What is Digital Shirt Printing?
Digital garment printing can be a solution for small quantities, hasty needs, and it can also be a source of exclusive products that are not easily replicated. By promoting these strengths of the medium, its likely your clients will be unaware of the numerous steps and time it takes to complete these production tasks. We recorded the processes to share the exacting and labor intensive process that goes into these fast turnarounds on high quality custom garments.
Assignment: Taking Your Customers Art And Putting It On The Garment.
Equipment: graphics and photo editing software, steamer, garment pre-treater, heat press, digital garment printer, conveyor dryer.
Direct to Garment Design Examples
Direct to Garment Process
Time: 2 hours – 3 days
It starts with a vector or raster file that your client would like to have printed. In the case of direct to garment printing, files must first be checked for compression artifacts, color profiled, as well as going through a process of color correction specific to the garment color by a production artist in the art department. Once the file adjustments are made, it is sent off to the Direct To Garment (DTG) department to have a file created, that will be read and interpreted by the garment printer.
In the case of the NUBN garments, Brad has usually uses bright colors on light colored garments. This is ideal because it makes the art preparation a little less difficult. We can, however, print bright colors or dark, earth tones on dark shirts as well. We’ll show an example of each.
Step 2. Prepare Garment
Time: 0 – 30 minutes
Zero minutes? This only applies for light colored garments that come right out of the box and go directly onto the printer. This is not the case for the NUBN Artifacts jobs along with many others. Linen is a sturdy, unforgiving fabric to work with and if proper care is not taken before it goes to the printer this can happen:
All that smearing just looks painful, doesn’t it? Not only has the garment been ruined, but all the time spent unwrapping and preparing it has been ostensibly wasted – but not completely. Like any mistake, lessons can be learned from it and subsequent advances made in its wake.
Step 3 Printing:
Time: 45 seconds – 5 minutes
Now for a little fusion of relaxation and wracked anticipation; the manual labor is finished, but now the printer has to lay up to three layers of ink in a consistent, uniform manner over(16″x20″ platen) with no errors. While preparing the next shirt one can’t help but glance at the digital garment printer while it works it’s magic.