DTG Printing Machinery SS/2023 Review: Stellar Growth and New Technologies to Explore 

The use of digital textile printing machines for direct-to-garment (DTG), continues to grow rapidly and is gaining popularity worldwide. As a technology built to deliver speed to market, it’s built for on-demand production and as such sustainable manufacturing—driving down inventory and production costs. Debbie McKeegan is a textiles expert who contributes to WhatTheyThink. In this article you will learn about DTG options as well the growing field for direct-to-film garment printing.

(Image courtesy Texintel

The direct-to-garment (DTG), production is growing steadily with a predicted vertical ascent. DTG digital textile printer machinery continues to see remarkable growth, which is helping it gain traction around the world. As a technology built to deliver speed to market, it’s built for on-demand production and as such sustainable manufacturing—driving down inventory and production costs.

DTG printing’s market value, which was US$822,000,000 in 2022, will rise to US$1,820,000,000 by 2032 at an annual growth rate 8.3% (FMI). This represents more than doubling the size of the global market within a 10-year span. Experts attribute this to direct-to-garment print’s unique advantages. These advantages include ease of entry, a “nil finished inventory” business model, and moving in lockstep with the market shift to customization and print-on-demand ecommerce.

Innovations continue to be a driving force in this sector.

Kornit Digital (KD) has made considerable strides with its inks particularly for polyester fabrics, where its Neopigment™ Olympia ink is its unique, innovative ink for high-quality printing on polyester, delivering a wider color gamut, solid color coverage, and precise Pantone color-matching. This eco-friendly, sustainable ink is made in-house and designed specifically for Kornit Systems to meet the highest sustainability standards.

You will enjoy outstanding durability and hand feeling, as well as a higher L value and greater opacity for bright print. Additionally, you can get increased strength and flexibility to increase print elongation. KD machinery is known for its high quality retail and durability standards.

DTF (direct–to-film technology) is a promising option for greater success. These innovations in print are thick and quick for garment production on demand. DTF printing, which is a versatile technique in the print sector, offers amazing color vibrancy and fabric versatility. DTF printing allows you to work with more difficult fabrics such as nylon, fleece, nylon, or classic cotton.

DTF printing is the process of printing a design onto PET film (a special film that allows for designs to be transferred). It uses water-based inks as well as a special powder adhesive. The PET film design is then heat transferred to fabric by a heat press. This printing method is durable and the design’s print quality is impressive, detailed, and the colors vibrant.

Roland DG and Mutoh are the leaders in this field with their BN-20d, Mutoh and Sublistar, respectively, with their VJ 628d and DTF 6002 Pro max DTF lines. Ricoh offers DTF printer options.

There are many apparel manufacturers that produce blank apparel and they are eager to supply DTG. A wide variety of blank apparel is available to potential producers, including T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and V-necks. They can find it all at Bella Canvas and Fruit of the Loom in America and Europe. The demand for responsibly-sourced apparel is growing and the DTG industry is adapting to ensure that organic, certified and recycled polyester print bases and rPET recycled polyamide print bases are available.

Brother GTX Pro bulk offers the best price-quality ratio. The Brother GTX Pro bulk can produce 14,000 T shirts per week during an eight-hour shift. Brother DTG Direct to Garment Printer Inks are manufactured according to Brother DTG’s exclusive formulation, providing the best possible results from a DTG printer.

These Brother Direct to Garment Printer Inks are among the first to not only carry the Oeko-Tex® Certification, but also to be GOTS APPROVED and CPSIA-compliant to help ensure they are safe for printing and are environmentally responsible. They are also known for their best washability in the DTG market.

We look forward to the next year and return to the Kornit Digital DTG machine range. It offers the best in speed, efficiency and flexibility.

As if the XDI profile ink system isn’t enough, Kornit machines from the Atlas to the Vulcan provide the perfect platform for an up-to-date and profitable digital printroom and, in 2023, Kornit is about to promote its new Apollo system. The manufacturer recently unveiled the Apollo machine, which uses its Max technology to offer “the highest retail quality combined with full automation control and integrated smart curing processes.”

The printer also utilizes technology from Lichtenau, Germany-based Tesoma, Kornit’s most recent acquisition. Kornit said, “the single-step end-to-end system addresses accelerated post-pandemic market trends for streamlined supply chains and production nearshoring.”

It will likely be available in mid-2023 after early customer engagements during the second half 2022.

Direct-to-garment is on the rise thanks to innovation, efficiency, speed of production and other factors.

We are also witnessing the emergence of hybrid machinery. The development of hybrid DTG printing where digital printing and screen printing can be combined is worth special attention. The Kyo Hybrid Digital Textile Printer (Aeoon, Austria) is a standout. The Kyo Hybrid Series, which combines screen and digital textile print, is the first to do so. This printer is ideal for high-volume production companies and provides unique production flexibility.

You can combine both screen printing and DTG printing. This combination delivers a great finish and significant savings on the ink consumption.

The success stories of DTG are numerous, from Inkthreadable and Printful. As the DTG industry meets the market’s expectations for a textile sector with significant and irreversible growth, there are many DTG success stories. There are many things to look forward to in the coming years, with DTF technologies and hybrid printing solutions.