Most of the graphic tshirts you have come in contact with are probably screen printed. Screen printing is the traditional way to decorate garments, and for good reason. Screen printing is cost effective for large batch printing and mass production. It can be done manually or with an automatic machine that is able to produce over a thousand imprints an hour. Each color that is printed onto a garment requires it’s own screen and the ink is layered one on top of the other. This process insures not only that the colors are in the precise placement, but also that the colors stay true and vivid without mixing or blending together. The inks used in screen printing often have a “hand” to them, meaning that you can feel the print when you run your hand over them, which is more pronounced the more colors that are added and layered.
The newest type of printing is Direct-To-Garment, DTG for short. This printer is essentially like your home ink-jet printer that can print full color photos and images…but this one prints on fabric! It alleviates the need for multiple screens, mixing colors, and minimum orders. Our DTG machine is able to print patterns and designs like camouflage and watercolor that would have been turned down for screen printing. Because the ink is much thinner and not layered, there is almost no “hand” or feel to the print itself. DTG works best on cotton and cotton blend garments.