Suppose you have been thinking about starting a clothing business, more specifically, a cloth printing business that makes the use of the best of DTG Printers. In that case, we understand how challenging the many options around you can be and why you may need some help. In this article, we’ll offer you advice and recommendation on How To Start A Clothing Business with DTG Printer with a comprehensive guide on how to get started and run the business successfully.
We’ll also share some insights on everything you should know about the business, mistakes to avoid, and how to avoid these mistakes.
So, let’s get right into it!
How I Started Clothing Business with DTG Printer and What I Wish I Knew?
To get started in the clothing business, there are fundamentals that you must take into account when getting started. These include:
1. Understanding exactly what this business is all about
DTG Printing or Direct to Garment Printing can be defined as a digital technique in printing. While there are declines in the older and the traditional printing methods, Direct to Garment Printing represents the new printing process done on the textile materials through an automatic printing process that is done with the help of a specialized printer.
This printing technique is an upgraded model of the digital printer used for printing paper. But unlike the paper printer, the DTG used the specialized aqueous inkjet technology to print on the textile materials. This printing technology features the use of textile inks with water-based chemistry.
This technique was invented by an inventor known as Matthew Rhome, who worked at the DIS in Florida. The first of these digital printers was regarded as a Revolution, and it was in use commercially in 1966. The printer’s service and effectiveness offer a straightforward and instant printing process that is just like the paper printing process.
2. Buying Blank T-shirts
This is the other challenging but also a crucial part of the Embroidery Business. Choosing suitable blank T-shirts is vital because it determines the quality of the T-shirts you will print and eventually sell and the quality of the t-shirts. We can all agree that we all need the best quality T-shirts for the DTG business to ensure that you get your money’s worth and are happy with the production quality of your work. If you choose to work with a supplier, ensure that they offer the best quality t-shirts and overall customer services for the best performance.
The good news is that numerous authentic websites sell high-quality plain t-shirts that you can buy. These t-shirts are all super-cheap, and you will find options from about $1.50 to as high as $8; of course, depending on the T-shirt quality, you won’t need any license to make bulk orders from the sites.
The pricing differences for the blank t-shirts will guide you where to buy the t-shirts. So, if you are planning to sell the t-shirts on eBay, for example, the $1.50 t-shirts would be a good start for you. But if you are going for high-quality t-shirts for your brand, then it’s more ideal for you to select the pricier blank t-shirts like the American Apparel 2001 T-shirts; these are ideal for your high-street fashion line. Please don’t buy the cheaper American Apparel 2001W t-shirts because their quality is questionable.
The colors of the t-shirts also affect how much you will spend, with the white t-shirts often being the cheapest variety on the market and the colored or black ones being pricier.
3. T-shirt Styles
It would be best if you also considered the style of the t-shirts because your options will feature the regular or the high-fashion plain t-shirts. Frequently, the regular t-shirts have more of a loose fit and long sleeves, while the fashion t-shirts have shorter sleeves and more of a European fit.
The regular t-shirts are often made of regular cotton with a cardboard-like feel. In contrast, the high-end fashion shirts are made of ringspun cotton, which is the kind of cotton that is made through the twisting and the thinning of the cotton strands in the fabric, resulting in a very fine, strong and durable, and also soft cotton feel thanks to the soft ropes of the cotton fibers. Ringspun cotton t-shirts will also last much longer than the standard shirts made of cotton, which translates to a higher price tag.
4. Making the t-shirts
DTG Printing – Getting the Printer
If this is the t-shirt printing technique that you are investing in, you will be happy to know that it is one of the more accessible techniques that will save you time and also money in the end. The best of these printers include the industry-standard $13,995+ Epson SureColor F2100 Printer. If this price tag is too high for you, you could always look for financing options offered by the brand or get it on a lease for a monthly rate of about $300, which we highly recommend.
SureColor F2100 works just like the paper printer, with the t-shirt placed on the press/ flat printing surface, then the printer prints on the shirt, as it would on paper (for paper printers). The DTG printers are ideal for the one-off prints of t-shirts or t-shirts with prints. However, these printers are somewhat pricey, but you have the financing options offered, such as leasing.
