The Past, Present, & Future of Direct to Garment Printing

Direct to Garment print technology has been in use for quite a long time. Initially, OEM printers like the Epson lines were stripped down and remanufactured by 3rd parties to run with an ink suitable for garment production. There have been a number of manufacturers and iterations over the years, and the technology has always been best suited for a printer that needs to offer flexibility & color gamut in short run production runs.

Since the printers were not initially designed with garment printing in mind, there had been some oversights. Folks got them to work, but they were a bit of a ‘Frankenstein Monster’ and not living up to potential. Thankfully, Epson decided to invest the time & resources to manufacture a printer, ink, & software solution with the sole purpose of creating phenomenal DTG garment prints.

The three most important barriers to entry for a modern print shop had been the initial price point, the color gamut, and the maintenance of the printer. The price point for the new DTG printers is much lower than any previous DTG technology has ever been. The color gamut that is possible on the Epson SureColor F2000 is in line with their photo & fine art line of printers. This is a printer that is capable of producing a photo or giclee on a garment. The maintenance woes of previous generation DTG printers has been strategically addressed. An ink recirculation system, Teflon coated printhead, and printhead roller wiper, are just a few of the key ways Epson has reshaped the world of DTG printing by making maintenance hassle free.

Direct to garment technology will continue to change as markets evolve. Expectations are that there will be more manufacturers vying for this market and this could lead to more competitive pricing models, improvements in print color gamut are likely, and an even more automated maintenance schedule is likely & desired. Staying up to date on where the technology stands today, and where it is headed will remain important. How the technology can fit into, or compliment a particular business model is an important consideration for today and the future. Rest assured that Ryonet is here to keep you informed as this print technology continues to change and the market evolves.

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