Digital Printing Services – What is digital (DTG) printing?

Shirtworks

digital-sampleWe're a trusted digital printing (Direct to garment DTG)  company. And we do digital printing on fabric. It's one of our specialities, and it works brilliantly. If you don't know what digital print is and how it works, here's an explanation.

The history of digital printing (DTG) on fabric

Digital 'inkjet' technology was invented in the late 1960s but didn't become widely available until the 1990s, when it revolutionised the print industry. Beforehand, small print runs on huge litho machines were so expensive they weren't worth doing. Afterwards a print run of just one was possible, at a very reasonable price.

These days there are specialised print machines to handle everything from paper, canvas and vinyl to a range of fabrics, and inks used by a digital clothing printer are specially formulated specifically for each type of material.

During the digital textile printing process, we feed the item we're printing on through the printer on rollers. The machine applies the ink as thousands of tiny droplets. Then we finish the job with heat, to cure the ink so it doesn't run in the wash. Garments printed using a digital T shirt printer wash and wear in exactly the same way as any other fabric.

Why use us for custom digital print (DTG) shirts

High resolution results - What really sets our state-of-the-art digital shirt press apart from other printing processes is the wonderful quality high resolution results you get, perfect for detailed and complex designs. Because there's no time-consuming set-up to do, like there was with old-school litho print tech, it's perfect for low quantity orders, with a minimum order of 1.

Lots of experience plus high the machinery - We've been printing digitally on fabrics for five years and have perfected the technique. We've recently upgraded our machinery so it's the latest version, the best available technology. And that's why our results are so good: clear, bright, accurate, sharp, long-lasting and beautiful.

Quality garments - The quality of the t-shirt has a direct effect on the quality of the print. While every garment prints in a unique way, our 100% cotton Ts are a must. But we fully expect the technology

to move on, and move fast, making printing onto 100% polyester a possibility in the near future. Right now, the garments with the tightest weave deliver the best results, so we recommend choosing from the top price range on our site rather than the lower cost options. The Continental Clothing NO3 prints superbly (link to the product page)

Jumbo sized prints on every colour background - Cheaper digital machines are limited to printing on white t-shirts. They can't print as large as we can, either. It makes such a difference. We print on every colour, creating images as large as 610 x 450cm, and that's impressive.

Soft print on dark shirts - Digital printing t shirts comes with another handy advantage. Printing on dark shirts gives you a lovely soft feel, not that horrible shiny plastic feel you get from cheap printed Ts. It can make a massive difference to the feel of the shirt when your design involves large blocks of colour.

Hints and tips about artwork, after-care and more
* For the best results, produce your artwork to 300dpi. If you need help because your artwork isn't a high enough resolution, we can do that for you. We've also had good levels of success with lower resolutions thanks to our brilliant machinery     

* We accept most design file formats including jpg, png, psd, ai and pdf. * Jpg files will have a background colour, normally white. We'll ask you before removing it

* Bear in mind digital printing works best with artwork involving tones, gradients and shading

* If you want an exact match between all garments you're better off with screen printing     

* Our ink manufactures recommend a 30c wash, although we're very happy with our test-wash results at 40c


The pros and cons of digital printing

* Pros – High resolution, detailed prints, soft to touch prints, a minimum order of one, lasts well


* Cons - Can be expensive, can only print onto 100% cotton garments, and you might get some variation between prints     


Click here for a price-based chart showing when is it best time to use digital printing compared to screen printing.

See for yourself

Roll over the skull t-shirt above to zoom in on the brilliant detail we can get from digital printing onto 100% cotton t-shirts and sweat shirts. Wow!

Expert help with digital printing projects

If you have any questions whatsoever about the digital printing process, give us a call on freephone 0800 072 5334 and we'll give you the help and advice you need.