Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing: The Story So Far

Direct to garment printing is one of the more common printing techniques, but what do we really know about DTG printing? Harald Meyer-Delius investigates

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So today I’m here to talk to you about the history of direct to garment printing, most commonly known as DTG printing. However, before we delve into the baby brother of printing techniques, we need to understand what it is. DTG is a printing technique that, as its name indicates, prints special ink directly into the garment’s fabric. Unlike screen printing, which pastes a layer of colour on top of the garment, DTG goes straight into the fibre, meaning you don’t feel the ink when you touch it.

The DTG printer is the more sophisticated cousin of your home inkjet printer. It pretty much works the same way. The technology started being developed in the mid-nineties by a company called Digital Imaging Systems. One of the very first articles written about the subject was published in The Press and can be traced back to 1997. Matthew Rhome, the man behind the technology, started working on a prototype in 1998 when he joined Brother International. They worked on the technology until 2003, but it wasn’t until 2005 when it was presented at the Atlantic City ISS Show that it became commercially available and took the garment printing business by storm.

Why did it make such a fuss? you may wonder. Well, unlike screen printing, DTG is easier to set up and provides the option of doing smaller orders. The problem with DTG is that it is insanely expensive. A single machine can cost up to £10,000 or maybe even more. We have to remember that it is a technology that has been around for barely 10 years and it hasn’t developed that much. As it becomes more specialised we can expect it to become more accessible. Nowadays the technology is all over the world.

Next time you order a DTG printed T-shirt you’ll know where it came from.

Printsome specialise in DTG printing, as well as a wide range of other printing techniques. Offering delivery across the UK, why not get in touch for a quote for your T-shirt printing needs today?

 

Harald Meyer-Delius the author
Harald Meyer-Delius

Harald’s passion for books took him to Barcelona to do a masters in editorial design – he’s not left since. An ideas man, his specialties include illustration and creative writing. He’s at home with words and images. Google+ | WebsiteView all entries by this author


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