The best part about the DTG printers is that they are quite effective, so they are the preferred t-shirt printing solution for most people. The print quality from the DTG printers is top-notch, and you will be so relieved to learn that the prints will not wash out or fade out.
The DTG printer also works exceptionally well with black and other color t-shirts. Because this printer also prints in white, it is the perfect printing option for the black and colored t-shirts – all you need to remember is to print the white prints first, then the colored prints. Printing each t-shirt costs about $2.
Pre-printing treatment – before you start printing your t-shirts, especially the colorful prints on the black t-shirts, you will need to treat the t-shirt first. The pre-treatment is vital because it acts as an under-base that will make the ink from the printer long-lasting and much more vibrant. In the absence of the pre-treatment, the DTG prints would be duller and much more faded, and in other cases, the prints will not adhere to the garments at all. So, it is a primary process in the DTG process.
Heat-press – after printing, the final step is to heat-press the t-shirt. For this, you must invest in a high-quality print press boasting automated or fully digital temperature controls, as well as a digital timer and multiple programmable pre-sets.
The other essential things that you need to take into consideration are as follows:
- Narrow down your list – this is essentially the list of the designs you would like to create. Is the target design for the t-shirts ideal for infants, children, adults, or pet clothing? With the narrow range of t-shirt designs that you will be printing on, it will be easier for you to choose the printer and also the overall costs of printing/ production.
- Research – while you don’t need licenses to buy t-shirts online in bulk, you’d have to research the permits and the licenses and the rest of the paperwork that you will need to file and get started in the business. You’d also need the start-up costs, looking at the options available on the market, and how you can fill the gap in the market. There is always an opportunity for you, and you’d want to make sure that you are on the right side of the law where the business requirements are concerned.
- Invest in effective design options – You need to make your print designs unique and straightforward to save on the design and start-up costs. There are many design programs that you could choose, like Adobe Photoshop or even Gimp, and these ensure the best professional and cost-effective designs.
Bear in mind that the DTG printers use the raster designs for the files to ensure proper printing, and programs like Photoshop are the ideal ones for the designs.
How Much Does it Cost To Operate a Clothing Business with DTG Printer?
The DTG printing clothing business can be quite pricey. These prices vary, but in general, the prices include the cost of the printer, which is the highest cost, and the main downside or why most people are only dreaming of the business and have not yet started on it all.
The general pricing formula for the DTG printing process will cover the following costs: the cost of the labor, ink costs, and the cost of the pre-treatment over the printed area, and the cost of the garment.
Generally, a large DTG print that boasts at least seven colors will easily cost $8 only in ink and pre-treatment. So, to determine the overall cost of the DTG printing business, you need to think about the pre-treatment costs, the ink cost, and the size of the image to be printed. The good news is that these quantities are often known and can be pre-determined, making the DTG prints much easier than the pricing of prints made using other methods such as screen prints.
If you are buying the DTG printer, the minimum amount you will spend on the printer will range from about $20,000 to $30,000. This cost will cover the printer and the professional setup of the printer. But if you are thinking of getting the higher-end printer models that come with the comprehensive warranty and the maintenance package, it will cost at least $250,000.
For the low-range DTG printers, you will spend at least $10,000 and a maximum of $30,000. So, with these very high initial investment costs, you’d want to think about the purchase business and get advice from the experts before you spend your money. This means that the DTG printing business is not an on-demand printing process or business.
The other costs include:
- The cost of the pre-treatment machine ranges from $3,000 to $4,000.
- The cost of the heat Press ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
- There is also the cost of the DTG ink – each cartridge costs about $200 for the CMYK DTG printer that features 2 of the white inks, and you may need up to $1200 for the ink at any time.
- The DTG printer costs less for the smaller orders of less than 24 items, but this printer would be more expensive with larger items.
How Profitable is a DTG Printing Business?
The DTG printing business can be one of the most profitable businesses you run, especially if you have unique designs that perfectly match your audience’s needs. Depending on the quality and the uniqueness of the t-shirts, you can sell them for between $20 and $25 on average.
