June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 8 5 DRYERS After deciding which decoration method works best for your business or the job at hand comes the next important deci- sion: the dryer or curing unit. This decision is crucial in curing prints, which, in turn, makes your images last and look good. But which is best for screen printing or DTG? According to Zingone, conveyor dryers are the best method for screen printing because of the speed and consistency they provide. These dryers allow the decorator to drop the garment on the belt and focus on printing the next shirt. Beyond these qualities, Moore notes the importance of air- flow, which most conveyor dryers provide. As for DTG, Crocker states that because of the smaller scale more DTG printers produce, it's not uncommon for shops to utilize a heat press, although higher-volume shops and those who prefer the method can also take advantage of a conveyor dryer's qualities. Not only does a heat press take up less space, but it is versatile for multiple decoration meth- ods and substrates, and can easily be moved around the shop, while a conveyor dryer must be plumbed in to accommodate for the necessary gas line. However, when working with high volumes, heat presses will struggle to keep up. And, as Moore explains, they can of- ten leave the print flat and shiny, a quality many retailers don't want. In short, it comes down to what you need and want to accomplish within your business and what methods will best serve your goals and customers. No one decora- tion method is one size fits all. It all comes down to design, substrate, and quantity. If you can't fulfill an order, consider partner- ing with a nearby company so that every- one gets a piece of the pie and customers leave with the product they envisioned. While there are different considerations when it comes to screen printing versus DTG to decorate T-shirts, the truth is, the market has space for both, so find what suits your current needs and become the master of your craft! GP CARLY HOLLMAN is the former editor of Printwear magazine with over nine years of experience covering the decorated apparel industry. She currently works as a freelance writer and artist based in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at For large runs, screen printing is the most cost- and time-effective deco- ration method. (Image courtesy Ryonet)

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