The demand for customized T-shirts is on the rise. Find out how direct-to-garment inkjet printers can help you capitalize on this trend.
By Gail Flower
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printers represent a special segment of the garment industry. Here, inkjet printheads take the place of squeegees and there are no stencils or screens. About the only things DTG printers have in common with screen printing is the use of inks and platens.
Changes abound in the DTG market. To get a good look at what has happened over the years, review the articles in some of the back issues of Screen Printing (Garment Printing Joins the Jet Set, Sept. 2005, p. 66; Direct-to-Garment Deluge, Apr. 2009, p. 20; A Guide to Garment Inkjet Printers, Feb./Mar. 2010, p. 24). In many instances, companies have dropped out of the industry, even since our article on the subject last year. Some are now in the process of phasing out their DTG products. Meanwhile, others are becoming more visible.
Growth in direct-to-garment printing is attributable mostly to screen printers who implement the technology to handle the low-volume work that would be unprofitable to produce on their automatic presses and to specialty decorators who use the digital printers to produce one-off apparel, including personalized products on demand. The following roundtable discussion introduces the latest equipment from some DTG manufacturers and examines market trends.
Applications manager, Anajet, Inc.
Sales and marketing manager, Azon
National accounts manager, Brother Int’l
Digital products manager, ColDesi, Inc./DTG Digital Garment Printers
VP, N. American operations, Kornit Digital
Co-president, Lawson Screen & Digital Products, Inc.
Director, Digital Products Div., M&R
Marketing manager, Melco
President, OmniPrint Int’l
Green: Our latest DTG printer is the SPRINT. In comparison with our previous model, the FP125, it has several enhanced capabilities—key among them are speed and lower maintenance requirements. It can print a T-shirt in 60 seconds or less.
Goljevacki: The TexPro uses the A2+ print format with low ink consumption and comes bundled with professional, easy-to-use RIP software. Our printers use magnetic, interchangeable tables, so many different types of garments can be printed on them. We also use only one type of ink for all garments.
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