CMYK is a smaller color space (as Steven said), but your colors will be more accurate. The problem is CMYK colors tend to look flatter than RGB colors. So from a visual standpoint, RGB colors tend to pop more - which is what most garment decorators want. Most people are not as color specific when it comes to their t-shirts as they are when it comes to brochures, business cards and other business related items. So that is why RGB is primarily used for dtg printing.
well, digital printers use CMYK inks to print. therefore if you save your work as RGB there will be colors that the printer will not be able to produce like the electric blue color. I print professionally images for photographers using an epson 9800 and i have found that RGB color reproduction on the printer is not always accurate. If you want to get the same colors that you see on your screen from your printer is better to work with cmyk.
RGB Vs CMYK is additive color vs subtractive color space.
RGB are the colors of the pixels on your computer screen and are additive colors. Art can display much different colors on your computer screen than on a reflective surface. CMYK is subtractive, it depends on reflecting colors and mixing in the background ( shirt or paper surface color) to achieve its gamut or color space. RGB mimics more closely the human eye, the gamut ( reproducible colors ) is quite a bit larger then the reproducible colors of CMYK, but there will never be RGB inks, they work an a different principle then reflective colors! I guess you 'd say they glow from a light source ( sun or picture tube) and change colors by adding colors, cmyk reflects colors throught othe surface and you get the reflected color, all the other colors that are in full spectrum light being absorbed.
HOWEVER, printers with MORE than 4 colors can display a wider gammut that a 4 color printer can. Thus if you save your image in cmyk, you will not get the full range of colors that are available to one of these printers, so you'd want to save IN RGB. You still won't get the full RGB color space, but you'll get much more then if saved down to cmyk, the printer driver should take care of converting it for you.
Much more specific information is available if you do a search on the web for CMYK vs RGB or similar.
I never get good colors with CMYK even though my machine have CMYK especially when printing black it’s hard to know if it’s the original black, you’re black %100 because on the reverse side of the shirt I will see a little blue bleeding out ,with RGB i get similar colors to what i see on my screen.but sometimes i get work from graphic designers where the way their graphics seem to pull pure black out.its driving me in circles.
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