5 Things You Create On Your Direct-To-Garment Printer

Focusing on direct to garment (DTG) printing can be the beginning of a successful business venture! With this technology, you can now print quality images and graphics onto garments and have the ability to customize designs, fonts, and more. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re now able to create the highest print quality for the lowest cost per print. If you’re looking into starting up a business or upgrading your current one, DTG printing is the ideal choice. Let’s deep dive into some options you can create on your DTG machine today!

Custom Made, Personalized Apparel on Demand

A highly competitive market that’s constantly growing due to high demands is custom-made apparel. With the ability to print-on-demand small production volumes cost-effectively while quickly following market trends, you’re able to create your brand easily. These items don’t need to stop at custom t-shirts but polo’s, socks, aprons, tapestries, and more. There is a wide range of options for what you can create.

Memory Quilts

Are you thinking about creating or expanding your quilting business? An exciting venture is creating your unique fabric pieces for memory quilting. With the RICOH Ri 100 software, you can import photos of loved ones, graphics of their interests, and more to create a unique, personalized quilt.  In addition, you can provide fabric printing services to other quilters that want to create their very own memory quilt or are looking to make a quilt with their fabric design. DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam.

Fashion Textile Printing

DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam. With access to these unlimited colors, designers can make their fashion trends by creating prints for their projects. This can be a great niche to enter if you enjoy clothing construction and add more personalization to your projects. In addition, you can create on-demand accessories that users will love by printing limited edition fabric and using these on your projects. Some additions you can focus on are tote bags, socks, beach bags, and more!

Home Décor

We all enjoy decorating our home, and a fun way to do this is using personalized home textile! Using your DTG printer, you can create pieces like holiday-themed table runners for the dining room, tea towels with funny phrases for the kitchen, and monogrammed pillowcases for the bedroom. The possibilities are endless! You can also develop themes that transfer over different products, inviting shoppers to buy sets instead of one product.

Event Products

Marketing products are popular items to personalize and create for other small businesses, sports teams, school events, and more. You can also design pieces for birthdays, weddings, and other events that involve goodies being handed out. Follow your niche’s needs and open your business to personalized projects instead of creating designs or products. You can also offer up your services and attend events for onsite printing. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re able to take a photo and instantly print it onto a garment, creating a fun giveaway item for special events and shows.

Additionally, if you’re attending conventions or sporting events, you can take the RICOH Ri 100 on the go due to its compact nature! It can fit into a space as small as 15.7″ wide x 27.5″ deep, making it one of the smallest DTG printers. In addition, the printer and its finisher can be stacked to maximize functionality without sacrificing space.

With so many possibilities for creative products, the world of DTG is an exciting venture for many to enter. Creating personalized and commissioned pieces is also a perfect option for those who aren’t art savvy but enjoy creating otherwise. If you’re interested in starting your own DTG business, check out our blog here (insert another article here) for tips on how to begin! What would you create on your DTG machine? Let us know down below!

5 Reasons to get the RICOH Ri 100, Direct to Garment Printer

Have you been in the market for a direct-to-garment (DTG) printer? Imagine opening a business where you can create pieces as simple as team t-shirts to make your brand? Then, check out the RICOH Ri 100, perfect for those starting their DTG business and wanting a quick, easy, and reliable start-up machine!

With the DTG business continuing to boom, we’ve noticed how fun and easy it can be to create products on our RICOH’s. From canvas tote bags to intricate wall tapestries, realizing the opportunity for limitless possibilities on what you can create and sell is a great point when choosing to go into DTG.

Compact and Portable 

Starting your business for many means working directly from their homes. RICOH knows this, and that’s why their RICOH Ri 100 was created with small space in mind, making a compact and portable machine while able to handle the job. Find enjoyment in printing then and there, whether you’re taking your machine traveling with you to events or working from a small corner in your apartment. Built at 15.7″ x 27.5″, its small size will save you room for your supplies and products to fit.

High-Quality Images and Products

Using RICOH’s InkJet technology, it’s able to print pieces that are vibrant and colorful. Perfect for any design, whether it’s a picture you directly took or a drawing of it, the vibrancy and details will showcase every time. In addition, your garments will stay comfortable, and all designs are colorfast since they are printed directly onto the fabric.

