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Cash in on DTG printing

Here are the top three reasons to consider installing a large-format DTG printer

December 19, 2022  By Kitt Jones

Direct-to- garment (DTG) printing is booming due to the rise in e-commerce and the popularity of personalized and customized products. Photos courtesy Roland DGA

According to MarketWatch, the global direct-to-garment (DTG) printing machine market size was USD210.1 million in 2021. It is forecast to expand to a readjusted size of USD696 million by 2028, yielding a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7 per cent.

DTG is booming largely due to the sharp increase in internet shopping and the ongoing trends of personalization and customization, as well as corresponding advances in DTG printing technology. Companies like Shopify and Printify have made it easy for creators to set up online stores. The internet’s reach eliminates the need to know an industry person to locate garment production companies. Nowadays, DTG is accessible and affordable, and online companies can sell one-off custom T-shirts for as little as $20.

Manufacturers have responded with faster, easier-to-use, and more flexible DTG printer options. The newest large-format printers allow short-run, custom and high-volume production of an extensive range of products, easily meeting the challenges of a busy shop. 


Some of these printers can do the work of three standard DTG printers, with flexible production requiring only one operator.

All of these factors mean there is a wide range of benefits to adding DTG print capability to your business. Here are my top three reasons for considering a large-format DTG printing system.

1) One-stop shop capability

Graphics production shops these days are often asked to provide short-run and custom apparel as part of branding packages for their clients. These projects are typically too small for a traditional screen printer to cost-effectively produce. In addition to reducing the headaches of outsourcing, print service providers appreciate the benefits of becoming a one-stop shop for their customers—it’s hard to watch a client walk away in order to get a service elsewhere.

Beyond their existing clients, there’s another market that print professionals with DTG capability can serve: Service bureaus and large clothing manufacturers who want to print their internal designs on demand. By outsourcing their on-demand printing, these companies can profitably sell their custom apparel graphics to clients and the public via web and brick-and-mortar outlets.

Today’s large-format DTG printers allow graphics professionals to provide a variety of products that help set their shop apart and improve their bottom line, while keeping existing clients happy and attracting new clients. With in-house production comes faster turnarounds and better quality control, plus reduced production costs versus screen printing or outsourcing short-run or custom jobs.

Large-format DTG printers allow graphics professionals to provide a variety of products that help them stand apart from competitors.

2) Moving beyond the T-shirt

Both in terms of profitability and product differentiation, the market is clearly moving beyond simple custom T-shirt production. The newest DTG printers offer users the flexibility to print on higher margin products, such as towels, backpacks, jeans, jackets, and blankets. This versatility also helps shops offer a more diverse product line. Recent years have brought innovations in inks, pre-treatment options, platen, and software capabilities. 

When equipped with a variety of platen sizes, the newest DTG printers provide users the freedom to instantly scale up to high-volume production or produce short-runs and specialty items. Additionally, today’s printers allow a variety of fabrics including richer materials like cotton and tri-blends, which normally require a larger size platen. With flexible production printers, print service providers can also print directly on manufactured items such as tablecloths or prefabricated jerseys.

3) Easy workflow integration

Today’s DTG printers are designed to be easier than ever to use and maintain. The workflow and user interface are more intuitive, allowing successful use by anyone from novices to pros. Additionally , modern DTG printer software can integrate into almost all internal barcoding systems. It can either directly read the barcode, which can load the file and set up the platen, or companies can set up an automated system through the software. Either method creates a more efficient workflow while minimizing operator errors.

Exploring your options

With rising demand for short-run and specialty printed apparel and fabrics, the future is bright for DTG printing. Offering simplified workflows and more powerful and versatile production, the newest DTG printing technology provides easy and innovative ways for businesses to expand their product line and satisfy clients. The ability to print on larger and thicker items gives print shop owners a range of product options to potentially increase their revenues and set themselves apart from competition.

Today’s DTG printers offer plenty of opportunity and profit potential for print professionals. Take a look at the benefits these new, powerful DTG printers and their expanded capabilities can bring to your business.    

Kitt Jones is co-creation product manager at Roland DGA.

An edited version of this article originally appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of PrintAction.

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