Direct To Garment or simply DTG is a fairly recent printing technique. Just as with digital flex/flocking, DTG uses very high-quality inkjet technology. The inks are specifically designed to be able to print directly on (cotton) textile. A DTG printer may be compared to an inkjet paper printer adapted specifically to print textiles. The start-up costs are non-existent, so printing can start immediately without the need to adjust the image.
Before printing on the textile, a special coating first has to be applied to the cotton base. This coating ensures that the ink remains affixed to the fabric. Polyester is not suitable for DTG and we often advise against 50/50 (50% cotton/50% polyester) textiles.
After this, the order is given by computer to start printing. The DTG printer does its work and just a few minutes later the print is ready. The time depends on various factors. A darker background requires an extra white underlayer to be able to guarantee an attractive result. So with darker textiles, it may take longer before the print is ready.
Once the DTG printer has finished printing, the textile still has to pass through a drying tunnel or be hot pressed to dry the print.