DTG Printer Business – Think Outside the Box

Digital Printing, Direct to Garment Printing

Alternative Products you can Print with DTG Printers

The vast majority of our customers that purchase a DTG Printer from ColDesi end up doing just what you would think – printing custom t shirts. Most of our calls are from people that have an idea for a brand, see a need for custom tees or have looked at screen printing and decided to go with a more flexible, current approach to the printing process.

But some customers have other ideas! Just because it’s a “direct to garment” printer and often called a t shirt printing machine doesn’t mean that it will only print on wearable items. Here are just a few ideas that DTG customers have come up with, and in many cases based their entire businesses around:

Printing on Wood with DTG

That’s right; you can print on wood with your DTG M2, M4 or even the Viper. We’ve had customers create signage, novelty gifts, coasters and other items by running a sheet of plywood or the finished product through the printer.

direct to garment printer alternatives

Printing on wood is almost as easy as printing on a t shirt, you just have to keep in mind that it is a bit different – you may or may not need pretreat, some kind of finishing agent and, of course, different woods will impact your design in different ways. But it may be worth the trial and error to get it right!

One company that excels at this is NestingProject. They even create wedding invitation with their printer!

Making Art with DTG

The same images that you create for your t shirt line or brand can look amazing when printed out onto a canvas – just like a painting. You can put a store bought canvas from an art supply store and run it through your DTG Printer just like it was a t-shirt.

Art printing with a DTG M1

Art by Hamid Shahvaran

Just like anything, you’ll have to test and tweak, but the main thing is to just make sure that the canvas size matches your image. Once again, test a few before you offer the service, but it’s a moneymaker! Think about doing:

  • Family photos
  • Nature scenes
  • Vacation pictures

Just show your customers what you can do and they’ll come up with the ideas for you.

Pillows and Softgoods

Just because fabric isn’t shaped like a t-shirt doesn’t mean you can’t print on it! Many people are surprised that you can print on things like pillow cases, draperies, and all kinds of things provided it’s the right kind of fabric.

DTG Pixie Poker

Just take a look through Etsy right now and look at all the pillow case designs that are offered.. you can do the same! All you need is a graphic and the pillow case or fabric and you’re ready to go. Remember all those images you can put on canvas? How about offering the same on a pillow case, car seat cover, placemat.. let your imagination be your guide.

We even have customers that print on nothing but burlap and sell it as artwork or make into pillows!


If you own a DTG Printer or are looking into the custom t shirt business, think outside the box! There are many things you can do with DTG other than t-shirts.

For more inspiration please visit our Gallery page here.



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