Easy-to-Operate Software

Not everyone is tech-savvy, and that’s why the RICOH Ri 100 was created with the beginner user in mind. Perfect for those learning the DTG business, the RICOH Design Software lets you import and edit images before printing, with no specialized knowledge or skills required. So whether you’re working from your laptop or smartphone, your art and designs can be printed with ease.

Safe and Effortless Technology

Find comfort in how easy it is to use the RICOH Ri 100. Reaching new heights of easy operability and designed with safety in mind, this machine offers you a fast and fun experience. The intuitive design allows all DTG users, from beginners to advanced users, to preheat, print, and use the Finisher option to fix the design safely. Periodic maintenance is carried out through a simple process, automatic and semiautomatic, and you’re provided resources and more from the RICOH and JUKI sites for customer support.

Low Entry Cost

One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting your business is budgeting and finding the suitable machine within your budget for your needs. As one of the lowest entry cost machines in the DTG industry, the RICOH Ri 100 is perfect for those who are stepping into the industry and don’t want to deep dive into a high investment machine. In addition, you can complete the whole printing process on this machine alone by featuring an all-in-one design with the option to purchase the finishing heater add-on.

Choosing the Right Machine for You

When choosing the suitable machine for you, remember to keep your budget, space, and the volume of products you can plan to create. The RICOH Ri 100 is perfect for those shops who want to bring DTG into their business and enjoy an avenue of products that are quick to make and easy to re-produce. With the ability to change designs from one t-shirt to the next, and the limitless options on what you can design, the RICOH Ri 100 is an excellent machine for a growing business.

Starting Your Direct-To-Garment Business with JUKI & RICOH

Opening a small business is a fun and exciting venture, whether as a hobby to gain extra income or hopes for a new career. There are many reasons to look into starting a direct-to-garment (DTG) business. Maybe you’re someone who has a head full of great ideas, has friends who are always looking for custom t-shirts for their company events, or perhaps you’re someone who loves to design. Regardless of why, today, we’re going to discuss how to start your DTG business from including markets to sell to, tools to start, and how to sell your products.

Who’s Your Niche?

Before jumping into a DTG business, it’s crucial to think about whom you’re going to sell to, as this will set the basis for what you create and where you sell. So first, create a customer profile based on the following criteria: age, gender, lifestyle, location, profession, and occasion. You can also ask yourself what problem is this product solving for this customer? Examples of different customer profiles are listed below.

The Hobbyist

Have you ever found yourself looking for a t-shirt that captures your love for quilting? Nowadays, you can find a t-shirt for almost every interest due to small business artists who focus on creating products for these specific customers. So whether it’s sewists, car enthusiasts, or even cat owners, there’s a t-shirt for that. You can enter this segment by looking at the competitors’ designs and identifying what you can offer that is different. For example, the pet industry is a huge industry dominated by big brands. The competition is currently creating t-shirts with generic pet faces on them. You can differentiate your brand and create a unique segment of personalized, one-off t-shirts with customers’ pet’s faces on them. By targeting the right niche, you can create appealing products that bring revenue. 

Charity and Corporate Events

If you’re someone who’s attended a local charity or corporate event, you’ve probably received a t-shirt with a design related to that event. So whether it’s charity sports events, Christmas parties, or retreats, these events are a perfect niche to enter since there is a high volume of events and product quantity. 

Fashion

If you’re someone who leans towards creating and personalizing clothing, look into your own branded looks. With the ability to print onto canvas totes, sweaters, t-shirts, and more using a direct-to-garment printer, you can create your own branded line using the designs and patterns you’ve designed. There are always people looking to express themselves in unique and fun ways.

What Do You Need To Start?

Once you have your business plan that includes a niche and product line, it’s time to start looking at equipment. These are some basics you’ll need to think about:

  • A DTG Printer like the RICOH Ri 100
  • A Finisher or Heat Press like the RICOH Rh 100
  • Replacement Ink Cartridges 
  • Software and Computer
  • Materials

DTG Printer & Finisher

DTG Printing is a groundbreaking technology that surfaced in the ’90s. Like your home printers, a DTG will directly print onto an array of products like t-shirts, canvas bags, fabrics, and more using inkjet technology. Over the years, the fashion industry has seen a rise in those who want to wear personalized or unique garments. As a result, DTG is a growing industry, which is why it’s an excellent option for someone looking to begin their own small business.

