Last week I had a conversation with Pablo Forno of Grand Slam Sports of Okotoks, Alberta. I asked for the conversation because I’d heard that Pablo had an interesting perspective on the DTG versus screen printing debate. He had switched all his production from screen printing to direct to garment but a year later switched back a significant portion of his production to screen printing. I was interested to find out why.
Grand Slam Sports prints team uniforms in addition to regular, multi-colour prints on tees and sweats. The DTG printer is an Epson F2100 and the screen-printing press is a 4-colour, 4-station. Printing exclusively on the DTG printer wasn’t working for Pablo mainly because the garments have to be pre-treated and then racked to dry overnight. In addition to that, Pablo found that he had to heat press the garments to ensure that they were properly dry and ready for the printing.
For team uniforms that are usually polyester requiring only one or two-colour prints, he has found that it’s much quicker and more cost effective to screen print. But, the DTG printer is still used for short, multiple-colour runs.
So, if you’re considering a DTG printer you’d be well advised to consider it, not as a replacement for your screen-printing press, but rather as supplemental. And, of course, you need to have a very clear understanding of the financial impact and the cost-benefit aspect of the production balancing act you’re considering
Credit: Pablo Forno at www.grandslamcanada.com