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Turn your garment decoration business into a one-stop-shop and hold on to your customers

In this month’s DTG Advice column managing director of Amaya Sales UK, PETER WRIGHT, provides tips on how you can expand beyond being a one trick pony.


n recent years the garment decoration business has developed in such a way that customers find it easier to use a one-stop-shop to provide the various forms of personalisation. Until recently a vast amount of garment decorators specialised in one area, such as embroidery, screen printing, transfer or vinyl. Now more and more companies are adding other decoration methods to help build their business, increase their profits and most of all keep their customers. Just imagine if you only produce embroidery and your customer wants DTG printing. He finds a DTG printer that also produces embroidery. The chances are he could switch his embroidery production to this new supplier.

Short learning curve

Direct to garment printing has become very popular in the last few years and is booming at the moment. One reason is that your customers out there like the feel of DTG printing and the fact there is no restriction or extra charge for colours. From your point of view, the learning curve is much shorter than most other forms of decorating such as embroidery and screen printing.

If you are already a screen printer, embroiderer or in the sign, print or trophy business the chances are that you are already creating and/or manipulating artwork on a daily basis. If this is the case, you are a long way towards becoming a good direct to garment printer. Some of the latest printer software even makes the design manipulation very easy or even automatic. So if you have reasonably good artwork and a DTG printer you can easily create excellent quality printed garments in seconds. Add to this the small footprint and relative low cost of equipment (from around £11,000) and you can see why direct to garment printing is the fastest growing segment of the garment decoration industry today. DTG printing, as well as a great money making business, complements all the

other forms of decoration very well. You can increase the selling price of a garment drastically by adding embroidery, vinyl and some manufacturers of printers have now combined screen printing with DTG (this allows the white ink to be printed on the screen printer with very low cost and then the colours printed on the DTG printer).

What to look for

When choosing a direct to garment printer I have outlined a few things you should be looking for: 1) Buy from a supplier that has experienced technicians with a minimum four to five years experience on DTG printers.

2) Look at the experience of the manufacturers and how long they have been producing direct to garment printers.

3) Check out the cost of ink per litre, this is very important on your profitability.

4) Ask what the maximum print size is, ideally 42x60cm should be a minimum. Also ask what other size tables are available i.e. sleeve, childrens, standard and maximum.

5) Check out ink drying times on the heat press.

6) Make sure you have the supplier print you samples and definitely do a wash test of your own.

7) If possible arrange to see a demonstration, take your own designs and see them printed.

8) Check what warranties are available and whether the technicians come to you or if itʼs a return to base one. Look for a printer that will produce the best possible quality print and with excellent washability otherwise you will have constant returns. So my advice would be to ask for sample prints from at least three suppliers, check the quality (especially with a design with small lettering) and then wash test it. Look for excellent value for money, the most expensive is not always the best. Look for a supplier that is capable of training you, not just on the printer but also on production techniques. Ask if the training is carried out at your premises. So adding direct to garment printing is an easy process and should add considerably to your bottom line and help you keep your customers.

For more information call 02392 590281, email or visit June 2015 | 39 |

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