Direct To Garment Vs Screen Printing

With t-shirt printing advancing in technology and others coming up with new styles of printing it is hard to find which one will suit you. There are quite a few options out there, but the two most popular are direct-to-garment (also known as DTG) and screen printing. Choosing the right one for your online business can be the first building block that leads to satisfied customers, saving costs, and being able to scale your business as it grows.

What is DTG or Direct to Garment Printing? 

Unlike other printing options, DTG requires a special inkjet printer. However, most of the time, the setup cost after that is fairly small. These printers usually work in the same fashion as they would if you were using your home printer, except instead of feeding it a sheet of paper, you give it clothing. Once the garment is fed through the machine, a clear image or design seems to magically appear. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages? 

  • With the simple process, same day printing a delivery is most likely an option. 
  • This is a great option for those who have small orders and want the latest cutting edge technological advances. (Especially if you are a tech person!)
  • This scale of printing is not cost effective for large volumes of clothing 
  • There are limited options of placement for your design. 
  • Start-up cost for a printer may be expensive. The average printer cost for a direct to garment inkjet printer is usually around fifteen hundred dollars. 

What is Screen Printing? 

A stencil is placed atop a mesh screen with the fabric underneath. Once everything is completely flat, ink is then added to the top of the mesh screen. A rubber squeegee is then dragged down, this lets the ink get in the right places. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages? 

  • This is perfectly suited for single or double color designs.
  • It creates a richness in the saturated colors. 
  • Saves costs as the production team grows.
  • At times this can be labor intensive 
  • Not generally recommended for Photography or design with a lot of color gradients.
  • Can create a lot of waste in ink supplies. 

Before deciding between these two options and seeing how they work for your business, be sure to research as much as you can! Let us know on social media which one you chose! 


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