Direct To Garment Printing

Advantages and Disadvantages of DTG Printing in Seattle

Advantages and Disadvantages of DTG printing in Seattle compare to millenary screen printing, DTG is a newborn baby in the world of custom T-shirt printing. We look closely at the DTG printing technique that revolutionized Seattle’s custom T-shirt printing industry.

The History of DTG Printing in Seattle

The history of DTG printing in Seattle starts with inject printers which take us back to the 50s when experts first started to develop the technology. It wasn’t until the mid-’80s that the technology became available to the public. It took so long to hit the market because they couldn’t figure out a way for the heads not to become clogged with dry paint. Eventually, they did, and work places were never the same again.

It wasn’t long until some wondered if printing onto something other than paper would be possible. Fabrics and custom T-shirt manufacturers were particularly interested since they were looking into optimizing garment printing. By this time, screen printing was automated, but it had limitations.

DTG-Printing SeattleBenefits

  • Great for “on-demand” custom T-shirt printing because the setup costs are the same for one garment
  • Excellent image quality by being able to recreate intricate details
  • Easy to use — there’s no significant learning curve involved
  • It can print the full spectrum of colors
  • Simple production as it doesn’t require that many steps
  • Uses safe materials such as water-based inks
  • It is a clean process compared to screen printing which requires considerable amounts of water and ink.


  • DTG printers are expensive. The top-of-the-line Kornit Atlases are $950,000 each.
  • Not optimal for large orders since the t-shirt printing process can be slow, and production costs stack up
  • Inks are delicate
  • It doesn’t work on all types of T-shirts — garments used for DTG must have at least 50% cotton, so it absorbs the pigments in the way it is supposed to.

About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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