Apparel Print File Requirements
What is Direct-to-garment printing?
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a printing method that uses ink to print directly onto the fabric or item of your choice. The ink goes straight into the fibers of the fabric, so you don’t feel the design or ink when you touch it.
We use DTG to print most of your products on demand because there’s almost no setup time, which means we can print the designs quickly and send them your way as soon as possible.
Guidelines for DTG design printing
Save the file as a PNG
When creating your own file in software like Adobe Photoshop, we suggest using a transparent background and saving your file as a PNG file. JPG files don't support transparent backgrounds, which means your design might be printed with a white background, diminishing the quality of your design.
Choose the right color space
Create your print file in the sRGB color profile, specifically sRGB IEC61966-2.1. This is the format our system reads when it receives your file. Our printers then convert your submitted file into CMYK format. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (or black). Sometimes converting from sRGB to CMYK slightly changes colors, but using the sRGB IEC61966-2.1 will ensure the best possible accuracy.
Use the right DPI
DPI (dots per inch) refers to the number of printed dots within one inch of an image printed by a printer. This is different from pixels per inch, or PPI, which refers to the number of pixels contained within one inch of an image on a computer monitor.
The more dots per printed inch, the higher the print quality (and the more sharpness and detail). Using the correct DPI ensures fast processing and accurate prints, so be sure to check file guidelines when choosing your products. For most products, your print file has to be at least 300 DPI. It’s also best not to exceed 300 DPI.
Keep the DPI high when changing file size
The actual size of your file is its measurement in inches. Let’s say it’s 5 inches by 5 inches with 100 DPI. If you double the size to 10 inches by 10 inches, the DPI is cut in half to 50. Be careful not to decrease DPI when changing the actual size of your design file.
Consider ribbing, seams, and stitching
Flat surfaces are the easiest to print on. If you choose a product like a sweatshirt or hoodie with seams, pockets, and zippers, you should consider these elements during your design process.
Ribbed garments are printed unstretched, which means the ink only sets on top of the ribs. When worn, the print can stretch and reveal these gaps. This is something we suggest considering when preparing your designs.