Digital textile printing, also known as DTG printing (direct-to-garment printing), is an inkjet printing technology that is becoming increasingly popular in the textile world.
Digital printing makes it feasible to mark textiles with intricate designs and gradients. All digital prints are usually made using state-of-the-art machinery. Colors are created by blending Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black offering unrivaled rendering on different fabrics where the look is directly printed with unrivaled precision.
Digital printers use water-based inks for 100% eco-friendly printing. And resistance over time is identical to fingerprints made with conventional inks. Another advantage of these water-based inks is that the color reproduction is infinitely better than traditional inks.
Digital fabric printing is the perfect way to customize textiles for gradients and photographs. This ability to create unique details and gradients comes from the fact that the colors are printed directly onto the fabric.
Digital printing on textiles does not require the creation of a file. This means that it is easy to produce in small series. An image, a t-shirt and that’s it. For greater quality, it is possible to deposit a pre-treatment that will sublimate the print.
But how does digital printing work on fabrics?
Direct digital printing is an innovative technology that emerged in the late 1990’s. Similar to standard home printers, DTG printers can transfer images from a computer to fabric.
This technique requires little or no preparation because the images are recreated by a print head that projects thousands of tiny droplets of ink onto the fabric. The visual aspect and the touch are without relief, as the ink penetrates directly into the fibers of the fabric.
Contributing to the health of the planet
Digital printing on fabrics is one of the most ecological techniques in the world. Enables low power usage and minimum ink waste. Digital textile printing employs specialized water-based inks, which are taken up by the fabric fibers. These paints are environmentally friendly (OKO-TEX, ECO PASSPORT certification). And they are therefore non-toxic, non-dangerous even for children and 100% biodegradable.
What can be printed with DTG printing?
DTG printers offer extremely accurate printing. They allow printing from logos, images, photographs and artistic prints with a result that is very faithful to the digital look. This technique allows reproducing a multitude of colors, complex details, gradients, strong contours or shadows. On the other hand, it does not allow the printing of metallic or fluorescent colors, for which it will be necessary to resort to serigraphy or flex transfer.
What is the best fabric for DTG printing?
A digital printer can print photos, images and, mainly, artistic prints with the most diverse motifs, in several colors, on virtually all types of fabric. However, the best results will be presented if the product is made from natural fibers such as cotton. On synthetic textiles such as polyester, this printing technique should be avoided.
This technique is mainly used to print on light fabrics (white, grey, natural, pastel) because it is on these surfaces that digital printing is most effective. On dark fabrics, the printer must be equipped with white ink and pre-treatment is required for it to adhere. In addition, the printing will be done in 2 layers: an undercoat of white (which serves as a base) and a layer with the colors that make up the look.