What Is Direct Digital Printing On Fabric?

When you venture into the magical world of personalized t-shirts, you are pervaded by a galaxy of terms, printing methods and costs.

In recent years, giant strides have been made  in clothing  and gadget printing .

One of the major innovations is direct digital printing on fabric: let’s find out in detail what it is, how it works and its advantages.

Digital in the world of printing

Before its advent, in typography we totally relied on offset printing, a printing technique used for printing everything that is paper but that requires high initial costs for the preparation of the plates: one for each primary color that will form image.

The costs for the systems  therefore oblige orders with large quantities in order to spread the price as much as possible.

Among the many advantages introduced by the digital first among all we find the possibility of orders with short runs: not having initial costs due to the printing plants it allows to realize products without minimum order or even a single article.

printing techniqueDigital in textiles

Until a few years ago, printing details rich in details, nuances or photos on t-shirts seemed like a chimera and  the screen printing could only partially  fill these limits; but, similarly to offset printing, it is a burdensome technique for small quantities and made it practically impossible to personalize a single shirt especially if the graphic had more colors.

To make a single shirt, this problem could be  solved with the heat-sealable , which is nothing more than a vinyl of a chosen color that is clipped following the design and applied to the knit.

The cons are very clear: flat colors, details that are not too fine and a “plastic” hand to the touch.

Part of these defects are limited by transfers: real sheets that can be printed from a PC and then applied to the mesh. Even in this case, however, we always talk about an application, a tangible and evident to the touch layer – despite the progress that the transfers are making in terms of yield and quality are remarkable. a beautiful print, imperceptible, vivid, with no limits of details or colors. And here comes to our aid direct digital printing on fabric, for friends: DTG.

In short, we don’t really like covering the fabric of our beautiful sweaters with plastic, and to you?

We want to make our t-shirt breathe with a  beautiful print, imperceptible, vivid , with no limits of details or colors. And here comes to our aid direct digital printing on fabric, for friends:  DTG .

DTG who?

Direct To Garment , direct on fabric. As the name suggests, it is a technique that allows you to print directly on the fabric by coloring the fibers, thus allowing a soft print, imperceptible to the touch and lasting.

How Does Digital Printing Work?

To make this magic come true there are machines that are very similar to a common four-color printer, that is to say that they mix 4 colors – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – to reproduce graphics, drawings and photos.

Instead of banal white sheets in these special printers we can put our t-shirts (and not only) “dressing” them on special boards that carry the garment under the heads from which the color is sprayed.

Goodbye to the limitations  of which we spoke before: nuances,  images rich in details  and photos can finally be brought on fabric.

To infinity and beyond

The addition of white ink also allows us to customize colored and dark garments without any problems – for the happiness of metal groups – exponentially expanding personalization skills.

The inks used dye the fabric but are relatively opaque as they are water based and transparent. Then printing on colored garments the graphic would turn on the color of the shirt and – unless it is a desired effect – would make us turn up our noses.

On the black t-shirts, then, the design would be practically invisible. This is why white helps us:

First Of All The Fabric  must be  treated with a special solution  (called Primer) which allows the white ink to adhere perfectly to the fibers and guarantee resistance and durability. This phase is very important and critical: the more uniform the Primer is, the better the final yield will be;

Once the t-shirt has been treated with the Primer, the machine will first print a layer of white ink corresponding to our graphic, thus preparing a  clear base for the design  that will not see its original colors altered.

White is a denser color than the others (it must have a greater quantity of pigments in order to be opaque), to the touch the print on a dark or colored garment may be less light than a print on a light t-shirt, remaining very soft in any case and durable.

In summary, why choose direct digital printing on fabric?

Here, then, are the main features and advantages of direct digital printing:


No minimum order due to  lack of printing facilities and relative initial costs to be amortized, with the possibility of customizing even a single item;

No limits of colors , shades or details;

Very soft print , imperceptible to the touch and durable, directly coloring the fibers of the fabric.

At embroidery-gulf.com  we use the best possible technique to offer you maximum freedom of expression and the highest quality. So let your imagination run free and create your next successful t-shirt, perhaps taking a look at the post on how to best prepare the file and have a perfect print.

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