June '21

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8 0 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M T -shirts are undoubtedly the bread and butter for many apparel dec- orators' businesses. And if you're looking to get into apparel deco- ration, there's a good chance T-shirts are one of the main reasons you've decided to start exploring it. But how will you decorate those T-shirts? Screen printing or direct-to-garment (DTG)? Manual or automatic? Not to mention, once you're done printing, how will those creations be dried? GRAPHICS PRO went straight to screen printing and DTG equipment manufac- turers to help answer some of these ques- tions to clarify what may be best for your business plans. PROS AND CONS Screen printing finds its strength in pro- duction speed and cost, says Paul Zingone, Vastex International. Specifically, it is ide- al for high-volume print jobs ranging from 100 to 1,000 duplicated prints. According to Ryan Moore, Ryonet, this can translate to costs ranging between 6–12 cents in consumables and ink, and 15–75 cents in labor, depending on the size of the shop. That being said, sources agree that screen printing's biggest weakness is set- up time. Between making the screens, set- ting up the press, and cleaning up, there is quite a bit of time involved. "As the num- ber of colors increases, so does that setup Decorating Decisions DECORATING T-SHIRTS? HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DTG AND SCREEN-PRINTING EQUIPMENT B Y C A R L Y H O L L M A N A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G Short runs tend to make more sense with DTG as setup on a press can take a long time. (Image courtesy Ryonet)

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