Direct to Garment or Screen Printing?
Which is better, Direct garment printing (DTG) or screen printing? Read on to find out which method is best for your needs. While DTG is the preferred method for smaller businesses, screen printing is better for enterprise-level businesses and mass production. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods. Choosing the best method depends on your budget and business model. To make the decision easier, we've compiled some tips below.
Direct to garment printing costs more than screen printing but is a better option for small runs. The setup fees for screen printing are high, and a smaller order could be too expensive. But as technology advances, so do the production costs. For instance, screen printing requires hefty setup fees and may be a better option for designs that are not complicated. If your order is for less than 100 items, DTG is a better choice.
DTG, or direct to garment, printing uses sublimation to print graphics directly on fabric. A particular type of ink is used in a digital printing system that bonds with the fabric's fibers. The dyes create vibrant colors with great detail. DTG printing is spot printing since you only need to print a specific design part. DTG printing is also cheaper than screen printing.
If you're planning to order many clothing items for a specific occasion, you may wish to consider DTG over screen printing. The cost of direct-to-garment printing can vary widely. Direct-to-garment printing is generally more expensive, but the quality is much better. Direct-to-garment printing can be used for various apparel applications, such as t-shirts, hoodies, and bags.
One method of direct-to-garment printing is four-color printing. This method uses four different ink colors to produce a print that represents all the colors of a digital image. Four-color printing is the most expensive but is also the most accurate method. With four-color printing, you get every color in your digital design, minus any errors. This process is accurate but requires high minimums and lengthy turnaround times.
Screen printing is more expensive than DTG because it requires more setup. Typically, shops doing a lot of printing use daisy-chain machines, allowing them to print multiple designs simultaneously. This raises the overall capacity to print larger orders. Amazon, for example, recently attempted to do this with its "Kornit" technology. But the process is still far more time-consuming and expensive. Screen printing is a great way to print, but DTG is a better option for complex and detailed designs. Screen printing
There are several reasons why screen printing is costlier than DTG. DTG printing is ideal for multi-color printing. Unlike screen printing, which uses multiple screens to produce the final print, DTG allows for highly detailed designs and gradients of saturation. Additionally, DTG is a more sustainable fashion business model than screen printing. Since the garments are printed one-off, businesses can avoid unnecessary textile waste and overproduction. According to statistics, 92 million tons of textiles are wasted annually in the fashion industry. In contrast, with screen printing, multiple screens are required for multi-color prints.
One of the advantages of screen printing is that it works with a wide variety of fabrics and can accommodate specialty items that DTG is not suited for. Although screen printing requires skilled labor, it produces high-quality prints. Additionally, screen printing is more cost-effective, especially if you have many designs. Compared to DTG, screen printing is faster and less expensive for larger orders. In addition, it can be more convenient if you plan on producing a large volume of custom garments.
The biggest drawback of screen printing is that it requires a high initial investment. In addition to the upfront cost, screen printing requires stencils for every color layer. The downside is that you can only order one design per batch, limiting your design options. This is especially important for high-end orders. However, screen printing is still worth the extra expense. This process is more affordable than DTG, but it will take longer to produce the same quality.
Because of its high setup costs, screen printing is more affordable if you order many t-shirts. However, it is not cost-effective if you order one-off shirts. Its setup time can be lengthy, increasing your shirt cost. A cheaper alternative to DTG is plastisol transfers. If you plan on printing multiple shirts in a short time, screen printing may be the better option.
Both techniques produce high-quality prints, but DTG is better for small-scale runs and custom designs. With DTG, there are fewer steps involved and less upfront investment. In addition, the DTG is more versatile, which means it can print on different textiles and garment styles. Unlike screen printing, DTG printing is easier to distinguish between light and dark colors on dark garments. So, in conclusion, screen printing is better for small runs.
DTG printing is faster than screen printing. It can print smaller batches at low volumes. It also has lower labor costs. DTG printing is the best choice for small-scale businesses with limited budgets. However, DTG printing has a higher bar of entry for printing companies. Buying a decent DTG printer may cost anywhere from $15,000 to 800,000.
There are several reasons to consider sublimation over the screen and DTG printing, including cost, quality, and materials. Sublimation is an excellent option for polyester-based apparel due to its light hand, excellent wash ability, and durability. It also requires more expensive equipment than the screen or DTG printing. Here is a look at each type of printing and its advantages and disadvantages. The costs associated with each type of printing will depend on the materials you choose.
Screen and DTG printers are the most popular printing methods. Both technologies have advantages, but screen printing is more expensive than small-run printing. Screen printing is also faster and easier to use, while DTG is more expensive because it needs a heat press. Screen printing is the best option for high-volume orders, like apparel for sporting events and corporate logos. However, sublimation is a good option if you need a large volume of apparel.
One of the disadvantages of sublimation is that it is only suitable for printing light-colored garments. Sublimation dyes the fabric during transfer, so it cannot print in dark colors. However, there are workarounds, as it can print on white or light-colored polyester fabrics. Furthermore, it cannot be used on cotton because it requires polymer coating work.
While screen printing is faster and more expensive than sublimation DTG is a better option for lighter-colored garments. Its quality is higher and more durable. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Screen printing is more expensive and less versatile than sublimation, but DTG is more versatile. The process is more efficient and can produce more colorful and full-color designs. The difference in cost is slight and depends on what you want to print.
Although DTG and screen printing are cheaper, sublimation is more time-consuming and requires more equipment. DTG requires using a raster image processor, which may not be included in the initial equipment purchase. In contrast, sublimation systems rely on custom printer drivers and color palettes. Furthermore, white ink is used in garment printing for two purposes: it serves as the base color on colored garments and recreates the color white on them.
However, screen printing remains the most popular option for many reasons. Whether looking for a large-scale, affordable printing solution or a one-off custom design, screen printing and sublimation both have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of screen-printed garments are that they are cost-effective and flexible. Sublimation printing also offers a better quality product with a broader range of colors.
In contrast, DTG printing is a more traditional process. While screen printing is more expensive, it offers more excellent quality and can be applied to various substrates. The main disadvantage is that the graphics are not permanently bonded to the substrate, making them susceptible to cracking and peeling. DTG printing costs more than double that of the screen or DTG, but it is worth it for those who want high-quality garment prints.