Learn the truth of five of the most common misconceptions about DTG printing. Learning the Basics of DTG Printing: 5 DTG Myths DebunkedThere is a lot of misinformation around direct-to-garment (DTG) printing. Getting the facts about DTG tshirt printing and what the machines can and cannot do is very important. Much of the bad information you hear is based on old information that used to be print back when DTG printers first came out over 10 years ago. Think back to any technology 10 years ago compared to what we have now to realize how important it is to have the right information for DTG printing.Myth 1: DTG is not ready for prime time because the white ink clogs the print head and DTG is a maintenance nightmare.Debunked. Although this was accurate in the early days of the DTG introduction, primarily because desktop printers were being converted that were designed for home-based paper printing, it is no longer true. Current technology has improved greatly over the years and addressed the issues that caused clogged print heads. Today’s DTG printers are generally robust, and a few brands even offer nationwide next-day on-site service available.Myth 2: DTG shirts do not wash well.Debunked. Major brand DTG printers have Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certified ink and pretreat solutions. When these Oeko-Tex certified products are used, in conjunction with proper curing, washability of a DTG shirt shows little difference vs. a screen printed shirt. Remember, just like a screen printed shirt, if you undercure a DTG shirt, it will not wash well.Stick with the manufacturer’s ink, not an off-brand third party ink. Further, only use Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certified pretreat solutions. This makes a HUGE difference in washability. Having the Oeko-Tex certification means an independent lab has been tested for harmful substances and that nothing in it is harmful to human health. Afterall, would you buy a car without seatbelts, bumpers, headlights or turning signals? Why go with a product that does not guarantee its safety.Myth 3: DTG printing is too slow and too expensive.Debunked. DTG printing speed varies based on whether or not you print an underbase white, how many print passes you choose, the design you are printing and type of shirt you are using. As you can see, there are so many different factors involved that anyone who makes a generic statement that DTG is slow is making a lot of assumptions.Printing speeds vary widely based on the printer itself as well. On the slow side, print times can be as much as 3 - 5 minutes for the more inexpensive printers. On the fast side, printing can take between 15 seconds (cmyk printing) to about 2 minutes for white + cmyk.The term “expensive” is relative, and must incorporate both the cost of the pretreat (if used), ink and time and labor. Of course, remember when comparing to traditional screen printing, you will need to include all the steps in screen printing: frame, mesh, degreasing, emulsion, exposure, washout, press registration, printing, ink cleanup, screen cleanup, reclaiming and so forth.So when you compare the DTG cost of printing you only have to include ink, pretreat and print time. A good rule of thumb for white shirts: $0.15 to $0.30 per print; and for dark shirts $1.00 to $2.00 per print. There is no doubt that with “long runs” of over 300 prints, screen printing is less expensive than current DTG methods. Myth 4: DTG printing is too complicated.Debunked. Perhaps this was true 10 years ago, when only converted desktop printers were modified by 3rd parties for tshirt printing but this is certainly not the situation now. Professional, purpose-built DTG is a reality. If you can print office documents, you can now print DTG.Myth 5: Pretreating shirts is too difficult.Debunked. Perhaps in the olden days...but not anymore. With professional sprayers that range in price from only $1,500 to $5,000 the process has become defined and easy to do. Simply load the shirt, press a button, and the shirt is pretreated with the proper amount of solution - dry with a heat press or through a small conveyor dryer. Certainly much easier than all the steps involved with screen printing.