The Direct to Garment Industry (DTG) has been around for close to 20 years, there have been a lot of improvements over the years in regards to ink chemistry, speed, and affordability but the basics concept has remained the same. These circumstances have opened a path for the Print on Demand (POD) field. We got started in the industry in 2009 and have witnessed the evolution of DTG. We’ve witnessed the market share slip away from screen printing. It is no longer the most widely used custom t-shirt method.
The rise in eCommerce activity and advancements in DTG have given Direct to Garment printers the ability to print large orders as well as POD t-shirts and many other items. The DTG process is simply loading an item with a flat surface onto a printer and printing a high quality image/graphic on the surface of the loaded item.
There are many benefits of printing on demand. Store owner’s use this as a way to save money since there is a fixed cost per item regardless of the quantity. The idea is that anyone from their garage or any location can start a web store where no inventory is needed. There is a fast turnaround time since no screens are needed and the typical shirt takes around 5-10 minutes to print. This can also be used for niche products that have a brief sales life.
As with any industry there are disadvantages, however the advantages far exceed the disadvantages. There are times when print on demand can have a low profit margin but it also comes with a low risk since no real overhead cost is needed. The industry has been saturated by hurry come ups which is a term for print shops that cannot be found after a few years or a shop that does not really care about the final look or product quality.
Overall the POD industry is growing and before you select the one that is best for your company or brand, thoroughly research them. Some key policies to look at are: is a free sample offered? how are returns handled? How are mistakes handled? What is the standard turnaround time?
If you are looking to start your own web store we have many resources available. Our blog features articles ranging from different printing methods, to the Direct to Garment process. We also cover various selling platforms in a easy way that lays out the benefits of each site.