Learn About T Shirt Printing

Digital Garment Print

T Shirt Printing Machine Glossary
Direct to Garment Printer Terms


T Shirt Printing Machine – a machine that prints directly onto t-shirts or other garments. Usually an ink jet printer specifically designed to print custom t shirts.

m2-machineDirect to Garment Printer – see T Shirt Printing Machine

DTG Printer – “DTG” is a brand of t shirt printing machine, or direct to garment printer, distributed by ColDesi, Inc. throughout North America. The DTG Printer line consists of the Viper, M2 and M4 t shirt printing machines.

genuine-dtg-ink-groupGarment Printer Ink – refers to any ink that is used in direct to garment printing. Garment Printer Ink comes in several different viscosities made for specific print technologies, so not all garment printer inks work in all t shirt printing machines. Following manufacturer recommendations is imperative.

DTG Ink – DTG stands for Direct to Garment, so DTG inks are garment printer inks.

Genuine DTG Ink – Genuine DTG Ink is a brand of garment printer ink sold by Colman and Company. It is the only ink approved by the manufacturer of DTG brand of t shirt printing machines.

Dupont Ink – Dupont is a popular garment printer and t shirt printing machine ink manufacturer. They do not sell direct to the public, but provide their inks through various distribution channels. Dupont ink is available in several different viscosities for different types of garment printers.

Pre-Treatment – is a “primer” for direct to garment printers. When printing on dark t-shirts or textiles with white ink for example, a layer of “pre-treatment” must be applied to the garment in order for the ink to adhere properly. Pretreatment is also need to print on non-textiles like wood, ceramics, etc. Pretreatment can be applied with a manual sprayer or using a specialized machine.

Post Treatment – a sealer or finishing agent used in some direct to garment printing processes such as printing on leather goods.

Pre-Treatment Machine or Pretreat Machine – a device used to apply pretreatments. Usually this involves a garment being put onto a platen, then run through a chamber with a spraying mechanism above. Pre-Treat machines create a more uniform application than had sprayers and contain the spray itself so it can be used in enclosed environments.

dtg_platen_smTucLoc Platen – a TucLoc platen is a brand used by ColDesi with their DTG brand t shirt printing machines. These platens are made by Livingston systems and have a unique rubber ring that holds garments tightly in place for printing.

Blank – a blank is a plain t shirt or other garment used for printing or application of embroidery designs, rhinestone designs or spangle transfers.

Teflon Sheet – this sheet of Teflon material is used as a finishing tool for DTG.

Parchment Paper – Typically used for food preparation, parchment paper can be used for a finishing tool for direct to garment printing.

dtg_foil_image_smFoil – an ultra thin roll of metallic material that is used to enhance direct to garment printed and screen printed designs.


viper_wimsWIMS White Ink Management System – White ink for garment printers will separate and/or coagulate over time if left undisturbed. The WIMS system is used by ColDesi’s DTG brand printers in order to constantly circulate and agitate the white ink.


dk20clsd-trnHeat Press – a heat press is a device that operates like a commercial iron. It’s made so you can put a garment down on the bottom “platen” and press it. This is used to cure pretreated shirts before printing and to dry and cure printed garments after printing. There are a variety of sizes and configurations available.


RIP Software – RIP stands for Raster Image Processor. RIP software acts as an interpreter between a graphics application and a garment printer, allowing you to make fine adjustments to images so they look good on a t-shirt and not just a computer screen. The RIP software that comes with DTG Printers includes job management software that will save you time in a production environment.

printheadPrint Head – that part of a garment printer that actually applies the ink to the garment.


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