What is DTG Printing?
DTG is the main process we use in Find Art Co. to create long lasting beautiful and unique printed designs on our clothing collections. Being our main technology, we would like to share with you some knowledge about it, and what to expect when you purchase our printed pieces of Art.
DTG stands for “Direct to Garment” and it’s a method to print graphics or art work directly onto clothing by using special kinds of eco-friendly water-based inks and specialized equipment (digital printers). It is a relatively new process that results on sharper and higher resolution images with a long lasting quality compared with the traditional methods such as transfer printing, screen printing and cad cut vinyl.
DTG has become an industry standard to print on demand custom designs due to its flexibility, zero set-up times and the virtually unlimited use of the color palette that our artists and designers just love as you can see in all our collections.
DTG printing method can be used on a wide range of materials, from 100% cotton base to blends made with cotton and polyesters or tri-blends that adds rayon to the cotton-poly mix. Actually, the best results are obtained with 100% cotton (the color usually appears more vibrant and bright than with blends where the finish seems more like a vintage look) but as the technology develops, the results on blends may equal the results obtained on 100% cotton in the near future. You can check the differences and properties of the fabrics we use in our blog post entitled "Our Clothing Quality Explained".
As in Find Art Co., we usually use garments made with 100% ring spun cotton, you should expect the best quality on your t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops and the full variety of clothing products we offer in our store. But don't worry - we got you cover vintage look lover out there! - in some cases, we use tri-blends for that vintage liking.
Dark Clothing Pre-treatment
- Applying of the white base layer on dark garment -
When printing onto dark clothing, DTG printing process requires a pre-treatment executed on the garments. Commonly, the pretreatment consists on the application of a liquid prior to the application of the first white layer of ink (under base layer). This liquid stops the ink from penetrating too deep in the fabric so it can strongly stay just on the surface and act as a base to receive the next colored ink layers of the desired design.
White/Light Colored Clothing Pre-treatment
- Printing on white garment -
Generally, the machine is a big digital printer similar to the inkjet printers in your home office but designed specially to apply ink directly on to the fabric of the apparel. The equipment is composed by an ink circulation and filtration system, a print heads, a humidity and compressed air systems, ink containers and a CPU unit with the software that controls automatically all the processes within the machine.
To print a T-shirt, for example, the operator just has to place the garment on the pallets in the desired position to begin with the automated process of the ink deposition. In the newer machines, the pretreatment wetting solution (a fixation agent based on wetting additives and water) its integrated into the printing process.