Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing has come to the forefront of the garment decorating industry. It has many advantages over screen printing, especially its ability to decorate small orders on-demand. When compared to heat printing, however, DTG has many downsides. Heat Print Technology offers more versatility than DTG at a fraction of the cost.
5 Reasons to Choose Heat Printing Over DTG:
- DTG systems can ruin polyester, nylon, and Lycra®/Spandex garments
- DTG printers are limited to printing on clothing
- Heat Print Technology™ offers more on-demand versatility
- Heat printing costs less
- Heat printing is transfer based
DTG Can Ruin Polyester, Nylon, and Lycra®/Spandex
Because most DTG inks cure above 300°F, decorating synthetic garments with a DTG system can lead to scorching. Not to mention that, with sublimated polyester, there is no effective way to block dye migration when using DTG. With heat printing, easily decorate these garments without damaging them.
Heated lower platens allow heat to be applied from both sides of the garment, so you can apply at a lower temperature. Advanced materials, like CAD-COLOR® SuperTEK®, work great on a variety of synthetic materials because their low application temperature avoids scorching.
DTG Printers are Limited to Printing Clothing
The physical makeup of DTG systems only allow for printing on flat items. If your business is all clothing, this may not be an issue. But think about the potential revenue you’re missing out on by not being able to print other items.
Heat printing bags, hats, koozies, and other items is simple. By offering these additional items with full color artwork, you can increase the reach of your business. Say you are printing a run of soccer jerseys – with heat printing you can upsell this customer to not only print full color on jerseys, but equipment bags, balls, and cleats as well. The versatility of a quality heat press makes it easy.
Heat Print Technology Offers More On-Demand Versatility
While one of DTG printing’s main strengths over screen printing is its ease to print on-demand, heat printing is even better at it. Consider the time and cost of firing up a DTG pre-treatment machine and printer for just 1 or 2 shirts.
With a print/cut system and a heat press, you can print full color, small on-demand orders in less time and for less money. If you already have the transfer on-hand from a previous job, you can cut the time even more. Heat printing’s adaptability allows you to print on-demand jobs for less money and more profit.
Heat Printing Costs Less
Both DTG and print/cut systems are pricey, so if you want to print full color artwork without waiting a few days for an order of transfers, you’re going to need to invest. Where heat printing is more affordable is in material and running costs.
Digital printable materials and print/cut inks are significantly cheaper than the cost of inks for DTG printers. For example, a full set of ink cartridges for the Epson F2100 (a quality DTG printer) alone cost over $1000 dollars.
This boils down to about $3 in ink per shirt. Add to that the cost of pre-treatment chemicals, and your profit margin shrinks further. Achieve the same color look with a print/cut system at a fraction of the cost.
Another cost advantage of print/cut over DTG is that, due to its water-based inks, DTG requires a climate controlled room with high humidity. With heat printing, you avoid the infrastructural costs of having to have a separate, humidity controlled room for equipment.
Heat Printing is Transfer Based
While this may not seem like a huge advantage, it’s a big part of what makes heat printing more versatile. Here’s what makes transfers so great:
- Transfers can be stored for years if kept in a climate-controlled environment, making it easy to print extras at customer request.
- You have access to a variety of textures and finishes, as well as a wide range of substrates you can print on.
- Transfers mean mobility. If you want to print full color designs at events, a box of transfers makes it easy. Try doing that with a DTG system.
- Using sublimation transfers, you can even sublimate garments with a heat press.
Whether you’re looking at the initial step or the next step for your business, consider the positives of heat printing over DTG. Heat press a larger array of garments and items, and do it with versatility and affordability. The sheer versatility of a heat press makes the decision simple. Keep your costs low and your profits up by printing full color with a heat press.