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Re: direct garment printing

In my opinion, DTG printers have the best quality of print on the market today. Anytime anyone has seen samples of DTG printing, they jaw drops in amazement of the quality.

As for if it's good for a startup, that's entirely up to you to decide. I have customers that purchased these machines and already are making money on them and are more than satisfied. We used to sell the Flexi-Jet and the master distributor pulled our dealership in favor of selling them all himself along with one other company. It still is a great machine even if we don't sell it anymore. Some of the printers are as follows:

Brother
T-Jet
Flexi-Jet
DTG Kiosk (distributed by SWF)
Mimaki
Kornit
NaturaLink

There are many out there and this isn't all of them. We will be selling another machine soon that is based on the same printer as the Flexi-Jet. This is exciting since I really believe the Flexi-Jet was the best printer on the market for it's cost.

The machine we will be selling is compared to the Flexi-Jet L model, which is the larger of the 2 models available. The price with 2 platens on the Flexi-Jet L is $19,000 whereas the machine we will be selling is only $13,500. (This is not a sales post, only an informative post of what we will be doing and the price factor people are looking at in getting involved in DTG Printing.)

I did not list the machine yet because we want to make sure we have them in stock or close to it before advertising. Before the Flexi-Jet came out, I believe the Brother was probably the best printer on the market. The problem with the Brother's machine is it doesn't nor will it ever print white inks. Even though the quality is excellent and the speeds are great, $20,000 for a machine that will never print white is pretty steep, in my opinion.

So the bottom line is, this technology is great for a startup because it really turns heads. The main question is, what do you have funds available for. Some people's idea of a startup is under $500 - $1,000 while others can and are willing to spend thousands of dollars.
 

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Re: direct garment printing

LateFall said:
Jerid Hill,
Thanks a lot for the info. It clearified a lot for me. One more thing, as the printers you mentioned are ranging from 13k to 20k, so would financing or leasing be a better idea for a starter or buying the machine right away would be better? Please answer this considering cost factors and rapid technology changes...
Thanks
This is something only you can truly answer. When leasing a machine, most people lease to own, so it's not really like turning it in for a new one every couple of years. It's pretty much a lease with a buyout in the end.

Personally, I have found it's almost always better to buy outright if you can. This keeps your funds from having to be tied up in payments if something else comes along. I just think it's good business practice to buy instead of lease or getting a loan.

Even with the rapid technology changes, the machines do get better, but the inks are where it's at. Most of the inks on the market should work with just about any DTG printer. It's a matter of finding the right ink for the job. When the ink improves over time, the machine doesn't need replaced. Some may not take the newer inks, but I have found with as many printers being based on the Epson series, alot of them will work in each other's machine.

As for the question reguarding cafepress, Rodney answered that with a yes. It's my understanding they purchased a handful of the Kornit machines for I think $180,000 a piece (or something like that), maybe a little less but I'm pretty sure not more.

And as for white inks, yes there is a clogging. The titanium in the inks separate. This causes heavier deposits in the lines and the heads. This is where the clogging comes in. There are inks currenty that do not have the titanium and this is good, but the problem is, titanium dioxide is a whitening agent. This causes the whites to be really white. Without it, they look okay, but not great. With it, they look great, but there's clogging. I actually am looking at a white ink now that has the titanium dioxide in it and it can sit for a long long long time and still not separate. This is a good thing and could be the answer to alot of the problems with the white issues. Time will tell....
 

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Re: direct garment printing

monkeylantern said:
In my opinion, DTG is about a year or two away from being totally up to scratch. It certainly doesn't yet compare to screenprinting on darks, and I still prefer the screenprint on lights.

A couple of years though, and this may all change.
There are many people who feel the same way that you do, but those many people who get a sample of a high quality DTG print really doesn't have a lot of bad things to say about it. We are advancing in white ink so where it has a softer feel than screenprints and the brightness is very white.

I saw where someone had taken a DTG printer over a 4 day bicentennial for their town and made over $20,000 in profit on this printer alone. Try that with screenprinting, it won't happen. This is definitely a niche market for 1 and 2 ups and with the speed increases of the machines, even a 250 piece order isn't too much. Most of your money will be made on 1 and 2 up shirts. Custom made shirts, full color artwork, extremely high profit.

That's the benefit of Direct to Garment printers.
 

