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Process Involved in a DTG Printing Technique


The DTG printer is the more sophisticated cousin of your office’s inkjet printer and it pretty much works the same way.

The process is quite self-explanatory, basically the ink gets injected directly onto the material. The only difference being that instead of paper a DTG printer works on fabric.

Here are the steps and processes that need to be followed for DTG. As you may notice, it is pretty straightforward. One of the reasons why people prefer this printing method over others is that it has fewer steps than the rest.

dtg-printer-machine1 – Pretreatment

In order to assure an optimum result, garments must be sprayed with a pretreatment liquid. This step is particularly crucial if the T-shirt is dark. The liquid allows the ink to really attach to the fibres for a vibrant result. Most printers use a special spraying gun to add the coat of pretreatment liquid, but some DTG printers also include the step. The following video shows how a professional printer treats a T-shirt before printing.

2 – Dry

To really set the pretreatment liquid on the garment, one must dry the item. Some just hang the T-shirt and wait while others simply put it on a heat-press for a few seconds. Whichever method is used, it is of the outmost importance to make sure the tee is fully dry before continuing with the process.

DTG-top-image3 – Prepare graphics

Using a specialised program, the artwork is prepared. If the garment is dark, this is the moment where that extra layer of white ink is added.

3 – Load to printer

Carefully, the garment must be loaded onto the machine. To have the best possible results, the garment must be completely flat. A single wrinkle could ruin the entire process.

4 – Print

You are all set now. Hit the “power” button and print!


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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