There are 2 possibilities of how a design might be printed using the direct-to-garment (DTG) printing method:
Dark/black garments — a layer of white under base will be applied before applying the color layer, to achieve a more vibrant color outcome.
Light/white garments — only the color layer will be applied.
Due to this, using gradients is not recommended when printing on dark garments. The white under base layer will be somewhat visible in the print outcome:
What are the alternative design options?
The solution to using transparent gradient designs on colored DTG products is to use halftone gradients, consisting of individual opaque dots.
By using the halftone technique, you’ll be able to create an optical illusion of a gradient or fade without having to use any transparent elements in the design file.
Here’s a comparison of a halftone gradient (on the left) and a transparent gradient: