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I am fairly new to the clothing industry. I have a clothing company that specializes in high end t-shirts, similar to diesel and Obey. Here is my problem, I have no idea how to get that quality print on my shirts where you are unable to feel the ink at all. For those of you that need an example, if you goto Nordstroms or Bloomingdales and you feel those really thin cotton t-shirts and the ink on them cannot be felt at all.

Great examples of this are the companies Obey and Diesel. Can this be accomplished with basic screen printing? Or, is it something that requires a different technique, such as dye sublimation or something? Please someone help me!!
 

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Hi kahncept, i am still a newbie as well but i have seen some shirts like what you speak of and it may be DTG (direct to garment) printing. do a google search and you will come up with a couple. i don't believe there are many, this is really what led me to the t-shirt business, but i quickly realized that i have better get my feet wet and she where this goes before investing thousands of dollars.

Trina
 

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jdr8271 said:
What you are talking about is screen printing where they apply a very thin layer of ink.
Yep. When you are working with your screen printer, you can usually ask them for lighter "coverage" to acheive this effect.
 

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this is precisely what I am looking for too.
Is this just a question of the printers' know-how, nothing to do with the paint used?
 

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Doing a DTG or a light coat screen, you can usually still feel the ink. If you wash them after printing (drying first of course), you usually won’t feel the ink at all. Furthermore, a less perfect ring actually allows more fibers to come loose after washing, which gives the print area a softer feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have heard about DTG. Two questions I have. Can it be done with any color ink on any color shirt? I have heard that it can't be done on darker shirts, is this true? Also, does anyone know any printers in LA or San Diego that can do this process?
 

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kahncept said:
I have heard about DTG. Two questions I have. Can it be done with any color ink on any color shirt?
More or less, yes.

kahncept said:
I have heard that it can't be done on darker shirts, is this true?
The technology is still imperfect, so printing on dark shirts still requires some finessing - but in theory all colours are possible.
 

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The DTG printers use epson print heads (usually) and either cmyk or cmykLCLMLK textile inks. It is like putting white or colored paper into your printer. If you do purple text on a pink sheet it is like the same thing on a shirt. If it will show on paper, it will work on a shirt too. The white ink typically replaces the light inks and is laid down as an undercoat to make the other colors stand out from the dark background. The white ink process is still very new technology and advancements are being made every month. At this point in time there needs to be a pretreatment so the white doesn't soak into the fabric and the result is a slightly heavier feel than the colored inks on light. The washability of the color inks is excellent and the white ink is pretty close to being perfect. Personally, I have been having very good experiences with the white. Yet I do prefer to do white ink on an order by order basis. Each order having it's quirks for getting it to look good. I have to say that the learning curve for set up of a white image can be extensive.
 

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I haven't had a DTG shirt long enough to know how well it will hold up. A few have over 50 washes and still look OK.

With screening, we guarantee our printing to outlast the garment. No returns in 15 years.
 
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