September '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 D I R E C T - T O - S U B S T R A T E R E P O R T 3 9 print a certain job. It might be a multi- color print on a medium- or large-sized order of shirts (this has and always will be debated as to the break-even point where DTG or screen printing is better). The time it takes to print film positives, coat screens, expose the screens, washout, dry, block-out, tape out, line up on press, ink up, print, and then reclaim the screens makes it a time- and labor-intensive pro- cess. Introduce direct-to-garment, and that six-color job of 18 shirts can be done in an hour or two start to finish. Who in screen printing hasn't experienced the customer that comes back to your shop and claims you shorted them a shirt or two (or they forgot to order it) — all after you've torn down the job from the printing press? So- lution solved with DTG — just pull up the artwork, grab your shirt, pretreat, and print. Another satisfied customer — and all that can be done while they wait. What makes DTG more alluring is the versatility. Direct-to-garment allows for more colors in the print (unlimited, but no special effects or special colors like neon or a specific spot color); the ability to print on demand (you can have 10,000-plus different designs and hold no inventory except blank shirts and print what you need, when you need it); you can resize the printed design on the fly (print a 4X adult shirt, then immediately a baby onesie with the same design); and generally it is cleaner than screen printing. In other words, DTG is like having the ability to get immediate gratification and see what the print will look like without having to worry if you will need to reburn multiple screens because of a mistake in the artwork. DTG also makes customiza- tion like names and numbers on shirts super easy. Just change, click print, and go. LEARNING CURVE As with any printing technology, there is a learning curve and much of it comes down to experience. Many times, people new to the decorating business are wowed by the Direct-to-garment allows people to customize their own shirts, and you to print them with ease. (Image courtesy Brian Walker) WHETHER YOU CHOOSE TO PRETREAT YOUR OWN WITH OR TO SIMPLY PICK. PRINT. CURE. USING HAS YOU COVERED.

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