A DTG printer like JUKI’s RICOH Ri 100 is an all-in-one DTG printer that can print images onto light-colored cotton or polyester* garments using state-of-the-art DTG technology with the lowest initial investment. In addition, there are various bundles available that offer the printer and finisher together or individually for your budget. We recommend contacting a local JUKI Business Plus Dealer for recommendations and pricing on bundles. Whether you purchase just the printer or the combo of printer and finisher, the turnaround when printing and heat pressing a t-shirt is about 3 to 10 minutes, creating a fast, low-cost turnaround.

Software & Drivers

There are two software’s you need to know about when starting your DTG business. The software you’re going to use to make the products, and the software you’re going to use to design the products.

For example, the RICOH Ri 100 offers easy-to-operate design software that lets you import and edit images before printing, with no specialized knowledge or skills required. In addition, the software comes with built-in designs and fonts. With the ability to print photos, designs, and more, this is a great option that removes a high learning curve.

In addition to the software that comes included with the printer, other affordable design software is available. For example, Paint.net, Paintshop pro, InkScape, and Gimp, are free or lost cost software that allows you to create art for your projects without breaking the bank. For a step up, look into the Adobe programs Illustrator or Photoshop. While these work on a monthly subscription, they’re both commonly used programs with many free and easy to follow guides you can use when starting.

The Supplies

Your customers will want to get a bang for their buck, so consider this when deciding on fabrics and product choices. Today, affordable, lightweight, heavyweight, 100% cotton, 100% polyester, and blended fabrics and blank products can be found on wholesale sites. Some examples of popular wholesale brands are Hanes and Anvil. When it’s to purchase, buying in large quantities reduces the cost of materials.

In addition, you can expand your business (like the personalized pet t-shirt we mentioned earlier) by introducing other products like pillowcases, tote bags, infant onesies, towels, and more. By branching from the t-shirt business, you can enter new markets and increase revenue.

Where to Sell

Once you’ve finalized your merchandise and have your products ready to go, look into your options for selling. Many options include online shops, in-person events like conventions and farmer’s markets, and brick-and-mortar stores. 

First, let’s discuss online shops. From creating your website to signing up for handmade marketplaces, there are various options. Before you are ready to commit, some platforms allow you to do a limited trial. The trial will enable you to test and research if this is right for your product. If you are comfortable creating a personalized website with a custom URL and have an established audience, we recommend website building and hosting companies like Squarespace and Wix. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution with high traffic volume but sacrificing a bit of branding, we recommend marketplaces like Amazon Handmade and Etsy. Whether you go for your website or an established e-commerce platform, each option requires sellers to pay either for a custom URL, listings, transaction, or payment processing fees.

Are you someone that loves to interact with others? Then, another great option is in-person events! Research local events in your area where you can have a tent or a booth. Are you selling custom cat t-shirts? Attend a local pet convention. Events like your local weekend farmer market or a yearly convention are great places to start. The great thing about JUKI’s RICOH Ri 100 is how portable it is, meaning you can take it with you! The RICOH Ri 100 can fit into a space as small as 15.7″ wide x 27.5″ deep, making it one of the smallest DTG printers. In addition, the printer and its finisher can be stacked to maximize functionality without sacrificing space so that you can create custom pieces on site. 

**Some states or cities will require a business license, so keep this in mind when applying for your stand.

How to Sell

Once you’ve finalized who, what and where it’s time to start thinking about how you will market your products. One of the best ways to get your products and brand out there is by utilizing social media. The best thing about social media is that it is free! Some platforms do offer paid advertisement options for your posts. Below are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Look into creating multiple social media channels for your shop (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, and so on.)
  2. Think of your niche and what platforms they use for marketing on
  3. Define your marketing goals (build brand awareness, generate sales, or engage with customers)
  4. Post content daily when possible
  5. Interact with your followers

Social media is used by millions of people every day, making it a great tool to attract customers. Take advantage and put your brand out there!

