EducationQ&A

Can I print items other than shirts with a direct-to-garment printer?

Yes! Although most direct-to-garment (D2) shop owners will start and end the day printing high-profit T-shirt orders, many others in the industry are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with D2. It is important to first remember that all D2 printers are flatbed inkjet printers. The key to a great printed image depends on getting the print head close to your substrate. A general rule of thumb is if you can get it flat, you can print on it.  Sweatshirts, tote bags, towels, decorative linen napkins, socks, pants, shorts, shoes, and beanie caps to name a few. Many D2 printer providers also offer additional platens to accommodate other substrates.

I have seen great D2 examples printed on non-textile products as well, such as wood plaques, metal, glass, stretched canvas, can koozies, golf balls, and decorative tiles. In most of these examples, you need to treat the material with an inkjet receptive coating first, which is usually supplied by your D2 provider. Then, after the ink air-dries you can protect the finished image with a clear coat or lacquer.

Your customers will love the expanded, unique product offering, and you’ll enjoy the high-profit margins.

Shawn Stender

Shawn Stender is a direct-to-garment industry expert with over 10 years of experience in consulting business owners of all sizes on D2 technology.  Stender is currently the enterprise accounts manager for AnaJet Inc, a Ricoh company.  Before starting his career in the D2 industry with AnaJet in 2008, he worked in Silicon Valley with startup company Tinyprints, which is now owned by Shutterfly.  Stender's early exposure to the print industry includes positions within FASTSIGNS, FedEx Office, and several small family-owned print businesses.  He has a degree in marketing and graphic communication and is a veteran of the United States Army.   For more information on AnaJet, visit www.anajet.com. 

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