Corporate Apparel, Direct To Garment Printing, Uncategorized

On Demand Screen Printing


Print on Demand

Print on demand is becoming more of the norm rather than the exception. Amazon has set the standard with their one day delivery and has changed consumer buying habits. Another winner with one day service is Fanatics. This company is a force to reckon with.

On demand delivery has migrated over to the custom apparel decorating market. Traditional screen printers are being asked to offer one day service. This is very difficult because the set up is time consuming. Screen printers are just not equipped to offer one day printing.

Rich Jacobs from Sanmar visited with Jim and Erik Mickelson of Northwest Custom Apparel

Rich Jacobs from Sanmar visited with Jim and Erik Mickelson of Northwest Custom Apparel

Art Problems

One major problem is the art work. When a customer submits cocktail napkin art it creates one major headache for the screen printer. Some art can take as long as a day to clean up. This should never be part of the one day delivery formula.

Set up problems

The next major problem is setting up the design for printing. For each color there has to be a separate screen made. Colors do limit the ability of the printer to do complex designs. Setting up the screens can take as long as two hours. Then the next step is a press check.

The press check is the actual design printed out. This also has to be tweaked. If the colors aren’t exact its back to the mixing table. This is why screen printing is a art not a science. If it was a science we could all do it.

Reviewing the above hurdles we have to take a hard look at DTG (Direct to Garment) printing.

Art problems are generally the same. However with good art the whole process becomes a slam dunk.

No screens required

DTG does not require screens for each color. The printer does not have to mix colors to match the submitted design.

With DTG the color palate is prepared using a drawing program. Corel or Adobe Illustrator work quite well.

With good art work the color separation takes about 15 minutes to prepare for printing.

The final step is to send the art to the DTG computer,  load the garment, print, dry and fold.

Kornit has no problems

This is why DTG  (Kornit printing) can offer with no problems one day printing.


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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