What Is DTG Printing?

What is DTG printing

The commercial printing industry is constantly evolving and implementing new technology. DTG is one such method that streamlines the production process while providing high-quality apparel. But what is DTG printing exactly? 

Direct-to-garment is one of the services we provide our clients at Thrive Screen Printing. Keep reading to find out more about the process and the inner workings of DTG printing.

What Is DTG Printing?

DTG, or direct-to-garment printing, is a method used in commercial printing. DTG, also known as D2 printing, involves graphics or images being inkjet printed onto pre-sawn apparel. DTG can be used on the following pre-sewn fabric products

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Tote bags 
  • Children and baby clothes
  • Hats

DTG printing allows companies to produce higher product volumes with faster turnaround times. As the best contract DTG printing service, we work with some of the biggest brands, sports teams, and retailers nationwide. If you are looking for high-quality DTG prints, Thrive Screen Printing is here to offer you the best, no matter how small or big the job is!

What Is DTG Printing
Source: thrivescreenprinting.com

Direct to Garment Printing Process

The process involves using several DTG printers to produce a higher number of prints quickly. Even though there are several types of DTG printers, the printing process generally involves the same steps. 

Preparing digital image formats

First, you must ensure the image is in a digital format that the computer system can read. Close attention to the graphic art’s pigmentation is important to ensure it complements the fabric’s color and type.

DTG printing software is best with formats like PSD and PNG, as they support transparent backgrounds. While PSD and PNG work best, DTG software works with standard graphics file formats, including TIFF and JPEG.

DTG printers use color models based on cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). This differs from most graphics design programs using models based on red, green, and blue (RGB).

Since RBG is more common, DTG printing uses Raster Imaging Processor (RIP) software to manage the difference. RIP software converts RGB files into CMYK files. 

Pre-treatment process

The garment must be pre-treated before being worn. This can be accomplished using a specialized machine in a short amount of time. DTG printers use ink that works best with natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, and hemp.

Pre-treatment is essential to ensure the ink displays correctly on the apparel. DTG pre-treatment includes applying a liquid solution to keep white ink from seeping into and discoloring the garment. It also prevents the white from smearing and mixing with colored inks. 

After the garment is treated, it must be cured using a heat press or an air dryer until fully dried. Curing also makes the garment surface flatter, providing a smoother printing surface.

Fabric printing

After the garment has dried, it must be positioned on the DTG printer and fastened in place with a hoop. Every garment, except white ones, has a white under base applied before printing.

The white under base serves to enhance the vibrancy of the finished print. Once the under base is done printing, the DTG printer spraying ink adds the rest of the colors. 

Curing process

The curing process is the next step after the image printing on the garment. Curing is necessary to dry the garments and affix the ink properly to them. Curing also ensures garment print durability through repeat wash cycles. Curing direct-to-print apparel can be done in the following ways:

  • Heat press — This curing method suits smaller operations with smaller product volumes. Large-volume DTG printing is more labor-intensive and time-consuming.
  • Conveyor dryer — It is better to use a conveyor dryer for large-volume apparel printing. Most industrial manufacturers cure ink with conveyor dryers.
Curing process
Source: thrivescreenprinting.com

DTG Technology — Types of DTG Printers 

There are several printers available for DTG printing. The most common DTG printers are the following:

Commercial DTG printers

They are fast, versatile, and high-resolution printers that can print full-color prints on dark and light fabrics. Commercial DTG printers include the white inks needed for the base layer and better print management software. 

Industrial DTG printers

Industrial DTG printers hold two or three platens. They also include expanded-gamut ink sets, bulk ink systems, and special features. These printers offer first turnaround times. DTG printing with industrial printers can be as fast as thirty seconds per garment on dark fabric and ten seconds for white/light fabric

Entry-level-compact DTG printers

These DTG printers are easy to use and are small enough for home use, retail stores, and event sites. Yet, these inkjet printers are also with limited capability, so they are not suitable for large-volume garment printing. 

Is DTG Printing Good Quality?

The quality of DTG printing is incredibly high. This is due to the use of inkjet technology, which aids in the fabric’s correct ink absorption, and the press’s heating, which fuses the ink to the fabric. 

The ultimate finished product’s quality is improved as a result. DTG Prints are incredibly durable and high-quality products. Inkjet technology aids the cotton textile in absorbing ink. Thus, you will not have to worry about any ink spills. 

Furthermore, direct-to-garment prints can last many years because the design is inked in the cotton fabric’s interlaced threads. DTG printing is more productive, produces less waste, is simpler, quicker, and can use millions of colors.

DTG printing offers a one-time investment benefit that makes it more cost-effective. Additionally, the production of textile waste can be decreased by using the DTG printing mechanism.

Technological Advancements in the Apparel Printing Industry

The commercial printing industry is a highly competitive market, and with developing DTG printing advancements, everyone can get into the industry. However, this also carries some drawbacks.

More printing companies means more chances for receiving subpar products. This is why trusting an experienced commercial printing company is a must. Thrive Screen Printing has been around for all the technological developments, and we aim to offer our clients only the highest quality service.

We use the latest and best DTG technology advancements to provide efficient and fast-printed apparel to our clients. Whether it is for your company, celebratory events, or anything else that requires high-quality printed apparel, we are here to help.

Technological Advancements in the Apparel Printing Industry
Source: thrivescreenprinting.com


So, what is DTG printing? Direct-to-garment is one of the methods we use in our commercial printing services. With DTG printing, we can inkjet print graphics or images directly onto pre-sawn fabrics.

Overall, DTG printing is valuable as it provides fast turnaround times and is cost-effective. If you need such a type of printing, we are more than happy to help!