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  • Shirt Quality = Print Quality

    As printers, we all know that the quality of the shirt is a key factor in determining the quality of the print. With DTG this is even more important than with screen printing. I've learned to stay away from the open end cotton like you see in "cost-effective" garments. While the cost of the blank is less, you end up spending way more on ink, pretreatment and time to get as close to the quality of a print as you would if you used a ringspun or carted cotton ringspun shirt.

    What I've found is that you end up needing to put up to twice as much pretreatment down on the budget shirt for it to correctly hold down the fibers for printing white. This creates a really unpleasant stiffness to the shirt and on some apparel can cause a stain from so much pretreatment. If you absolutely have to print on a budget shirt, I find applying a lighter amount of pretreatment, curing and then applying a second coat of pretreatment can help. But now, we're talking about time as well.

    When it comes to the printing process, you'll find that you have to use more white ink or print slower with budget shirts. This not only costs more in supplies but much more in time.

    Another thing you'll find with many "budget shirts" is that the quality control in production is very minimal. This causes issues when printing and pretreating since some garments could have been re-dyed or come from a different factory vs. others in the order. I've had this happen a couple of times to me and it's just simply no fun.

    In our shop, and many other DTG shops I work with, we stick to only using premium apparel for DTG printing like Allmade, Bella Canvas and the 100% ringspun options out there.

    Anyone else have feedback on this or an experience to help others who may be learning DTG?
    Last edited by Alex; 03-14-2019, 09:22 AM.
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