Digital equipment probably won't replace screen printing in the garment industry, but the time may come when adding a direct-to-garment inkjet to your shop makes sense. Ukena explains how to determine when you might benefit the most from direct-to-garment inkjet technology.
By Mike Ukena
As a person dedicated to the screen-printing industry and textile printing in particular, I have watched the development of digital printers closely. When I made the crossover from shop owner to the supply side, I found that I had a lot more time to study, experiment, and generally look at what was available to printers. I was amazed by how much I had missed along the way. Sure, I had caught the major technology issues, like retensionable screen frames, a new generation of automatic presses, and the newest white inks. But I really missed the more subtle changes and ideas that could have possibly helped my business and made me more effective.
As a small example, I owned a shop that could have benefited greatly from a systematic approach to four-color-process printing. I didn't have enough time to give it any thought. As a result, we always struggled with process printing, and it always took more time than it should have. When I got to the supply side, I had the time to delve into the complexities of the subject and was able to really fine tune the procedures and techniques to make process printing fun
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