DTG Printing: Our Journey To Shirts

By Mr. Keg, May 10, 2013

Finally. Shirt printing is finally back at PrintKEG. It has been quite a long journey reimplementing this service into our product line so today the PrintKEG team celebrates.

For awhile we used commercial transfers and were limited to white shirts. Our prices were very low, but the process was limited and quality was not to our satisfaction. Later we worked with a 3rd party vender; unfortunately, that relationship soured for a number of reasons (mostly because of me) so we were quickly back to square one and using transfers again. Looking back, I feel like we should have just stopped offering shirts until we regrouped.

We bought a DTG machine. Our company procrastinated a long time before investing in DTG (direct-to-garment). Frankly, I would have purchased equipment sooner, but dropping tens of thousands of dollars isn’t easy for me (that’s a good thing), so we massively researched beforehand and that’s going to work in our favor since the technology has made significant progress the last couple years.

We tested for a long time. Honestly, this time period proved incredibly frustrating. Dealing with faulty equipment has been our albatross, and the entire “development” phase consumed way more time than I had originally anticipated. New to apparel printing, we struggled with color accuracy, “dirty” prints, and weird registration. Our staff has a pretty long history in digital printing, consists of a couple graphic designers and boasts a couple techs; yet, this DTG machine still managed to test our patience and inner zen.

We mastered the process. The graphics we’ve been printing look beautiful. Once the manufacturer made some adjustments to our DTG printer, we were able to work through all the kinks. Each shirt is 100% cotton, high quality and feels great when wearing them. The vibrant graphics we print are wonderfully long lasting. Now, we couldn’t be happier with the results, and I’m convinced customers will totally love our shirts. We had to print hundreds of test garments before selling our first shirt, but we’ve mastered the process now.

What’s next? We’ve added toddler sizes, women’s tees, tank tops, v-necks and long sleeved shirts. We’re planning to add American Apparel as a featured brand, and we’re switching to a new website that features an online t-shirt designer and over 30 different shirt styles.