On average, the production cost is between $1 and $3 for light and dark-colored t-shirts, respectively. With this in mind, you can enjoy significant margins from the business. And thanks to the high production costs and fast-speed printing, the efficient DTG printing business can be quite profitable.
What is the Best DTG printer for small businesses?
1. Freejet 330TX Plus ($8,199.00)
Priced affordably from as low as $400 monthly, the FreeJet 330TX Plus DTG is one feature-packed t-shirt printing powerhouse that boasts a high level of performance. It is a super-fast printer with zero rip time.
It also delivers the best-quality prints, prints more t-shirts and other product ranges with just the Gamut Plus Inks, ensuring low production costs for bulk printers. Its Wetcap system also works well to prevent head clogging, while the automatic laser height adjustments enhance its efficiency. You also like the reimagined Workflow that improves its performance. You may also like the removable platens that allow for the use of the printer with not just t-shirts but also hoodies and hats, among other types of clothing.
2. Roland Versastudio BN-20 ($4,255.00)
To enjoy the best of contour cutting and printing and offer the best of metallic ink prints and overall low printing costs, you may like the Roland Versastudio BN-20. This desktop inkjet cutter or printer is affordable and a high-performance DTG printer ideal for your business.
This high-speed printer ensures an increased print speed, as well as the efficiency of your business. Thanks to its efficiency, this DTG printer is regarded as the best option for creative people looking for versatile design options to go on clothing. All you need is a great t-shirt design to get started, and the printer will bring all your creative designs to life.
Its print quality reaches a maximum of 1440dpi, and you also get to automatically contour-cut the prints with ease. The state-of-art operation for cutting ensures the smoothest and the most consistent result, and you may also like the super-crisp cutting results that support rolls to a maximum of 20 inches, weighing 13lbs. It also allows for heat-transfer graphics on clothing and apparel and the decals and the die-cast labels and sticker batches.
Its main distinguishing features include the compatibility with the true Rich Color Presets, specifically in the VersaWorks 6, allowing you to quickly widen the color gamut and achieve bolder and much more targeted color effects/ results. There’s also the simplified media feed system that automatically aligns the roll for ease of printing through proper placement and tracking. And you can use it to cut, print, and laminate the graphics while also realigning and quickly compensating the prints for distortion and skew.
Thanks to the printer’s performance, it is a maximum efficiency printer that will improve your profitability and lower the cost of electricity. Production management is also easy, and you may also like its streamlined installation process that ensures fast setup.
3. Brother GTX PRO ($14,500.00)
Brother’s new RTXPrio is another flexible and efficient printer that is the ideal option for use by just about anyone getting into the business.
This DTG printer has a new industrial printhead, which is white and designed for maximum internal ink circulation, reducing the volume of white ink you will need for cleaning. The impressive high-speed print mode also increases its efficiency by about 10%. Its parts are also optimized for easy maintenance, increasing your productivity, and ensuring that it spends less time.
It is also eco-friendly, and the additional height sensor ensures better control of the prints and the print platen, preventing ink mist and increasing its efficiency. You may also like its compact design that works for all clothing and even shoes.
4. RICOH Ri 1000 ($13,000.00)
This DTG printer is the only walk-up-ready DTG printer in the entire industry. It is feature-packed for top performance with a heat press, finish release paper, cleaning liquid, the Image Armor Light & Ultra Pre-treatment, ColorGATE RIP Software, two pre-treated shirts, two cartridge sets (CMYK), and also 4 of the white ink cartridges.
It allows for ultra-fast printing, and the built-in interactive guide for operations will enhance its effectiveness and performance. It’s also built for quality, durability, and reliable printing performance. The quick-change for the platens is also impressive and enhances its versatility.
5. Epson SureColor F2100 ($12,995.00)
This is the other high-performance and very reliable DTG printer you may want to invest in for your DTG printing business. It boasts advanced, high-performance features, and its printing speed is twice as first as that of the previous generation DTG printers. Its quick-load platen and the integrated robust design software increase its performance, while the integrated self-cleaning system decreases downtime.
If you plan to Start A Clothing Business with DTG Printer, this article would be the best guide for you.