What is Direct to Garment clothing?
We have recently added some direct to garment (also known as DTG or print on demand) pieces to our lineup. There are some important things to know about DTG prints before you order so you know what you can expect.
At the most basic level, DTG clothing is simply a printed graphic onto a garment. Think of your home printer but on a much larger and high quality scale. The shirt or hoodie (or any of a bunch of other options) is setup and made ready and then gets printed on with special inks. The inks are essentially "cured" to make sure they hold up and stay where they are supposed to. Voila! Your new piece of clothing is done. While it is that simple, I want to make sure a few common questions are answered...especially for our return customers who have been purchasing tees and clothing from us for years.
- The shirts are typically 100% cotton. This is because the fabric is put together in a way that creates the best surface for application of the art/graphic. The Northwest Riders "premium" t-shirt is a blend made up of cotton and polyester. So if you love that specific shirt you need to know the DTG offerings on northwestriders.com will vary a bit. They are still a great quality tee...but the fit, feel, and wash (100% cotton does shrink more than a blended fabric mix) will be a bit different.
- The colors can be a little less vibrant (bright) on a DTG shirt or hoodie vs our screen printed offerings. They still look good, but if you really expect that intense contrast of a screen printed look it can vary a bit. Darker t-shirts and hoodies tend to vary the most between the two print methods.
- You may notice a smell when you get a DTG printed product. It's OK (and normal). Some people think it has a vinegar-like smell...and I agree. Not gross...just different than the normal order of goodies you may be used to. This smell washes out. It occurs because there are agents used in the curing/drying process to make sure the print and the colors hold up well.
- While the print process itself for DTG printing is quick, it is on demand. What does that mean? Well, it means we don't have the finished product sitting on a shelf ready to ship out the second your order comes across the interwebs. That ultimately means you should expect a bit longer than you may be used to (hey, we're quick!) to receive your DTG products. Nothing crazy...just a few more spins of Earth typically.
We have decided to make these DTG items a little less expensive in the early going so that our new and returning customers know what they are getting for their hard earned dollars and can get dialed in on their sizing and the like before we have too many products only available with this process.