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Determining Costs of DTG

How to figure out costs for your direct-to-garment printing

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Ink costs vary from machine to machine, but a broad average for a 10″ X 12″ image on a light shirt (no white ink) is about $.50. A dark shirt is about $2.00. Pretreating costs approximately $.20-$.25. As with ink costs, production times vary as well, but generally, that same 10″ X 12″ image is about 90 seconds on a light shirt and three minutes on a dark shirt. Compared with a decoration method such as screen printing, the ink costs and production times are high. But factoring in the ability to print one garment with a photographic image offsets this difference when decorating short runs.

The growth of online companies offering one full-color garment has changed the face of the market. Today’s customer demands a quick turn and low minimum. At the same time, these large online companies have made the customer aware and comfortable with a higher price per garment as well. Most operators charge approximately $20.00 per piece for a single or small number of garments. A second side print commonly requires a minimum additional $5.00.

Terry Combs Equipment Zone

Terry Combs

Equipment Zone

Terry Combs is a 40+ year veteran of the garment printing industry and has managed production shops large and small across the United States. He has written hundreds of management and technical articles for garment printing publications and spoken at industry events worldwide. He is currently in sales and training with Equipment Zone.

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