What is DTG (Direct-To-Garment) Printing?
Ardent Patriot Apparel shirts and hoodies are printed using top of the line Kornit DTG printers. Do not confuse DTG printing with those cheap, iron-on style transfers of the past. DTG stands for Direct-to-Garment and refers to a method for textile printing. Unlike other textile printing methods, such as heat transfer or dye sublimation, the DTG printing process uses specialized ink to print directly onto the garment. The fabric fibers soak up the ink and become part of the garment. This technology enables creating garment prints that do not crack, peel, or distort in other ways.
I choose to use primarily BELLA+CANVAS for my short and long sleeve shirt blanks, as well as all hoodies. BELLA+CANVAS has a USA Strong approach to production, and I like that. The only exceptions are sublimation dyed products (all-over-print – more information below), and tank tops. I strive to use as many American-Made blank products as possible.
BELLA+CANVAS shirts are Side-Seamed. What is Side-Seamed, and why should you care? Well, there are two typical types of shirts. Side-Seamed and Tubular. Side-Seamed shirts are sewn down each side from shoulder to hem and give you a much better fit to the body. Side-Seams are necessary to tailor a garment to the subtle nuances of the human body. Tubular shirts are made by slicing a tube of fabric and sewing in the sleeves and neck. They are cheaper to make, and do not fit nearly as well. BELLA+CANVAS shirts fit better on every part of the shirt.
The softness of a shirt has everything to do with the little details that improve the quality of the fabric. BELLA+CANVAS goes through vigorous steps to ensure the highest possible quality cotton they can make. All shirt and hoodie products from Ardent Patriot Apparel Co. are made from 100% Airlume Combed & Ringspun Cotton (except for sublimation dyed products – more information below). These will be among the softest cotton shirts in your closet.
BELLA+CANVAS pre-shrinks all their cotton fabrics using top of the line shrink dryers and steam compressors before they are even cut and sewn. This results in a maximum 5% total shrinkage, because the fabric is shrunk both lengthwise and widthwise. Many typical cheaper manufacturer’s shirts can shrink up to 10%. That is a full shirt size! BELLA+CANVAS shirts will last much longer due to the process taken to preshrink.
In simple terms, it is a method of printing that transfers a design into a material or fabric using ink and heat. First, a design is printed onto special paper. The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.
The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it is for fabric. The heat opens the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the ink cools and returns to a solid form. The result is a permanent, full color image that will not crack, peel, or wash away from the substrate. The process allows the ink to go from a solid to a gas without turning to liquid, a bit like dry ice. The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled by pressure.
After printing, the fabric is then precision-cut into shape, and hand-sewn together to complete the final product. This prevents any ugly print issues where fabric may overlap in certain areas, like around underarms or seams. Prints cover the entire piece, clearly and evenly.
When it comes to blank customizable caps, Flexfit® hats are virtually on top of the headwear game. They are among the best in terms of design, technology and quality while being reasonably priced. These qualities are preferred when choosing a provider for a base product.
I needed hats with flexibility and high quality that can match craftsmanship for me to produce finished products that I can proudly stand behind. On a consumer standpoint, there are also advantages to choosing Flexfit® hats:
In 1994, Flexfit® introduced their patented Flexfit® Technology which completely changed the headwear industry. It defies the conventional mechanics of fitted caps by weaving polyurethane spandex into the sweatband and throughout the crown for added elasticity. This technology introduced the original stretch-fit concept which simplified hat sizing and made hat shopping a lot easier. Buyers now have more confidence in purchasing hats that fit.
Since Flexfit® hats are known for their durability, you cannot go wrong with it as your choice if you prefer hats that can stand regular wear and tear. The Ultrafibre Technology allows for versatility of robust, lightweight, and wind & water-resistant properties. The Permacurv® technology maintains the visor’s proper shape and curve, so you are sure to be always protected from the sun.
Quality, functionality, and style should all go hand in hand. Flexfit® hats can be worn multiple ways. Aside from the traditional way of wearing the cap with the visor facing front, you can also wear it backwards if this is your style. You can even pair a Flexfit® hat with a suit. Though baseball caps are accepted as casual, some can pull off a mixed casual-formal look with a blackout Flexfit® hat.
In addition to Flexfit®, Ardent Patriot Apparel Co. also carries YP Classics.
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