Your Custom ApparelSupply Destination
When it comes to the dream of creating your own custom apparel store or possibly expanding your business to other printing processes such as direct to garment or direct to film printing it can get a little complicated and confusing.
That’s why we have compiled the top 10 questions we get about Direct to Garment printing and about our DTG G4 printer.
So, let’s get into it!
Before we can get into the detailed questions, one of the most important things to know is what actually is Direct to Garment printing?
Direct to Garment printing consists of using water-based ink and pretreat to print artwork and designs directly onto a garment without the use of a transfer. You can use DTG to print high quality and greatly detailed designs while skipping those steps of having to create transfers and placing those transfers onto shirts!
DTG printing looks great on items such as:
Now that we know a little bit about what DTG is and some items you can print on, you may be wondering what fabric types are best for DTG prints.
The most suitable fabrics are cotton, natural fibers, and light polyester. There are also some eco-friendly solutions that you can use such as bamboo and hemp fabrics.
Once you have chosen your fabric choices whether it’s cotton, light polyester, or whatever it may be we now need to make sure your garment can fit on the DTG G4 platens.
The max print size for the DTG G4 is 16×20 inches. Your printer will also come with multiple platens of other sizes which we will get into next.
Still staying on the topic of platen sizes, let’s get into the different size platens that comes with the DTG G4 printer.
The DTG G4 package comes with 3 platen sizes including:
All of these platens are equipped with a patented vacuum technology that allows you to place your garment onto the printer without any type of hooping or adhering.
Now that we know a little bit about the DTG G4 let’s talk about one of the biggest benefits of purchasing this printer.
The DTG G4 has many benefits and one of those is that as well as its direct to garment capabilities, it also has the ability to perform as a direct to film printer as well! Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal?
The DTG G4 package comes with the DTF printing kit that includes DTF powder, DTF Film, and a shaker tube, so you are ready to start printing DTF transfers right away!
Being able to bring DTF printing to the table with the DTG G4 printer brings many advantages that we will get into later on.
Since DTG and DTF printing are two very different processes and consist of different materials, you may find that you prefer one process over the other so let’s get into what those differences are.
While both DTG and DTF printing use the same water-based ink, the direct to film process uses a film that the ink is applied to and then shaken in a loose powder that adds adhesive to the back of the transfer and is then applied to the garment using a heat press. On the other hand, the direct to garment process includes printing the ink directly onto the garment using a vacuum platen that pulls the ink into the fibers of the garment.
Now that we know the difference between DTG and DTF, why is it so valuable that the DTG G4 is DTF compatible?
One of the biggest advantages is that creating those DTF transfers give you the ability to print on fabrics like synthetics and dark polyesters.
Another benefit to having a DTF capability on the DTG G4 is that you can print on hard-to-reach areas such as:
You also print multiple designs on one sheet of DTF film which will save you time and money!
So, once you have created all of your transfers using the DTF process on the DTG G4, what’s next?
When it comes to using the printer as a DTG printer, you will use pretreat as your “adhesive” for the ink to really adhere to the shirt.
With the DTF process you will not need to use pretreat, instead the DTF powder is applied to the transfer after printing which will adhere your design to the garment using a heat press.
With traditional DTF printing you would need an extractor unit to remove the smoke and fumes from the dryer so that it is not released into the surrounding air.
When using the DTG G4 as a DTF printer you DO NOT need an extractor because we are using a heat press to cure the powder.
And lastly, what heat press should be used when you are doing that curing process? A heat press that has a hovering capability is ideal.
The hover capability allows you to “bake” or melt the DTF powder into an adhesive without touching the powder with the top of the heat press.
Our favorite hovering heat press is the George Knight 16×20 Clam Shell Auto-Pop heat press.
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