Twelve months ago, we invested in direct-to-garment printing equipment as it has become as necessary as our automatic screen printer, manual machine, and our Sawgrass Sublimation print options + foils & vinyls, when we’re deciding the best print methods re. softness, opacity & durability.
The trick was to develop inks that work in an inkjet printer devilery system, yet produce an opacity on black clothe that rivals plastisol inks & conventional screen printing. Plastisol inks are thick like toothpaste by comparison. Brother is one of three companies that pursued this chemistry and their results surpassed the objective. Our dtg prints are equal to, or better then most of the high-end branded t-shirts I see – but it’s due in equal part to our proprietorial techniques for setting the ink and curing the print.
Screen printing is less than ideal for quick, short-run orders or items that will require a lot of colour variety. This is because the process involves a good amount of upfront labour and skill to set up, execute and finish. On a one-at-a-time basis with a manual press, someone is needed to push the ink onto the garment through a mesh screen with a squeegee or blade, and only one colour can be done at a time. Creating one or two T-shirts on short notice with screen printing is more of a pain than a profit.
Now with a large commitment to this new manufacturing process, we can offer this best solution for full-colour prints, on a per shirt basis.