learn more about
direct to garment printing.

Direct to garment printing is an effective and reliable method for apparel decoration.

We offer both CMYK-ONLY and CMYK+WHITE
direct to garment printing. Top Banana USA printing owns and operates an Epson F2000 and a Brother GT-541
direct to garment printer for
all of our DTG printing production. These machines are tried and true
in the garment printing industry.

Philadelphia Direct to Garment Tee Shirt Printing Top Banana USA

Direct to garment printing, DTG, is a relatively modern printing method.

Direct to garment printing embeds an image directly onto a garment or textile through
a method comparable to a traditional inkjet printer. This service offers more flexibility than
screen printing in terms of color variation
and turn-around time making it the best
choice for small order quantity or
fulfillment orders.

DTG is the best option for high-detailed apparel decoration.

This is especially true for a design that has a wide array of colors or gradients.

The quality of the image will be sharper and more cost effective than screen printing, especially for shorter runs.

When it comes to DTG printing, there are two processes: CMYK-ONLY and CMYK+WHITE.

CMYK Refers to the water based ink colors

           CYAN       MAGENTA      YELLOW    KEY (BLACK)

CMYK ONLY

CMYK-ONLY is cost effective but can only print on white tees or lighter colored garments. This DTG process does not have white ink or white ink under-base capability, and white in the design is negative or the garment color. The ink for this process is water-based so the end print feels like it is part of garment, giving it a nice, clean fashion finish. The end print for CMYK-ONLY is more muted than a Plastisol screen printing or CMYK+WHITE direct to garment print. Other lighter color garments such as ash, natural, light pink or blue and so on, are more of a "vintage" print. This is a two-step process that does not require pre-treatement.
Once the tee shirt or garment is printed, it is put through the curing process- and that's it!
The ink system is water based and eco friendly. The end print has no hand or, in other words, the print feels like it is part of the garment giving it a nice clean fashion finish.
Therefore, Top Banana caters to fashion and retail clients who love the final end print this process produces. CMYK-ONLY DTG can print on a cotton or cotton blend garment.
While this process does not require ringspun cotton, the higher the quality and stitch count, along with the tighter the weave, the better the print quality will be.

CMYK+WHITE

CMYK+WHITE process is more labor intensive than CMYK-ONLY DTG printing. It is a 5 step process. It requires pre-treatment, heat pressing, a white print pass, a CMYK+WHITE pass,
and then curing. CMYK+WHITE prints will feel similar to the way a Plastisol screen print feels and have some "hand".

Importantly, the reason why there is a difference between the end result of a
CMYK-ONLY and CMYK+WHITE print is due to the colored inks soak deeper into the white garment with
CMYK-ONLY, but on dark garment
the colored inks bond to the top of the white ink layer. The white ink for CMYK+WHITE is more for under-basing purposes.

All white prints on black or dark are not recommended for this process differing from customers seeking to achieve more of a vintage white print look.

The basic artwork requirements for CMYK+WHITE are flattened and high resolution with the background removed.This process requires either vector formatted or high resolution set to 300 dots per inch (DPI) or higher and roughly to scale designs.

We use CMYK+WHITE when:

-We print on black or darker garments

-Your design has white in it and the garment you want to use is not white

-You want your print to pop more like a screen print

You can print on any color garment with this process.
All prints are under based with white, then printed CMYK+WHITE on the second pass.

DTG Ink Solutions Are Engineered For
Cotton & Cotton Blends Only

We are capable of printing with our CMYK-ONLY
process onto polyester fabrics, but the prints, will
not hold up through the wash cycle. 

CMYK+WHITE cannot print on polyester fabrics with our direct to garment printing processes.

Heather pattern cotton/poly garments can be
printed but will result in a vintage effect.

Ringspun cotton is optimal for CMYK+WHITE. 
Moreover, stock or lower quality,
including carded cotton, garments are not recommended with the CMYK+WHITE process. 

A List Of Recommended
Garment Brands

Durability Of Direct To Garment

Tee shirts are like cars, therefore, the better
you treat it, the longer it lasts.

To ensure the life and print of the garment,
there are some simple care instructions to follow:

1. Always, always machine wash cold to keep any
unnecessary friction from rubbing the design and use a gentle cycle
2. Turn the garment inside out when washing
3. Hang dry, if this is not an option, then tumble dry low
4. If ironing is necessary, iron inside out on the lowest setting.
5. Avoid bleach and do not dry clean

Anything printed and washed, over time, will breakdown, no matter what the process. Screen-printed Pastisol ink will crack over time. DTG prints usually fade over time into a nice vintage style. With good care you can maximize the lifespan of your digital printed t-shirt and enjoy it for as long as possible in the best condition possible.

