The garment-inkjet floodgates are wide open, leaving many screen printers who want to boost revenues with complementary digital technology drowning in options. This article will help you wade through the crowded pool of printers.
The GT-541 from Brother uses water-based, pigmented inks to print onto 100% cotton and 50/50 cotton/polyester apparel. It supports 600-dpi resolution and a maximum print area of 14 x 16 in. (355.6 x 406.4 mm). The GT-541 offers single and double print modes and manual platen-height adjustment up to 0.48 in (12 mm). The system is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and connects via USB 1.1/2.0 and CompactFlash. Among the optional accessories are a machine stand, as well as youth, baby, pocket, and sleeve platens. Brother’s new GT-782 (pictured), set for a spring 2009 rollout, is a dual-platen inkjet printer that comes standard with white ink for decorating dark garments. Its independently controlled platens allow for printing two garments with different designs simultaneously. The GT-782 uses water-based, pigmented inks (CMYK + 4 x White) and prints at resolutions up to 600 dpi. The printer also offers underbase white and highlight-white volume control, as well as controls for color saturation, contrast, and ink volume. Two 14 x 16-in. (356 x 406-mm) platens are standard. Optional platens include 16 x 18, 10 x 12, and 7 x 8 in. (406 x 457, 254 x 305, and 178 x 203 mm) for oversize prints, youth garments, and baby apparel, respectively. Brother says the GT-782 supports print speeds up to 50-60 pieces/hr, 50-60 pieces/hour for dark garments in Standard Mode, and 30-40 pieces/hr for dark garments in Highlight White Mode. The device’s Windows-compatible driver allows for printing directly from graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW without use of a software RIP. The GT-782 offers USB (1.1/2.0) and CompactFlash connectivity.
Digital Color Corp.
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