Direct-to-garment (DTG) is a digital printing method that uses inkjet technology to print directly onto textiles. Think of it as an inkjet printer, but for shirts. Typically, a DTG printer has printing stations with interchangeable pallets that hold a garment in a fixed position while moving print heads spray the ink onto the garment.
Understanding the benefits, costs and ROI of DTG.
Personalized garments are a hot commodity in today’s consumer-driven e-commerce age. Whether to flaunt an interest, raise awareness for a cause, support a team or promote a brand, people want personalized t-shirts on-demand—but often in one-offs or low quantities. Did you know Amazon’s average print run is 1.1 shirts per design? In fact, the one-off market is growing faster than the larger-run print market (quantified as 72 garments or more).
Even one-offs are profitable. And you can run up to 5X more jobs in the same amount of time.
There are no design and color limits. Our industrial print heads enable unprecedented print resolution.
See how you can run a 6-color job up to 7x faster.
This trend toward short runs poses a serious business risk for traditional screen printers that need larger orders in order to remain profitable. Pair that risk with labor shortages and an “order today, receive it tomorrow” mentality, and it’s no surprise direct-to-garment printing has grown exponentially. Many traditional screen printers have added a DTG printer to expand market reach and meet customer demand. In fact, according to a report done by Grand View Research, the digital printing segment is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing t-shirt printing segment, registering a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 10.7% from 2021 to 2028.
The RIP on every aeoon printer enables precise CMYK color profiling for superior color accuracy and quality.
Parts of an image that match the garment’s color are automatically removed, using less ink for better quality and a softer feel.
Ordering and production processes, whether partly or fully automated.
While digital is becoming the new standard, that doesn’t mean screen printers today need to completely switch over. Traditional screen printing still has an advantage when it comes to printing large quantities. However, if you have DTG capability too you don’t have to turn away small orders which are in high demand or miss out on jobs due to lack of time or manpower. Benefits, costs and ROI must be analyzed to see how adding DTG would affect your organization.
The garment industry’s move to DTG resembles the paper industry’s transition to digital presses starting in the early 1990s. Much like garment printing, small paper print runs were prohibitively expensive, needed several weeks of lead time, and mistakes were very costly for the customers and printers alike. As digital printing gained popularity, more and more printers made the leap, investing in digital presses, learning how to optimize the output and quickly realizing the benefits of profitably printing any size job. Now, digital printing is standard and only the largest print jobs are run on
an offset press.
As consumer demand and expectations increase, digital printing is becoming key to competitiveness and business growth. Digital printing is a considerable investment however so it’s crucial you work with a partner who will help you evaluate your options and explain processes, costs and ROI over time. The right solution will expand your capabilities, increase efficiencies, delight customers and ultimately multiply your profits.
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