a just a few tees.
So many more uses! Take a look at a few examples of digital printing below.
This bottom pictures is a perfect example of a great use for DTG. This was an order for just 7 shirts and each had a name on the sleeve. Two colors that print well on sport grey, small order and each one personalized.