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Discuss the various aspects of direct to garment printing. DTG printers include Brother, T-Jet, Flexi-Jet, DTG Kiosk, Kornit, Mimaki, Tex-Jet and others! Discuss and learn about this up and coming printing technology.



Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

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Old September 20th, 2010 Sep 20, 2010 5:26:18 AM -   #31 (permalink)
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It's official. I've been scared off of buying a DTG printer. *backs away from computer slowly*
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Old September 21st, 2010 Sep 21, 2010 12:33:32 AM -   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayarrsteiner
It's official. I've been scared off of buying a DTG printer. *backs away from computer slowly*
Hehe, well... at least if you want to print on darks...
I think the majority of problems stem from using White ink.

But then again, that's generally an issue with all the printing methods...
and to think, there's still millions of people out there that think printing is an easy way to make money. LOL!
 
Old September 21st, 2010 Sep 21, 2010 2:32:15 PM -   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Reading this thread, I think I would have been put off too!

I've been watching the DTG printer market for several years. Several years ago, probably more recently too, white ink problems were a nightmare. However, since the developments in inks and ink delivery systems, DTG printers have come a long way.

Two months ago i purchased my first DTG printer, a Neoflex. Yes, the learning curve is steep but I knew this would be the case. I've come a long way in 2 months, I've learned a lot and now I'm able to produce some good printed shirts both black & white. I still have a long way to go but I'm really enjoying it.

Since owning my printer I've not had any issues with white ink clogging or even a bad nozzle check I carry out daily maintenace - it's no hardship! It's early days but I'm glad I took the plunge.
 
 
Old September 21st, 2010 Sep 21, 2010 7:53:48 PM -   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

let me put this into perspective. i have purchased over $100,000 in equipment and do dyesub, dtg, embroidery, promo products and have the ballstars system. i have a retail store and do all kinds of crazy jobs.

the single most profitable investment in equipment is a $400 24" vinyl cutter. we do about 25 yards a week in apparel vinyl and just ordered 150 yards to complete our orders for the rest of this month. we compete with screen printing with this thing and the dtg printer just sits there. we have NEVER had a vinyl job come back because of quality and i cannot say that for dtg.

if you can make a choice, select, in order: vinyl cutter, embroidery, screen printer, everything else.

that said, i like dtg and we have had some success with it but for the time involved and the headaches with it, maybe it just isn't time. i have heard a lot of good things about brother but time will tell with these things.
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Old September 22nd, 2010 Sep 22, 2010 12:58:30 AM -   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by binki
the single most profitable investment in equipment is a $400 24" vinyl cutter. we do about 25 yards a week in apparel vinyl and just ordered 150 yards to complete our orders for the rest of this month. we compete with screen printing with this thing...
Unfortunately, this method doesn't fly in the retail market... I only wish it did...
the feel of plastic layers on a t-shirt just doesn't impress, it's too much like stickers.

Which is great for sports teams and pizza places, but try selling custom art shirts online using vinyl...
I guarantee your eBay ratings will plummet as people "out you" for not screenprinting.

It's too bad really, there's some interesting options (and benefits) in vinyl...
but even heat transfers are frowned upon these days... the t-shirt fans are wise to the game... plastisol or bust!

Personally, I bought a really expensive t-shirt from the UK about 8 years ago...
when it finally arrived, my heart sank as I felt the plastic layers.

I didn't even know what vinyl was at the time, but I knew it wasn't what I was expecting...
I felt burned, and at that moment, all the vinyl dealers instantly lost a customer for life
(and they probably don't even realize it, since this is the first time I've ever spoken about it).

I realize, it's a totally different story for a print shop... but in retail, it's a no-no...
my point, be careful you're not losing repeat customers by using cheaper methods of printing.

Not everyone complains, most just won't come back.
 
Old September 22nd, 2010 Sep 22, 2010 6:21:56 AM -   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuush.com
Unfortunately, this method doesn't fly in the retail market... I only wish it did...
the feel of plastic layers on a t-shirt just doesn't impress, it's too much like stickers.
our customers hate screen printing and love vinyl. we have a retail storefront.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuush.com

Which is great for sports teams
that is where the money is. there is very little profit in doing 100 tshirts but 100 jerseys is golden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuush.com
I guarantee your eBay ratings will plummet as people "out you" for not screenprinting.
we dont sell on ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuush.com
Personally, I bought a really expensive t-shirt from the UK about 8 years ago...
when it finally arrived, my heart sank as I felt the plastic layers.
we have samples of all processes in the shop so the customers can touch and feel them. if they want screen printing we will do it.

our average customer who comes in for printing starts out with 'i don't want that plastic feel of screen printing'. when we show them apparel vinyl it is an instant sale.

i guess it is just preference.

we dont sell on ebay
we dont sell mail order
all of our customers are walk in
we specialize in team uniforms which is more profitable than just doing t-shirts.
we do a lot of one offs at $15-$25 each
we have a number of repeat customers for vinyl

i guess we are different than most here. we dont have a tshirt line, we dont sell online, we do have a brick and mortar store and work in it 6 days a week
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Old October 18th, 2010 Oct 18, 2010 6:07:50 PM -   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

I don't think there is more to say than has already been said.

However, my words of wisdom on the subject are simple. If you are a really good screen printer you have a chance at being a really good DTG printer. If you are a bad screen printer you will be a really bad DTG printer.

DTG is a thinking mans game. Look around your shop. If your gear is dirty and not maintained PLEASE do not by DTG equipment you will be sorry you did.
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Old October 18th, 2010 Oct 18, 2010 6:30:24 PM -   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

How about if your neither?
 
Old October 18th, 2010 Oct 18, 2010 7:10:47 PM -   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

You'd better do some research! It's a larger learning curve for non printers
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Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 2:56:49 PM -   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

I agree with the cleanliness statement, but as for being a good screen printer versus a good digital printer, they're two different animals.
 
Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 5:34:16 PM -   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Not entirely. I have been printing for 23 years. My experience in four color process printing is what has made the difference in our approach to DTG. We do not view DTG as press the button and go. Our knowledge of true process color seperations for darks in screen printing cut the learning curve.

But what I was actually saying was - a good printer is someone that really cares about the product that leaves the shop. So if you are a good screen printer you probably will be a good DTG printer. If you are a bad screen printer - someone who doesn't care about delivering a great product - your DTG will suck too. DTG is not an easier softer way to success if you don't care.
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Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 5:48:46 PM -   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

The main limitation for me is that at 51 units you loose all economies of scale and cannot offer 1000 units at bigger discounts.
The obvious issue is down time. My direct competitors spend more time delaying or cancelling jobs as their Kornits choke...
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Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 5:56:44 PM -   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

maybe your competitors are bad DTG printers like the ones complaining in all of the other DTG forums!!
THats good for you!
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Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 5:59:14 PM -   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROYAL SAVAGE
My experience in four color process printing is what has made the difference in our approach to DTG. We do not view DTG as press the button and go. Our knowledge of true process color seperations for darks in screen printing cut the learning curve.
Thanks Kevin @ROYAL SAVAGE. Care to share some specifics?
 
Old October 19th, 2010 Oct 19, 2010 6:06:15 PM -   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: Before you get into DTG, things you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by vctradingcubao
Thanks Kevin @ROYAL SAVAGE. Care to share some specifics?
Sure. Using basic seperation knowledge leads to better prints. We create hundreds of pieces of art per year that are painted in Photoshop. Every file is prepped in the exact same way as a screen printing sep would be. WE have some proprietary actions we use but the two mediums require exactly the same approach. Remember ink is ink the only difference is the delivery method. Are you a screen printer by trade like I am?
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