Now that you know the basics of where to start, we hope you have a clearer vision of where you want your business to go. Direct to garment is a growing business where creativity and being different is a great thing! So what more do you want to know about the DTG business? Let us know down below!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Adolfo Sanchez

Introducing Adolfo Sanchez, designer, and owner of the Adolfo Sanchez brand. Based in Los Angeles and focused on creating luxury designs, he founded his brand in June 2015. His fashion and style take you on a journey to a world of freedom where women dare to be strong and different. Understanding how saturated the fashion world has become, he shows people that there are still unique options available and his creations are one of them. 

Adolfo’s career started in 2006, where he began to grow his business into a brand that offers custom, ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal, and couture. His gowns are different from those commonly found in the Los Angeles area, focusing on luxury wear. Focusing on the intricacy and hand-beaded designs that need unique craftsmanship when creating his pieces, his gowns are bold and unique, perfect for those wishing to be different.

“I would have never thought that I would have ended up in this industry, but it just feels so right that I know it was meant to be,”

Getting to his current position in the fashion industry by taking risks and learning new techniques, Adolfo is constantly pushing his brand to the next level. By staying true to his passions and fighting for his final vision when creating, he’s able to present pieces he’s proud of. Thankful to his team, including seamstresses, pattern makers, and factory workers, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support he received along the way and his motivation to create awe-inspiring pieces.

“I’m inspired by everything – people, places, music, and there is so much more to do that I sometimes wonder if I have become obsessed with this industry.”

We are so excited to have Adolfo on board. Follow along with our social media as we continue to update you on Adolfo and our other ambassadors! Learn more about Adolfo and our Ambassador team here https://jukiquilting.com/ambassadors today.

Sewing Tips with JUKI!

As new sewists continue to join us, we recognize many are self-taught! Learning on your own is no small feat, but having the right tools can make any project easier. So today, we wanted to share our top 5 tips!

Slow and Steady Wins the Sewing Race

When it comes to creating your projects, it’s best to have a light foot than a lead foot. When you’re starting, we recommend finding a steady speed your hands can keep up. You can test this out by slowly increasing the speed and seeing how the machine feeds the fabric while your hands are moving along. For example, we recommend putting the speed at about 30% and increasing from there with free motion quilting.

It’s Easier with the right Presser Feet!

When you’re creating projects, learn about the presser feet options available with your sewing machine model. Check to see which feet come with your machine or are available in a specialty sewing shop near you. For example, some feet will help you conceal a zipper with ease, give you the perfect edging, and create a rolled hem. You can get familiar with different presser foot applications by reading the instructions provided with the feet or watching videos.

Trust in Patterns

There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project and the result not fitting. However, sewists from different skill levels can find the benefit in using patterns on their projects. First, look for designs that fit your current project at your skill level. Many patterns come with expertise levels marked as beginner, intermediate, and expert. As you get more confident in your work, upgrading pattern levels is a great way to learn how to create a project from scratch and make your pattern one day!

Keep an Eye on those Needles!

Using the wrong needle when working on a project can cause stress! While many sewists recommend having a universal needle on hand, these needles can still struggle on heavy fabric choices like leather and can be too sharp for stretchy fabric material. Make sure to research which needle you need on your project to prevent any mishaps. Click here to view a helpful guide that matches your fabric to the appropriate needle. Also, remember to replace your needle every project or 8 hours of usage. One of the causes of tension issues can be a lousy needle, so it’s best to replace it frequently.

Try New Things

The best piece of advice we have is to get creative! Many sewists have something they don’t like to sew or are scared of trying. Take the time to learn new techniques like attaching buttons, zippers, pockets, and more. However, keep in mind your skill level. One mistake beginners make is choosing a project that someone with experience would say no. It’s best to start small and build your confidence than to go big and go home because of disappointment or frustration. Trying new things can boost your confidence creating the best experience in sewing!

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, these tips are great to keep in mind on your sewing journey. So what advice would you give beginners? Let us know in the comments down below!