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DTG vs Sublimation Printing – Which is Better

DTG vs Sublimation Printing

DTG vs Sublimation Printing: Which one is the better technique? Often, such a query pops into your mind when searching for the best printing technique to print the garments. Although both techniques might let you think that the processes are the same, these two are different in every term. By reading this blog, all your doubts related to the two methods will be cleared.

Direct to garment printing vs. sublimation printing? 

With the advancement in the apparel industry, there are many techniques that people have started adopting for the printing of garments. The different kinds of printers, their technology, the variety of inks, and the techniques to copy the image prints on the garments have changed. Similarly, the printing techniques greatly evolved. You would have heard the name digital to garment printing and sublimation printing. Sometimes, you may have come across DTG vs Sublimation Printing; both are distinctive.

Usually, people who want custom-made prints readily use such techniques of printing. One thing that you should remember is that both these techniques involve the use of inkjet printers. In addition to the printers, you will need to use the inks of different types, image transferring, etc., so let’s jump to the details of both techniques.


The DTG Printing?

As the name of the printing technique suggests, you will get direct prints on the garments in this printing. Therefore, you need specialized printers to follow this technique. To start the process of printing, you have to insert the ink in the printer. Once the printer starts functioning, it releases the ink prints on the garment that you initially inserted in the printer. Most people use the cotton fabric for this purpose. Also, the fabric you insert is usually on the horizontal side.

As the printer begins printing, it will directly print the image on the garment. Similarly, the garment or fabric directly absorbs the prints. Now, let’s jump to the sublimation printing before learning the differences between dye sublimation vs direct to garment. 


Sublimation Printing

Well, this process is unique to the DTG printing process. Do you know why? That’s because the basic phenomenon of sublimation shirt printing is different. Once you begin with this process, you will apply two main factors: heat and pressure. Both factors are necessary for printing the custom-made design to the fabric. Here, the sublimation ink is also an effective tool to work along. So, first, what happens is that you take out a print of any design on the transfer paper.

After the design gets printed, the solid print transforms into a gaseous state according to the sublimation process. Thus, the gas then combines with the substrate fabric and gets printed. So, overall, both the printing processes are unique. Now, let’s see the differences between dtg vs sublimation. 


Which Is Better DTG Printing Or Sublimation?

If you are curious to know which of the two techniques of printing the images is better, then first understand their differences.

Preheating: The first and major difference of direct to garment vs sublimation is the preheating of the fabric. In DTG printing, the first or crucial step is to preheat the fabric you need printing for. Such a step is important so the fabric can properly absorb the ink later. So, you will have to insert the pre-heated fabric or garment in the printer.

However, if you consider the sublimation printing process, you shall work on the transfer paper print. The print you want to use is first heated, then it goes for pressing on the substrate material. Afterward, it results in the bonding of the print to the fabric. Learn more about DTG vs DTF printing.

  • Material choices

Suppose you want to learn which printing technique suits which type of material, then it is a long debate. To cut it short, you can get some idea about specific materials. For example, when comparing direct to fabric with sublimationyou will find it suitable for the natural fibers. Under the category of this material there comes different types. This technique lets you easily get cotton, linen, and jeans printed.

On the other hand, sublimation is best suited for the polyester material fabrics.

  • Phenomenon

Well, in the DTG printing, you will load a plain t-shirt in the printer to get it printed with images. However, in dye sublimation t shirt printing, you will have to insert a sublimation paper that bonds to the fabric after getting heated and pressing. Thus, the phenomenon of these printing image techniques differs.

  • Printed space

If you want to print the image on the entire fabric, it is better to go with the sublimation printing. Otherwise, DTG printing allows you to get the print only on a specific space. Thus, with this technique, you might have to use the printer several times to accomplish overall printing.

After going through the differences, you might wonder which is better. Both printing techniques are good; however, it mainly depends upon the usage of printing. If you want a permanently printed image on the fabric, using the sublimation printing technique is best.

Which Technique Is Better For Business Purposes DTG Or Sublimation?

If you are looking to choose among the two techniques of printing for your business, then let’s guide you. Usually, the choice of printing depends upon your initial initiative of your business. You can look at both techniques as they produce fine-quality image prints. However, one has to find a budget-friendly solution. If you begin exploring the market for the two printers for DTG vs sublimation, one thing is for sure: you would agree. DTG printers always cost you more than a sublimation printer.

If you want attractive prints, then sublimation printing is a perfect choice. However, if you want to work on the different fabric choices, then a DTG printing is enough. Thus, the choice is always yours. Whatever suits your business requirements, you can proceed with it.


Other Considerations 

Let’s see the other considerations about printing techniques.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

According to the experts, both processes have almost the same cost of printing. The buying cost of the DTG printer is higher than the sublimation printer. Thus, a sublimation printer is cost-effective.

  • Durability

Sublimation printing results in producing more durable print images than the DTG. That’s because the ink the printers use deeply binds to the fabric and stays on it for a long time.

  • Sustainability

DTG uses water-based inks, which is quite sustainable for the environment. Along with this, a sublimation printer is also an eco-friendly option to use.


DTG Vs Sublimation Printing is a long debate to follow up on. However, you can still have different aspects to look into when going through both techniques. So, choose the printing technique that suits your requirements.