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Re: direct garment printing

StitchShoppe said:
I take 3 tees with me on sales calls 1)DTG 2)ScreenPrint 3)Inkjet transfer. My customers always pick the screenprint as to how they want their shirts to look/feel. Do you have sample shirts that I could order? I'm thinking that if what you are saying is true, the old "white" sample I have is outdated. If you can run DTG on colors such as red (that is what my next big order calls for) I'd like to see it. It's been ages since I've taken an order for "white" shirts.
I'm not trying to be smart I just need to compare apples to apples.
Rodney runs a tight ship around here ;)

Private message me for anything. I will say that it wouldn't be until after we would have the newest machine in. Late July or early August.

I guess the hardest thing to deal with when it comes to DTG printing is to overcome the idea of it having to be screen printed. I am a screen printer by trade but when I was introduced to the Direct to Garment printers a couple of years ago, I was skeptical, very skeptical. When I saw samples and actually had hands on with a DTG printer, I was sold. It doesn't limit you to only T-shirts, as Printchic has stated as well. I can't begin to mention how many times I have had customers want one ups or even 1 dozen full color designs.

When you have a printer that can print custom, on the fly printing and it's better than transfers and has a softer feel than screen printing, you'd be amazed at how many people would pay $25 or more for a t-shirt.

I don't believe DTG printing will ever replace screen printing, there are too many colors and special effects that DTG printing cannot emulate, but it will be a viable option, just as transfers are for so many.
 

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Re: direct garment printing

I don't agree with the theory either that the Brother isn't a viable machine because it can't print white. It's the market of the end user.

I do believe the Flexi-Jet is a great machine and it is the best printer in it's class (meaning printing white, printing on various substrates, multiple ups, price range), but I also believe a product is only as good as the company will allow it to be. That being said, Belquette, the manufacturer, is a great company, but the distribution of the product is where the problem lies.

The Brother is a great machine, I agree. The problem (for many) is the cost per print and yes, the limitation of not printing white ink and the price range. I will never say it's a bad machine, because I've seen the final products and it is a machine designed to do what it set out to do. I've had a couple people buy a Brother because they didn't want to wait on the Flexi-Jet (which I no longer sell). I told them they had to do what was best for their company. I don't try to destroy another business or company's product just to sell a machine. I just point out the obvious. ;)
 

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Re: direct garment printing

That's okay. I didn't believe you were making that statement towards me either. I was simply stating it for the benefit of others.

Sometimes when I type, my thoughts get conveyed a little differently than intended. No harm no foul!

I do like the fact that you are thorough open and honest with your assessments. You've helped me out more than you know.
 

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Re: direct garment printing

reprigo said:
Hi,
I saw a few weeks ago in a exhibition in greece digital printing on black shirts.
I can only agree with you there are amazing thinks you can do, which is not possible with screenprinting.
I`m interested to buy the Texjet from Polyprint. What is you opinion about this printer?
I saw also the Kiosk from DTG but the Texjet is cheaper and i didn`t saw any difference in the quality.
The Texjet costs 11000Euro and the Kiosk from DTG 17500Euros.
The Texjet prints on 42x60cm and the Kiosk 32x45, also the Texjet is faster.
Here are the sites to compare
http://www.polyprint.gr/

http://www.dtgdigital.com/

What is your opinion?
Jianni, it looks like you have your mind made up already. I can tell you I saw the Texjet in the past and I wasn't impressed. I did see the machine at the SGIA show in Vegas and it was completely redesigned. It also had some samples that were somewhat impressive, compared to where they were before. I didn't feel they were as good as they could have been. Since your prices are reversed (Here in the U.S. the TexJet is more expense than the Kiosk), you are drawn to the TexJet. Everything you mentioned seemed like you are convincing yourself the TexJet is better.

In the end, these machines are glorified Epson printers. You need to get a hands on with both machines and see what works best for you and your business. A website, a video, pictures and salespeople will never be able to tell you that. YOU have to be the one who decides by what works for YOU.
 

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Re: direct garment printing

I've had a DTG Kiosk for about four months and have been very happy with its performance, Printing on dark garments does require some tweaking to get desired results, but we have had good success. Preventative Maintenance and
Cleaning are very necessary, which is stressed when you attend the required training session. Light colored garments work great and people marvel at the "hand" of the final results, especially when printing photos.

Tech Support is good. I feel DTG is a great add-on to a screenprinting or embroidery environment
Randy:mad:
With your positive comment, I'm going to take it the frown was a typo.....
 
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