5 Benefits of Direct-to-Garment Printing

With several, quality methods available to create impressive, custom apparel garments, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a newer technique gaining recognition among printers – especially small-business owners. Created in the late ’90s, DTG printing uses a custom, inkjet printer to apply water-based inks directly to the textile. The garment’s fibers then absorb the liquid. The process is likened to printing a document at home — replace paper with garments. The outcome is some seriously impressive designs customers go crazy for.

Whether you’re considering contemporary tactics to add to your business services or just getting started and marinating on a customization method, direct-to-garment printing can be a lucrative option.

Below are just five, key benefits of what DTG printing has to offer:

Vibrant, Highly Detailed Designs

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Compared to traditional printing methods, DTG printers can create lively, photo-realistic images by firing smaller droplets of ink — allowing for more detail. These printers also use the full spectrum of colors, with the ability to print them simultaneously, making them perfect for colorful designs or artwork with shading and gradients.

On-Demand Printing

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Unlike screenprinting, which requires a lot of setup and squeegeeing each color of ink separately, DTG printing entails little-to-no setup and can avail a multicolor design at the press of a button. With barely any time-consuming manual labor involved, a small-batch custom order can be delivered the same day. This improves the customer experience by having a quick turnaround time, and you can charge a “rush-order” fee to bump up profits.

Profitability

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With little-to-no setup required and a “push-to-print” design system, operating costs are decreased — leaving more room to profit per sale. The average operating cost to create a DTG print is about $1 for light-colored garments — around $3 for dark-colored garments. This means you can charge competitive pricing, and your business will keep more of the money from the transaction than, say, with a screenprinting order. With consistent business, you’ll be seeing a return on your DTG-equipment investment in no time.

Small-Volume Opportunities

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From small, sports teams to company tees to family reunions, this versatile printer can bring in clients historically swayed by high, setup costs or minimum orders. Direct-to-garment printing is perfect for small-batch or “one-off” requests.

Simplicity

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To create a flawless, custom, apparel DTG print, there are really just four simple steps: pretreat and cure the garment, load the digital art to your graphics system and adjust your design’s layout as desired, put the garment on the platen and print, then use a heat press and cure one last time. As with any new approach, the first couple of tries will take practice; but once you overcome the learning curve, the method is simple enough for one person to do all the work!

 

As a newer innovation rising in popularity, direct-to-garment printing isn’t necessarily a replacement for screen printing. However, it can complement your current business offerings to build out more well-rounded services and is a great, starting strategy for smaller operations.

5 Tips for Successful Custom Embroidery

Often when the term “custom apparel” is heard, our minds jump to the ubiquitous methods of screen printing and sublimation. However, the art of embroidery should not be forgotten. Embroidery creates an added level of detail and lends a sophisticated, high-end look to any garment. From adding decoration to jeans to logos on company shirts to fun designs on casual wear – the options are endless.   Continue reading “5 Tips for Successful Custom Embroidery”

Specialty Ink Basics: Setting Your Screenprinting Business Apart From Competitors

In a competitive screenprinting market, it’s vital for your print shop to continually find areas where niche skills can be added to help set your business apart. One way to catch the eyes of potential customers is by dazzling them with specialty inks. Before you cringe (we know, special inks can be hard to work with), specialty inks can bring a lot of value to your business, create awesome designs, and you can (and should!) charge premium pricing for the services. To help get you started, we’ve listed three Continue reading “Specialty Ink Basics: Setting Your Screenprinting Business Apart From Competitors”

Beginner’s Guide to Screenprinting Children’s Apparel

Research has shown that the children’s apparel industry is booming, and honestly, we’re not surprised. Custom bibs and hats are adorable gifts for baby showers, and thanks to social media, matching “parent-child” tees have become extremely popular. In 2016, global sales for children’s apparel and footwear outperformed adult fashion sales by experiencing a total value growth of 5% to reach $203.4 billion! Last year, childrenswear outpaced womenswear and menswear in retail value growth again. In simpler terms – children’s apparel is on the rise.  

However, before you dive head first into adding custom childrenswear to your screenprinting services, there are important regulations and best practices your business should follow.  Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Screenprinting Children’s Apparel”

Why Celebrities are wearing Alternative Apparel®?

