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Direct-To-Garment (DTG) Printing

💡 Looking to Print Photo Quality Designs? Learn About DTG Printing in 2023

What is Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing?

🕒 5 minutes read

At Meowprint, this popular direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is the latest technology of apparel printing in Singapore.

Imagine having a big printer, and you print directly onto the garment, for example t-shirts, using modified inkjet technology

This method allows you to print your picture directly onto your apparel without losing any of the details.

This method of print is similar to digital heat transfer printing or Sublimation printing as it is also capable of printing real life images or complex designs on t-shirts without the hefty price tag of silk screen printing.

Let’s explore this advanced method of print.

1. How did Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing come about?

Direct-to-garment printing has come in the apparel printing scene in the year 1996.

Yes, it is a relatively new method of printing as compared to silk screen printing or embroidery which dated centuries ago.

This method of printing was founded by a guy called Matthew Rhome. Upon this revolutionary idea of printing directly onto apparels, the first printer was founded, named “Revolution”.

Since it is a relatively new invention as we’re now only in the year of 2017, many companies have since then built upon the idea of DTG and produced magnificent state of the art printers to sell DTG printing.

Some well-known companies are Mimaki & Kornit. Despite all who managed to come up with the best printer, Epson emerged the top, and named to have created the best DTG printer on the surface of Earth in 2014.

Surecolor Epson F2000 Printers

2. DTG printing process (Step-by-step)

How long would you require to print a piece of paper? That’s about the simplicity of dtg printing, as mentioned earlier, is like printing on a piece of t-shirt.

If you are printing on white garments, no pre-treatment will be required. However, if you are looking to print on dark garments, pre-treatment is required.

Why is this so? This is because a layer of white ink is required to act as a base for the coloured inks (of your designs) to sit on top of the white layer.

And of course, to prevent the white ink from penetrating the t-shirt, a pre-treatment liquid is applied to bind the t-shirt fabric together allowing the white ink to stay on top of the t-shirt.

Pre-treatment of the t-shirt (Manual)

  • First, place the t-shirt on a flat surface for easy application.
  • Prepare the pre-treatment solution.
  • Carefully spread the pre-treatment liquid on the t-shirts using a brush or spray.
  • Once done, apply a heat transfer paper on top to allow the t-shirt to go under the heat press machine for 35 seconds at 350 degrees to allow the fabric to bind together and complete the pre-treatment process!

Once pre-treated, you can now place the t-shirt onto the Epson DTG printer. Using the software that is applicable directly on your computer, position the design file to the location where you wish to print the design on.

During the process, as mentioned earlier, a white ink layer will be printed first, followed by the colored inks. After 3 minutes, you will have a t-shirt with full image printing with excellent finishing.

The ink is still wet. Therefore, don’t forget to apply the heat press machine with a transfer paper in between for 1 minute at 350 degrees. Finish!

If that was too complicated, you can view the video below for visual reference!

How To Print Direct To Garment With The Epson F2000 DTG Printer

3. Advantages & Disadvantages of DTG Printing

To help you make a better choice when deciding on the type of t-shirt printing services, we have also come up with some advantages and disadvantages of dtg printing.

Advantages

  • Print full-coloured designs without any loss of details.
  • Print at affordable prices for small quantities as compared to silk screen printing.
  • Ink is part of the apparel for white garments, and soft touch ink for dark garments, giving it the quality of t-shirts that branded retail shops sell.

Disadvantages

  • Price – Despite being cheaper to print full-colored designs than silk screen printing at lower quantities, it is relatively a more costly method of printing especially for bigger sizes like A4 or A3 sized design.
  • Printing on dark garments will add even more costs. This is because on dark garments, a first layer of white ink has to be printed on the apparel as a base, followed by the actual ink color of the design to give the full image printing effect.
  • Efficiency – Longer than normal bulk silk screen printing as only one machine can print one design at a time.
  • It is not suitable to create individual names or numbers at low cost. For this, you will need vinyl heat transfer printing method.

