Direct to garment printing goes digital to garment printing

There are only a few printing processes that have undergone such progressive development since their introduction. The direct to garment printing process is one of them. Folker Stachetzki, marketing manager at Brother, reports.

Established more or less 25 years ago, the direct to garment printing has developed from (the often laughed at) low speed CMYK printing on white T shirts in its first years to one of the leading and most innovative processes for textile printing.

This rapidly growing acceptance is due to the ongoing improvement by manufacturers and the fact that DTG printing has many different advantages that other printing processes cannot offer.

Fast on demand high resolution printing, unique single pieces and also mass production on all kind of colours and a huge variety of different products like hoodies, jeans, caps, shoes and much more, is the status quo, but as we know from the past, innovations in the direct to garment field will continue indefinitely.

But what can we expect in the near future?

You don’t need to look into the crystal ball to predict where the journey will go in the future!

Besides an increase of quality and speed many of the direct to garment companies are working under high pressure to be able to print on leather, polyester and other materials, in addition to the large number of substrates that can already be printed on.

That would open up completely new markets and opportunities for DTG users.

In addition to this flexibility there is a further advantage – direct to garment printing is destined for integration into digital workflows and is therefore particularly suitable for the Industry 4.0.

What are we talking about?

We are talking about digitisation – a completely networked world.

There are already now various options for integrating the latest generation of direct to garment printers into partially automated workflows, software solutions to convert files easily and quickly into printable data as well as various solutions to track these data or orders in the complete production process.

In the near future, every digital printer will have the opportunity to be online and in constant communication with a cloud in order to further optimise production output, eliminate errors and so create time for the essentials.

Maintenance and support, the installation of updates, the monitoring of production processes – all of this will be made considerably easier.

With this, direct to garment printing will become more and more important and will play a leading role due to its diverse technical advantages, at the moment an order placed from America using a German online shop is delivered to the customer in New York on the same day. Something what is already state-of-the-art.

The world is more and more digitally connected, so will the production lines and the textile wholesale trade.

It will become a must for the industry to go with these new possibilities, because digital technologies in direct to garment printing will provide more quantities, a better online service on the production side and also a better shopping experience on the consumer side. With holistic concepts and the possibility to print on new materials, completely new ways will be created to present and produce products that the cone designed a few seconds before anywhere in the world from home or in the shop – completely irrespective of where the customer, the manufacturer or even the shop owner is based.

All of this and certainly much more will bring us the future – a future in which direct to garment printing will become more and more important, as already mentioned above, for all of us – the producer and also the customer.

So be part of this future.

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