What Is Direct to Garment?

Direct to garment printing, also known as DTG printing, digital direct to garment printing, digital apparel printing, and inkjet to garment printing, is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialised or modified inkjet technology.

Everywhere you look, people are wearing custom t-shirts, sweatshirts and other garments that spell out a message they want you to read, or are decorated with photos or other graphics. These garments are all decorated using either embroidery, screen printing, DTG printing, dye sublimation or heat transfers. ​

DTG printing is the newest of these technologies and it was developed to fill in the gaps left by the other garment decoration methods. For example, embroidery doesn’t allow for photographic detail.

Using screen printing for multiple colors is extremely expensive and requires large numbers to be ordered due to the high set-up costs of each image. Heat transfers deliver a thick, rubbery feel to the graphic. Dye sublimation is only used on 100% synthetic fabrics.

The pricing on the DTG printing is charged on the size of the design, front and back print and also if the shirt is coloured. On coloured shirts we need to pretreat the shirt. Pre-treatment is a liquidsolution used by Direct-to-Garment printers to allow the printing and washability of white ink, or full color images on a variety of coloured shirts, most commonly black shirts. Without preparing a garment by pre-treating, white ink will easily soak into the garment. Whites will be dull, blacks won’t be rich, colors won’t be vivid, and image clarity will be compromised.

With direct to garment printing, each image prints digitally (similar to a paper printer), so there is no screen making, no messy clean up, and no colour or minimum quantity limitations.

Additionally, digital apparel printing means that our clients can design your own shirt easily and receive them quickly. No set-up, no mess, more colour, better quality!

Digital Garment Printing Quality

​Digitally printed graphics feel much softer on garments than any other method, and the impression will last as long as the life of the shirt because the ink permanently adheres to the fabric.

You will be amazed at the vibrant print quality, and because you can a multitude of colors in one pass, your graphics can be incredibly intricate and detailed. Gradients, text and photographs are all possibilities at your fingertips with digital garment printing.


Thread Kartel is proudly based on the beautiful Gold Coast, Australia, where you can nearly wear a t-shirt all year round! Our printing is all done in-house to ensure we can guarantee that our quality stays high and our prices stay low.

If you are looking for that unique, personalised gift, or an amusing t-shirt that will bring a smile to the reader, don’t go past Thread Kartel. Our quality and prices won’t be beaten!

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