(CLOCKWISE: Ryan Reynolds wears the Eco-Jersey Crew T-Shirt in Men’s Health; Taylor Lautner sports a 3/4-sleeve tee (photo via Eonline.com); Chris Pratt in his Perfect Pima Cotton V-Neck on Ellen (photo via JustJared.com).

With fame and fortune, comes great responsibility. Many celebrities see that they have the ability to affect the world in ways that can make a difference, so they’re constantly getting involved with causes they believe in.

Whether its Matt Damon helping to give families around the world access to clean waterLeonardo DiCaprio speaking out on preventing climate change and funding conservation projects through his foundation, or Jessica Alba founding the Honest Company to provide moms with natural and eco-friendly products for babies, celebrities have become leaders in helping to change the world. And because of that, they love to be “Responsibly Fashionable.”

Alternative Apparel provides them exactly the kind of gear they can feel good about wearing, and they’ve been spotted wearing the brand on talk shows, editorials and magazine covers. Sustainability and responsibility are in the forefront of their mind, as the company uses biodegradable packaging, recycled/organic fabrics and operates in WRAP Certified factories.

Hollywood’s finest recognizes the importance of supporting companies and organizations that are in-line with their fundamental beliefs. So when they’re looking for something to wear, they look to responsible brands like Alternative Apparel.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE ALTERNATIVE STYLES.

5 Strategies to Prepare for the Slow Winter Season

While many companies prepare for the onslaught of rushed holiday orders and increased sales, the custom apparel industry tends to cool down with the weather. Students are home for break, people get busy with the holidays and production usually falls to the wayside. Have no fear, winter isn’t coming just yet (no need to brace yourselves, GOT fans). You still have a few months to prepare for the slow months ahead. We’ve listed five strategies to make sure your printing business can continue to press on in the future. Continue reading “5 Strategies to Prepare for the Slow Winter Season”

5 Ways to Enhance the Digital Customer Experience

As a business owner, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day ground operations. Often our brains are stuck on all of the high-level deliverables, like making sure orders have been shipped on time or ensuring finances are on track to meet the monthly overhead costs. In this digital age however, it’s equally important to examine the digital customer experience and how your consumers are interacting with your brand on the web and across social media. Smooth business operations combined with a positive digital customer experience can make you stand out from competitors and gain a loyal following. We’ve compiled five ways your brand can enhance the digital customer experience below. Continue reading “5 Ways to Enhance the Digital Customer Experience”

5 Fall Trends and Styles You Should Keep An Eye On

Fall (arguably fashion’s favorite season) is almost here. Get ready for crisp air, pumpkin-spiced everything and the chance to break out the layers once again. The fashion industry has spoken, and this year’s fall trends are all about making a statement. We’ve listed a few of the daring new trends to try along with trusty favorites to help spark ideas for your fall inventory.  

Bold Prints

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Animal prints, western motifs and high contrast florals will be everywhere this fall. From soft muted neutrals to Continue reading “5 Fall Trends and Styles You Should Keep An Eye On”

Behind The Thread: Embroidery Master Erich Campbell Shares His Wisdom

If your a decorator, you should talk to Erich Campbell. Why? Because he’s had a passion for embroidery and digitizing since the age of 13 and has tons of knowledge to share. Not only has he written extensively for places like Printwear Magazine, Mrxstitch.com, DecoNetwork, MakeZine.com, and Impressions Magazine, but he’s also done tons of interviews, worked lots of shows, and has even done embroidery work for film productions like “Better Call Saul.” An all around great guy, whose genuinely interested in helping people, Erich knows the business inside and out, and we we’re grateful to have had a chance at interviewing him. Watch the video above and find out what you can do to increase your business and improve your relationships with clients.

FOLLOW Erich on his adventures and learn all of his tricks on TWITTER, INSTAGRAM or on his WEBSITE.

 

Pricing Your Screenprinting Business for Profit: What You Need to Know

Every business owner has faced the challenge of pricing their products and services. It’s a difficult task to find that happy medium between profitability and customer appeal, especially if your company is just starting out. You want to sell your goods at a competitive rate, while staying above your cost margin.

Many companies create pricing matrices that calculate costs for printed Continue reading “Pricing Your Screenprinting Business for Profit: What You Need to Know”