For most garment decorating (screen printing, transfers, etc.), the actual choice in garments has little impact upon the finished product. In other words, most any garment you buy will decorate basically the same. The opposite is true of direct-to-garment printing. Garment selection, both brand and construction, is a critical step in producing an ideal finished product.
What comes as a surprise to many current decorators who add direct-to-garment to their offerings, is that some of the popular and common brands they’re already using may not be ideal for DTG printing. But with the growth of this form of decoration, more and more manufacturers are creating garments specifically for DTG printing.
Your first choice for a superior print will be ring spun combed cotton. Physically, the garment needs to have a tight weave and a smooth surface. A smooth surface will give you the opportunity to produce the very fine detail attainable through the direct-to-garment process.
Blended fabrics can be printed, but the higher cotton content the better your finished print result. In sweatshirts, a 90% cotton/10% polyester, or an 80/20 blend will print perfectly fine with a bright, crisp image. The closer you get to a 50/50 blend, the more you will lose brightness and wash-ability of the printed image.
Selecting the right garment in direct-to-garment printing is a more exacting science than any other type of decorating process. Buy a variety of sample garments, and test, test, test until you find the ideal products for your shop.