4. We can provide DTG printing for the following Products from our catalogue.

T-Shirts & Apparels

  1.  ✅ All T-Shirts
  2.  ✅ All Polo T-Shirts
  3.  ✅ All Outerwear 
  4.  ✅ All Singlets & Tank Tops
  5.  ✅ All Caps & Hats
  6.  ✅ All Corporate Uniforms
  7.  ✅ All Workwear
  8.  ✅ All Shorts & Pants

Corporate Gifts

  1.  ✅ All Lanyards
  2.  ❌ All Custom Patches
  3.  ❌ All Pins & Badges
  4.  ✅ All Personal Care
  5.  ✅ All Bags
  6.  ❌ All Towels
  7.  ❌ All Drinkware
  8.  ❌ All Office Supplies
  9.  ❌ All Umbrellas
  10.  ❌ All Promotional Gifts
  11.  ❌ All Sustainable Gifts
  12.  ❌ All Door Gifts
  13.  ❌ All Premium Gifts

5. Recommendations for DTG printing by MeowPrint

DTG printing is recommended for customers who are looking to print full-colored designs with latest technology inkjet onto their apparel.

It is recommended for customers who have small quantities to print these full-colored designs.

The costing does not significantly decrease over large quantity as the set-up costs is pretty much fixed due to the nature of DTG printing.

This is the same as embroidery in terms of costing, although embroidery cost price decrease at higher quantities.

Although the quality of printing may be more appealing to many of our customers, but the price may not be the same case.

If you are working on a budget but wishes to print full-colored designs on your t-shirts, do check out our heat transfer printing method or the custom-made services create cut-&-sew apparels.

It is a much more affordable method of printing and we strongly recommend it.

⭐ Customer Reviews

Still have reservations on our Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing services? Let our customers' genuine feedback help you!
MeowPrint T-Shirt Printing
4.9
Based on 581 reviews
Good service
Darren Tong
Darren Tong
10:45 08 Dec 23
Very fuss free, efficient, and quality printing services. Have engaged them twice already and both orders have been extremely smooth and I’m content with my orders!
Jovan Lee
Jovan Lee
06:11 07 Dec 23
Xiao Fen from MeowPrint was really prompt in picking up our request and helped us to get our printed t-shirts in less than a week - just in time before an event we have to attend in the shirts. The delivery of the shirts came even a day earlier than the estimated delivery. The print and quality of the shirts was great too. Thank you!
Alexa Lim
Alexa Lim
06:56 23 Nov 23
Thank you for delivering the order promptly to our event, really appreciate that with the short timeline. Good quality tote bags too!
venise ho
venise ho
06:31 21 Nov 23
Xiao fen was efficient, prompt replies and also meticulous to detail. Collection was an easy process and shirts are true to size and comfortable. Only thing is the plastic bag broke! but its okay
Ling Zhong Zhi
Ling Zhong Zhi
06:58 16 Nov 23
Very easy to order and purchase with a lot of options! MeowPrint is NOT just a T-shirt printing company, but much more. The team was receptive to our eccentric orders despite the short turnaround time. Items were delivered in great condition. I would recommend for events, sponsors, business or simply just fun branding.
Lutfi Dali
Lutfi Dali
08:53 10 Nov 23
5 starts for service rendered and the quality of the bags ordered. Queries were responded very promptly. Awesome!
Kartini Supaat
Kartini Supaat
00:11 09 Nov 23
I did customised aprons with them and had a very smooth and positive experience. Xiao Fen is very patient and accommodating with my requests. Was so pleasantly surprise with how fast they delivered the items as soon as I made the final payment. Will definitely deal with them again in the future! The aprons also turned out as I what I envisioned. Thank you Xiao Fen!
R R
R R
13:51 23 Oct 23
I ordered mugs as a graduation gift for my students. Prompt replies, prompt service, quality was delivered and sent in good time and condition! Recommended to order from MeowPrint services!
Cho Koi Hong, Jermain Staff
Cho Koi Hong, Jermain Staff
04:11 19 Oct 23
Ordered customisable polo tees and tote bags. The printing quality was really good, as well as the material of the products. Delivery was fast and efficient. Customer service was very helpful as well. Highly recommend.
amanda
amanda
09:55 13 Oct 23