Think of how much time you spend working with your screen printer. Think not only of crunching numbers and justifying cost, but dealing with art preparation, lead times, quality control, inventory, delivery, operation hours, staff availability, etc.
Now recall a common a situation where you have a few concepts you want to pitch to a new client. Instead of reaching out to your screen printer and everything that entails, how about loading your designs into a program, placing your shirt on a platen, pressing the print button and a few minutes later you have a tangible, high quality, product ready for show. Sure there is slightly more to it, but DTG has essentially evolved to be that easy.
My name is John LeDrew and I have been operating professionally in the garment decoration business for 10+ years working with some of the countries most notable brands and production shops. The potential of DTG has been promising enough that I have worked with nearly every large printer manufacturer since 2007. The problem with direct to garment has always been reliability and consistency of print. Every printer on the market is essentially the same technology in a different shell. All DTG printers, until the Epson F2000, are made up of modified paper printer components resulting in crippling reliability issues. Epson has completely revolutionized the industry by delivering a printer designed from the ground up to be a true textile printer. This means we finally have a printer that is affordable, reliable, user friendly, and extremely high quality. DTG is more viable than ever and is full of advantages for the growth of your business.
PRINT QUALITY AND WASHABILITY
It’s hard to match the high resolution and photo print quality of DTG printing. DTG is ideal for complex, high color artwork. The problem has never been print quality with DTG but washability. DTG used to never be able to match the washability of properly cured screen printed shirts. We now have a printer that is rated to the highest standard of washability, comparable to that of screen printing.
OPERATION COST AND PRODUCTION TIME
Hugely advantageous is the ability to produce 1 garment for next to nothing with DTG. Screen printers have quantity minimums. The pre-press cost for low minimums can be extremely time consuming, labor intensive, materials heavy, and therefore expensive. Pre-press set up for DTG is fast and inexpensive. On average, a shirt with white ink can be prepared and printed in 5 minutes for around 5 dollars.
One of the most obvious advantages is the ability to test print designs quickly and affordability. Most screen printers will run samples but sampling fees are often extremely high and only really make sense if that particular design is likely to go to production. Any brand has numerous concepts that could benefit from sampling but might never make it to press because of the cost. DTG allows you to test and sample nearly anything for next to nothing.
PRODUCT TESTING – PRINT TO ORDER
Use the one off capability to your advantage by posting new concepts online without holding inventory. You can’t always be sure a new concept will be a success. Instead of taking a gamble and filling a minimum size run through your screen printer, post the concept on social media and your website. Simply fulfill orders from your F2000 as they are made. If volume justifies the cost, then go to screen print for large size runs.