DTG Printing

Direct To Garment Printing in Seattle (DTG)

Direct To Garment Printing in Seattle (DTG)

The Foundry offers DTG printing to service low minimum orders and art that isn’t compatible with screen printing. We have a top of the line direct to garment printer and the knowledge to make sure your art is printed vibrant and durable.

The Foundry Offers DTG Printing to Service Low Quantity Orders

Direct to Garment Printing also known as digital textile printing is basically a jet printer that prints on fabric. It’s ideal for low minimum projects and art that contains a lot of colors because there are no screens involved. DTG is compatible with tee, long sleeves and toddler wear as well as fleece items like hoodies and sweatshirts.

Like all printing systems the prints are only as good as the inks, techniques and equipment used to produce them. In the past DTG was considered a lesser alternative to screen-printing but recent tech innovations have really closed the gap between the two. With today’s DTG printing machines it’s difficult to distinguish a digitally printed garment from a screen-printed one.

This would be a good time to talk about in what scenario we would recommend DTG over screen-printing. While screen-printing is awesome and the most commonly used method of garment embellishment, it has its drawbacks. With screen-printing you have to create the stencils, manually mix the ink colors and register everything together on press. We call this setup and it can be expensive at around $30 per color in your art. It’s also difficult to simulate gradients and photo realistic images with screen printing. In other words screen printing involves a lot of setup work where DTG involves very little with no additional setup costs.

Wow! You’re thinking “what a magical process!”

If DTG is so great why not use it on everything? Well although direct to garment printing takes little setup it’s not nearly as economical as screen printing once it’s running. DTG inks are rather expensive and since the inks have to pass through a print jet head the print application process is rather slow. Just for perspective a DTG print on a dark colored garment can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes per unit where automatic screen printing presses can do the same work in seconds.

This is where you’ll find the divide, it’s time and material costs from start to finish. At low quantities although DTG is more expensive to operate per unit it circumvents the setup costs required for screen printing making it more affordable on lower production runs. Let’s say this; you have an art file that contains 4 colors. To screen print that you’ll need 4 screens @ $30 each = $120 in setups. In this scenario say your shirts printed would cost $12 each using screen printing but you only want to make 15 of them. Divide your setups over 15 units and that’s an additional $8 per print bringing your landed cost to $20 per shirt. Where something like this with DTG would cost around $15 each finished. This puts the break at 24 units when DTG and screen-printing would cost about the same.

Not all Direct To Garment printed shirts are created equal.

If you’re worked with a DTG printer in the past you may have reservations about using direct to garment printing on your projects today. This is probably due to poor quality prints and a poor customer service experience. In the early stages of DTG you would likely only see it in the mall print shop that sells single use shirts and cell phone cases. It’s come a long way since then as it’s evolved into more of an industrial process worthy of our most high profile customers.

Sustainability at lower volumes.

Another notable condition of DTG is the sustainability aspect. Creating and reclaiming the stencils used in screen printing requires a decent amount of water and creates solid waste. Although we use water out filtration systems and recycle what we can of the solids, creating a lot of screens to print a few shirts is not good for the planet.

The technical details.

Our direct to garment printing system can print on 100% cotton and poly blended garments. It’s not compatible with any material that has a waterproof coating or is full synthetic. DTG can print on the front and back of tee shirts but we do not recommend it for sleeve and other unique locations. You can use DTG on fleece garments and we can recommend what styles work best. Like all printing processes the print quality is only as good as the image quality so please submit your art at the size and resolution you want it printed if you can. There’s a great article on print resolution here if you would like to learn more.

We try and inform more than we try and advertise to our customers and you can count on us to make the recommendation that will best suite your project needs. There are going to be scenarios where DTG is just going to outperform screen-printing based on technical elements within your art or vice versa. As a business we strive to maintain a flexible and modern approach to garment decorations and DTG is a great tool on our quiver.

DTG Printing
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Top of the line DTG printing system

DTG Printing

Full Color Printing on Cotton Poly Blends

DTG Printing

Bright White on Black Garments

DTG Printing

DTG on Hoodies

DTG on Fleece Hoodies

DTG on White Tees

DTG on White Tees

Why work with The Foundry over other shops?

  1. Ability: Our 4,000 sqft shop is full of top of the line equipment and experienced operators. With garment printing, embroidery, patches, sewing and printed vinyl all in one place we are the one business relationship for all your private label needs.
  2. Creativity: Our staff is passionate about apparel, art and trends both current and classic. This passion drives a know-how in our design and application approach to creating custom apparel. We help take your ideas and put them into a format that is both compatible with and unique to your intentions.
  3. Resourcefulness: We always promote the scenario where quality and affordability meet. There are multiple ways to execute any custom apparel project and you can count on us to plan around the best results for a practical value while maintaining our quality first credo. The Foundry’s extensive in-house resources makes for as little 3rd party vendor involvement as possible.
  4. Accountability: We hold ourselves accountable to the quality of product and customer experience. We encourage our customers to share their thoughts to help us meet our commitments and deliver elevated results. Understanding the customers expectations, meeting them and managing concerns is what makes us Seattle’s one stop shop for quality custom apparel.
  5. Convenience: It is our job to know the process and be able to convey that information to the customer for their assurance. Our invoicing system outlines all of the garment and print information. We provide detailed mockups for every project with live approval and payment links. As well as due date and shipment tracking all from a single invoice view. This makes staying in know about your project easy and streamlined. We can ship to anywhere in the country or you can pick up from our location in South Seattle.

If you are looking to create the best custom garments and a value rich relationship look no further than The Foundry Print Shop Seattle.

Our Service Area Includes: Seattle | Olympia | Spokane | Bellevue | Everett | Bellingham | Tacoma | Vancouver | Whitefish | Portland | Tri-Cities
Dandee Fleming
Dandee Fleming
2021-01-29
I’ve had shirts, hoodies, bags and hats (screens, embroidery and patches) all made at the The Foundry. I love that they are a local Seattle company and that I can drive over and pick up my products right at the shop if I want to. Quick turn around and great prices. I recommend them for all your product needs.
Dune Butler
Dune Butler
2021-01-19
Super great print shop. They were able to steer us in the direction of making a product that would work with the right design. The end results are quality, stitched beanies, one of our finest pieces of merch yet.
john logic
john logic
2021-01-18
Look no further - my business has used shirts and promo items for a couple decades and The Foundry is as professional as they come. It's a relief to know you're dealing with a full staff with modern equipment - 2 auto-presses and sophisticated embroidery machines. The Crash Course on their website is an invaluable tool to prep you for what to expect; scroll down and check it out, it will save everyone time and money. Keep it up!
Jordan Bradley
Jordan Bradley
2020-12-29
Worked with Clint and The Foundry a couple times now for special order projects. They're always responsive, very quick to get projects and mock ups made, and do awesome work. Will definitely be using them again for any embroidery needs we have!
Sara McCabe
Sara McCabe
2020-12-29
We have worked with the Foundry on several different headware options for our brewery. The owners are very responsive, super knowledgeable about the products and can help with finding the best product for your needs. The quality of embroidering and stitching is on point. We are always happy to support this local business!