A Comprehensive Guide to Digital to Garment Technology

Guide to Garment Technology

Digital to Garment (DTG) printing is a revolutionary technology that has transformed the way we approach custom printing. In an era where personalization and uniqueness reign supreme, DTG printing services have become the go-to choice for individuals and businesses alike.

Definition of DTG Printing

DTG printing involves the use of specialized printers to apply high-quality, full-color designs directly onto garments. Unlike traditional methods, DTG printing allows for intricate and detailed designs without compromising on quality. In a world that thrives on individuality, the ability to create custom, on-demand prints is invaluable. DTG printing addresses this need, offering a solution that caters to a diverse range of industries.

How DTG Printing Works

DTG printing work simplifies the printing process by directly transferring designs from a digital file to the garment’s surface. This eliminates the need for screens or plates, streamlining production. DTG printers consist of crucial components like a specialized inkjet printer, water-based inks, and a curing mechanism. These work in tandem to produce vibrant and durable prints. Compared to traditional methods like screen printing, DTG printing excels in producing high-resolution prints with unlimited color options. The process is efficient, making it suitable for small-batch and on-demand printing.

Benefits of DTG Printing Services

Compared to many other printing techniques, DTG printing guarantees a new kind of clarity and detail. The finished product has clear pictures and brilliant colors that hold up well to many washings. DTG printing’s versatility makes it possible to create photographic prints, gradients, and complex designs. Because of its adaptability, it’s perfect for making personalized clothing and promotional products. Even though DTG printing may require more setup fees than other techniques, it is still more affordable for smaller orders. For companies and individuals wishing to print small quantities without sacrificing quality, this is really helpful. DTG printing is thought to be less harmful to the environment than certain traditional methods because it uses water-based inks and doesn’t use any chemicals during the printing process. This is in line with the increasing need across a range of businesses for sustainable practices.

Choosing the Right DTG Printing Service Provider

Selecting the right DTG printing service provider requires thorough research. Consider factors such as reputation, customer reviews, and the range of services offered. Different providers may offer varying services, including garment options, printing capabilities, and additional customization features. Understanding these offerings ensures you choose a provider that aligns with your specific needs. Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of a DTG printing service. Pay attention to feedback on print quality, customer service, and delivery times.

Common Applications of DTG Printing

DTG printing has made a significant impact on the apparel and fashion industry. From custom t-shirts to elaborate designs on hoodies, the possibilities are endless. Businesses leverage DTG printing for promotional products like branded merchandise, ensuring their logos and designs are impeccably represented. Events and gatherings often call for unique merchandise. DTG printing allows for the creation of personalized items that commemorate special occasions.

Tips for Designing for DTG Printing

Understanding how colors translate to DTG prints is crucial. Designers should be mindful of color profiles and adjustments for optimal results. High-resolution images are key to achieving sharp and detailed prints. Designers should ensure their digital files meet the printer’s specifications. Choosing the right fonts and understanding how they translate in print is essential. Avoiding overly intricate fonts ensures legibility and a polished final product.

Advancements in technology continue to impact DTG printing. From improved printers to innovative inks, staying abreast of technological trends is crucial for industry players. As environmental consciousness grows, the DTG printing industry is embracing sustainable practices. Water-based inks and eco-friendly garments are becoming standard choices. Consumers are increasingly seeking personalized products. DTG printing caters to this trend, offering endless possibilities for creating unique, one-of-a-kind items.

Challenges in DTG Printing

DTG printers require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Understanding and following manufacturer guidelines is essential to prevent downtime. While DTG printing is suitable for various fabrics, certain materials may pose challenges. It’s crucial to assess material compatibility before initiating a print job.Investing in DTG printing equipment can be costly. Small businesses and individuals should carefully weigh the initial setup costs against the long-term benefits.

Future Prospects of DTG Printing

Anticipated technological advancements in DTG printing include faster printing speeds, improved color accuracy, and enhanced printer durability. The increasing demand for customized and unique products positions DTG printing for substantial growth. Businesses that embrace this technology are likely to thrive in the evolving market. Innovations in ink formulations, printing surfaces, and design software are expected to drive further advancements in DTG printing.

Comparing DTG Printing with Other Printing Methods

Comparing the pros and cons of screen printing and DTG printing helps businesses make informed decisions based on their specific needs and requirements. Understanding the differences between heat transfer printing and DTG printing is essential for choosing the right method for particular applications.

DIY DTG Printing: Is It Feasible?

For the adventurous and technically inclined, exploring DIY DTG printing options may be an exciting venture. However, it comes with its own set of challenges. Examining the advantages and disadvantages of DIY DTG printing helps individuals make informed decisions about pursuing this hands-on approach.

Regulatory Considerations in DTG Printing

Adhering to environmental standards is critical for DTG printing businesses. Understanding and complying with regulations ensures sustainable and responsible practices. Ensuring the safety of printing inks used in DTG printing is paramount. Businesses must stay informed about safety standards to protect both workers and consumers.


DTG printing services have revolutionized custom printing, NW Custom Apparel offering unparalleled quality and versatility. From personalized apparel to promotional products, the applications are diverse and impactful. As technology advances and market demands evolve, embracing DTG printing positions businesses and individuals at the forefront of a dynamic and growing industry.

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Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
163 Google reviews
Steve McMains
Steve McMains
Great place to do business with.
Hector Aponte
Hector Aponte
Splendid service by this team. I needed a job done in one day and without hesitation I was helped. Besides the no notice, need now accommodation, the overall quality of the job of superb.
anthony mckenna
anthony mckenna
Amazing service and quality of work.
katie latimer
katie latimer
This small business is excellent! Great turnaround times and pricing. We've completely switched over to them for our uniform needs. The embroidery looks amazing and very professional. We have gotten jackets, vests, safety vests, hats and uniform polo shirts with them. The screen prints are very resistant to numerous washes. They have been super flexible and patient with us and going through getting PO set up with our company.
Dave Lambing
Dave Lambing
I am the Quartermaster for the Tacoma Fire Buff Battalion. We use Northwest Custom Apparel to produce our uniform articles. Their work is always perfect and done is record time. I can't recommend them highly enough.
Kyle Keehnel
Kyle Keehnel
Our company has been going to NWCA for years and have always encountered friendly service and quality products.
Smokey B3ar21
Smokey B3ar21
Super friendly staff , wonderful products for our company and couldn’t be happier with them
Chuck Schilling
Chuck Schilling
Working with NWCA was like hitting the EASY button! Ten days from our initial meeting to completed shirts and we couldn't be more pleased.
Bret Lauritzen
Bret Lauritzen
Prompt service
Cassandra Johnson
Cassandra Johnson
Words can't describe how much I appreciate the outstanding customer service I received from Northwest Custom Apparel! I placed an order for two coats that I needed in one week for a Valentines' day gift and Nika made it happen! She was proactive, quickly responsive, and understanding of me needing to see different looks of our company logo. She was incredibly sweet, accommodating, and made every effort to make my order the way I wanted it. A part of me felt bad asking to see the different looks, but she reassured me it was not a problem and was on top of her game! Every staff member I interacted with when I came to their shop was very pleasant, welcoming, and attentive as well. All around great work! Will absolutely use them again and highly recommend!!! Thank you Northwest Custom Apparel!!!