Advantages Of Direct To Garment


Easy setup

Supports intricately detailed prints either in volume or one at a time

Eco friendly water based inks and no emissions or harmful chemicals are used throughout the process

More cost effective than screen printing for smaller batches

Easy to print multiple colors, so full color and full image printing can be done at a much more affordable price and without lengthy and costly setup and design costs normally associated with screen printing

Color Gradient blends are easy to accomplish

Due to the process using inkjet technology- it is much more precise and higher in detail than screen printing

Direct To Garment VS. Screen Printing

custom shirts

DIRECT TO GARMENT

+suitable for fulfillment; small batches

+unlimited color selection; no screen charge

+minimal set up

+extensive color options

+ability to hold particular detail from beginning to end of run

+unlimited number of print colors (with some exceptions)

+no minimum

+turnaround time 3-5 business days

screen print custom shirts

SCREEN PRINTING

+a tad more cost effective for large batches 

+screen charge per color

+lengthy set up process

+can only print simplified images

+high minimum 50-80+ depending on
type of screen printing required

+7-10 business days

The pre-treat process

The pretreat process, which is eco-friendly, may or may not leave a faint box around the print. This goes away after one wash cycle.
Pretreatment is an eco-friendly liquid solution used in the CMYK+WHITE direct to garment printing process that allows the printing and washability of white ink, or full color images on a variety of colored shirts, most commonly black shirts.

The concept is simple.
Similarly, drywall is primed with primer before painting.
The primer creates a protective barrier for the drywall that also ensures
better adhesion for the paint while also increasing the durability.
Likewise if the paint soaks into the drywall without first priming the surface, the paint will be muted and off color.

The same is true with pretreating any DTG shirt.
The pretreatment acts just like the primer in the drywall example.
It allows the white ink printed through the DTG printer
to adhere to and siton top of the shirt.

If we allow the white ink to soak into the shirt, it will not be white- it will be be grey,
muted and give us a rough surface for the CMYK inks to print on,
resulting in an imperfect, unsellable shirt.

Pretreatment also reacts with the white ink.
This reaction is similar to when a screen printer uses a "flash" unit
to semi-cure the Plastisol ink, which allows the next colors printed on
top to stay put and not smear (a result of printing wet-on-wet).
The pretreatment "flashes" the white ink causing it to change properties
and become more or less a semi-solid surface so when you print CMYK
on top of the white ink, it does not mix and look muddled.

Pretreatment is the cornerstone of direct to garment printing.

Custom Tee Shirt, Sweatshirt & Hoodies

custom shirts

T-SHIRTS

Printing with a direct to garment printer is an easy process with a fast turnaround time that come out looking high-quality and long lasting.

Shirts printed via DTG are great for parties and other events that do not meet the higher minimums for our screen printing services.

Here are a few ways printing custom t-shirts 

works great with direct to garment:

+Bachelor or bachelorette parties with
different text and images

+Tees for events with different designs
or text on each shirt

+Practical jokes or gag gifts for your family or friends

+Last minute shirts for sport games or events

custom shirts

SWEATSHIRTS & HOODIES

We are able to print custom sweatshirts and hoodies with our CMYK-ONLY direct to garment printer. 

Due to the nature of the pretreatment process, we currently do not offer CMYK+WHITE DTG printing on any fleece garments.

Top Banana USA has sleeve pallets and other specialty equipment for printing on sleeves, pockets and other locations of the garments.

WHOLESALE CUSTOM SHIRT PRINTING

While we offer low minimums for DTG orders, wholesale shirt
printing orders are easily accommodated as well.

We can print anywhere from 6-60,000 shirts and beyond if that is what your job requires.

Do you have a clothing line that needs fulfillment?
A business that needs bulk t shirt printing?
A sport's team that needs shirts for different games or seasons?

Top Banana can fulfill your custom shirt needs and have your bulk t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts ready for you in advance, when you need them.

Shipping is also available if you need them on the go.

Garments can be printed and shipped to meet you
wherever you need them anywhere in the world.

3-5 business day
turnaround

No minimum order quantity

Rush services
offered

Philadelphia's Custom Garment Printing

Please use our custom design online option located at the top of this page, the program is user friendly.

 If you have inquiries about large quantity direct to garment orders or if you are interested in exploring
other printing services, please contact us via our email listed below. 

Please provide your order quantity, design and design specifications in your email so that we can help better assist you.

Working hours

Monday-Friday: 12:00-5:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED

We are here

1308 Tasker Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: (267) 639-8296
Email: info@topbananausa.com

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