DTG printing, also known as direct to garment printing, is an excellent alternative to screen printing for getting prints on fabric. This industry was first introduced in the United States in 2005.
DTG printed t-shirts are improving day by day, just like any other technological advancement that has spanned numerous changes in the last decade. The printing process has progressed from a single color print to multiple colors, including yellow on black garments.
Before 2005, screen printing was the only option available to printing entrepreneurs. Since most t-shirts back then were printed the same way, you’ve probably used screen printing before. The first T-Jet printer was officially manufactured in Japan by Mimaki and U.S. Screen.
After that, Brothers introduced the GT-541, a lightweight solution that only printed shirts. The Brother Graffitee DTG Printer line later became the dominant brand in many New York printing shops. The Kiosk brand was launched in Singapore at ITMA Asia after several innovations and attempts to improve DTG.
This brand introduced DTG printing to the rest of the world because the printers were less expensive than their competitors. These machines were also easy to use because they automatically cleaned the heads and reset the ink chips.
White color printing on heavy fabric was nearly impossible to achieve at first. Because adding intense color to another produces a mixture of something different, especially on dark garments, printing was limited to light colors.
On the other hand, white ink was developed as a pretreatment process for printing different colors in 2005. This ink was only available in US Screen’s Fast T-Jet printers.
The white ink was made available to other industry vendors a year later.
Because different colors have different qualities, the industry decided to set rules about how white ink could be used. Early on, DTG HM1 made a big bottle with a magnetic stir pill, which cut settling by a lot. Later, the HM1 was upgraded to the HM1-C, which got rid of the stir pill and added a Circulation System.
Before other changes came along, the DTG printing industry had been going strong for almost four years. Over the years, there were many attempts to change the printers and printing designs, but most of them were made in-house with the help of legendary designers.
Renovations to the industry began in 2009, and modern DTG printing machines opened up a whole new world of possibilities:
In 2009, the Viper DTG was the first modern printer released. The printer is large and necessitates more shop space. The garment is fed into the printer via a unique belt-fed system. The belt system works similarly to conveyor belts.
The main advantage of this printer over its predecessors is that thanks to its 4-2-1 platen system, it can print multiple garments at once. A pressurized mechanism in the printer dealt with ink flow during mass production.
Until the DTG M2 was first unveiled at the Fort Worth ISS Show in late 2011, most DTG printers were Epson. The ongoing success of previous-generation Epson printers like the Ricoh Ri 1000 direct-to-garment printer has allowed the company to maintain its position as a market leader. The engineering process used to create this type of printing eliminates the need to reset ink chips and waste counters.
As a result, the productivity of the first DTG printers has been doubled thanks to this technology. One of the most impressive aspects of this printer is that it has revolutionized DTG printing on a wide range of fabrics and its global acceptance. It is now possible to print on everything from jeans to beach towels to duvets using direct printing!
As a result of the launch of Viper2 printers, an extension, and the improvement of the original Viper brand, DGT has achieved a new millennium milestone. The Viper2 has seen significant improvements in printing and has proven to be dependable and efficient.
Cartridge printing, doorway dimensions, and the 4-2-1 platen system are all examples of this. Printing ink waste is minimized because the design is based on short ink life runs. Additionally, the printer is small enough to fit through a standard doorway, allowing for the printing of up to four t-shirts at the same time.