Common Myths in DTG Printing
When starting out in DTG, context and history help to understand the existing processes within the print industry. Many advancements have been made since the introduction of direct-to-garment printing, but some of the old rumors of limitations persist today.
Myth: DTG prints do not last
Because of the incredible progress with pretreatment and ink, the quality has increased substantially. Washability is one of our primary goals in FIREBIRD R&D production for pretreatments and inks, and we have achieved new standards in wash tests. Unlike the initial iterations of pretreatment in the DTG industry, our formulas now offer a wider application window, meaning that the precision of the amount sprayed is no longer the most important factor in pretreating. The spray window has increased from 2g to 8g.
Myth: Shirts always stain
Depending on the pretreatment you use, some formulas are more inclined to stain. We have carefully designed our Gen3 pretreatment formula to be more forgiving, so that users, (whether newbies or veterans), can create a successful print without boxing, yellowing, or burning.
It is important to note that some shirts are tricky given the dye and fabric content. For example, red shirts often appear to stain, but this is usually a discoloration as a reaction to heat, which fades after the shirt cools. For these challenging shirts, we have created CheaterTee, our sister company that sells fully pretreated blanks. Because the entire shirt is pretreated using FIREBIRD Industrial Processing technology, users can find less challenges with these hard-to-pretreat shirts because of the standardization of the pretreatment process.
Myth: Shirts are always sticky
A major challenge in the DTG industry 10 years ago was the quality of pretreatment. Users often found that shirts would stick to the heat press, resulting in a tacky surface sometimes even after curing. Now that significant advancements have been achieved with pretreat formulas, curing technology, and digital inks, DTG prints are smooth, flexible, and soft.
Myth: DTG printing requires a lot of maintenance
Significant upgrades with printer technology has allowed for increased capabilities within DTG printing. With the newer machines, maintenance is a lot less time consuming. Some brands and models are known for more maintenance requirements than others, but there are pros and cons to each machine. The fact is that the technology will require maintenance and repairs, but printing factors like speed, print result, ink use, and maintenance cycles have drastically improved over 10 years.
Myth: DTG only works on shirts and hoodies
With the right platen, DTG owners can print on totes, shoes, towels, hats, mouse pads, and more. Just like any other project, it requires testing and practice - we cannot emphasize this enough.
Don't be scared of DTG! The FIREBIRD team is here to support your direct-to-garment business.