What is Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)?

What is Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)?

If you've ever seen a t-shirt or a hoodie with a highly detailed and colourful design printed on it, chances are it was made using direct-to-garment (DTG) printing.

DTG printing is a process that allows for full-colour designs to be printed directly onto apparel, and it's become increasingly popular in recent years.

With DTG printing, clothing brands can unleash their creativity and produce designs that are crisp, vivid and resistant to fading over time.

This opens up endless possibilities for customising garments in ways that were previously impossible with traditional print methods!

In this post, we'll look closely at DTG printing, how it works and what you need to start.

In this article: 

Keep reading to learn more!

the inside of a dtg printer with multiple wires for coloured ink channels

What is direct-to-garment printing?

Direct-to-garment printing, or DTG for short, is a digital printing technique that allows detailed and colourful designs to be printed onto t-shirts and other garments.

The printing process works by directly injecting ink onto fabric, similar to how an office printer puts images onto paper - except on a much larger and more technical scale!

This printing technique produces excellent results with vibrant colours, crisp details, and no fading over time.

DTG printers have at least five colour channels: cyan, magenta, yellow, black (CMYK) and white. More advanced printers have more channels, including green, red and even colour intensifiers.

How does it work?

DTG printers are connected to a PC that has specialised software designed to translate your design file. Instead of pixels on a screen, your design will now be created with tiny ink dots, and some printers can reach up to 1200 ink dots per inch!

This process allows your design file to be printed onto the fabric with exceptional detail, vivid colours that stay true with time, and remarkable elasticity.

After the apparel is printed, it must be heated at high temperatures for the design to bond permanently. This method ensures that your print will remain vibrant and intact for many years - with some designs lasting longer than the garment itself.

And because it's all digital, any design can effortlessly be printed within minutes.

a white t-shirt with green printed text sustainability shouldn't cost the earth

What are the benefits of using direct-to-garment printing methods?

Direct-to-garment printing is one of the latest revolutions in the fashion world due to its speedy and detailed output. It is also more cost-efficient than screen printing – allowing colourful designs to be cheaply produced in small quantities.

Unlike screen printing and other traditional printing methods, there are no set-up fees which makes it a more cost-effective choice for small businesses in particular.

It's quick, easy and can create great results with detail, even on complicated patterns. Plus, you can print unlimited colours without paying more for each extra colour used.

DTG printing has become increasingly popular with clothing brands due to its eco-friendly advantages over traditional screen printing.

  • Lower environmental impact. DTG uses less water and fewer chemicals than screen printing, reducing the impact on the environment by eliminating wastewater and chemical runoff into waterways.
  • Non-toxic inks. DTG printers use waterbased inks which are non-toxic, vegan friendly and safe for aquatic life. This makes it an environmentally friendly choice as it reduces the environmental impact during production and when the garment is discarded.
  • Cheap and easy to produce. DTG is the most budget-friendly printing method when working with a print service, as there are no setup fees or order minimums. This makes it perfect for producing small amounts of customised garments at an affordable cost!

Due to its low environmental impact and affordability, DTG printing provides an excellent alternative for those seeking a low-cost and sustainable production method for their clothing line or print-on-demand business.

If you're looking for unlimited colour choices and fast delivery without additional setup fees, direct-to-garment printing is the way to go!

a printed t-shirt being taken off the dtg printer with a vibrant design

Why is DTG used for making money online, and how can you get started with this type of printing?

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is an excellent way for businesses to make money online by creating custom products with the help of a print-on-demand service.

If you're a business aiming to monetise your website with an online merch store or an artist who wants to express themselves through custom clothing designs - direct-to-garment printing combined with print-on-demand technology makes it all possible.

There's no need for a costly printer or any complicated inventory – you can simply upload your designs, market the product online and have it produced after closing the sale!

The best part is that there are no minimum orders and no set-up fees, so businesses can start selling their products right away.

At Inkthreadable, we offer a wide range of blank t-shirts and other garments manufactured especially for custom printing.

So if you're looking for an easy way to make money online, then direct-to-garment print-on-demand is worth checking out.

You'll be able to make your customers some beautiful apparel at a great price point!

a happy man wearing a bright orange jacket punching his fists into the air with glee

What are some tips for success with DTG printing?

If you want to unlock the full potential of DTG printing, some planning is in order!

You must create unique designs first and decide on your preferred t-shirts and where to sell them.

Picking the right colours for your image is essential - pick vibrant, eye-catching shades that represent your brand and will look good on clothing. If you're printing on dark garments, which DTG can do with ease, make sure to use contrasting colours.

To ensure the best print quality for DTG prints, select your file types carefully and design with vector in mind so you can freely resize your design to any size without pixelation. When uploading files to your printer, opt for a PNG at 300ppi for optimal results.

Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to achieving the success that you aspire for!

Once you've got the basics down, DTG printing can be a great way to make money online with your designs – and since there are no upfront costs, you can even start for free!

Pro Tip: Use Shopify Starter to create a simple store in minutes and sell online for only £1 per month!

Why not run a limited series of t-shirts or hoodies? Or decorate some promotional items for your team? We can even print accessories like cotton tote bags!

a print operator laying a t-shirt onto the print bed

Are you ready to make your clothing creations with DTG printing?

If you're considering stepping into the print-on-demand market with your clothing creations, Inkthreadable has everything you need to get started.

We offer premium quality print-on-demand services that allow you to make money online whilst providing you with support and resources every step of the way.

By taking advantage of our automated print-on-demand process, you can rest assured that your custom garment will be quickly printed and shipped directly to your customers.

With Inkthreadable's print-on-demand services, creating unique clothing designs is easier than ever. Don't wait any longer - look at what Inkthreadable can do for you!


In conclusion, DTG printing is a versatile and cost-effective way to create custom apparel. It provides businesses of any size with the capability to launch their web stores without having to invest in large quantities of inventory.

By understanding how DTG works, assessing the right tools for success, and selecting materials carefully, businesses can easily reap all the rewards of this type of printing.

With its speed and accuracy, direct-to-garment printing has taken the world of custom clothing by storm – and it’s not hard to see why! Ready to take the plunge yourself?

👉 Register to our website for 50% off your first sample order*.

*Discount code can be applied to a single order with a maximum value of £50.


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Last year alone, Inkthreadable helped over 10,000 businesses fulfil more than 225,000 orders.

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We're a family-run business, but we pack a lot of punch! Our team is made up of expert printers, graphic designers and the most friendly customer support team you'll ever meet (we are from Lancashire, after all). Founded in 2013 by co-founders Alex & Amy, Inkthreadable has been built from the ground up. We've already fulfilled over 1.3 million orders, and we're ready to fulfil yours too!

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