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Screen Printing Vs DTG Printing – What is Better

Screen Printing Vs DTG Printing

Are you interested in the t-shirt printing business? Are you looking for the best, durable and profitable printing technique for custom t-shirts? Screen printing and DTG printing are two popular printing techniques in the printing apparel industry nowadays. Which one is best for the customization of your t-shirts? Are these techniques similar? What is the difference between these two printing techniques? 

To check which printing technique is better depends on the simple or complex design, order size (how many shirts to print) and the final look or finish. Both printing techniques have some pros and cons. Depending on your choice, one method is better than the other. Let’s compare the two methods to know which printing technique is suitable for customizing your t-shirts. 

screen-printing-vs-dtg-printing

What Is The Difference B/W Screen Printing And Digital Printing?

The traditional method of printing t-shirts is screen printing. Fabric ink is used to transfer designs to fabric through a screen. Whereas in digital printing of t-shirts, ink is sprayed directly on the surface with the help of inkjet printers. Here, we discuss the differences between the two popular printing methods.

Screen Printing 

A stencil or screen is prepared for every color, and then the ink is transferred to the t-shirt via the net. For each color, a different stencil is prepared. While printing, each color is applied one after the other to apply layers of colors in the case of colorful designs.

The initial process of preparing stencils for each color is time-consuming and expensive, but the final printing procedure is fast with excellent color vibrancy. It is less expensive when the order is large with the same design. It also gives good results for simple, bold designs, especially on dark fabrics.

Cotton, polyester, and blends are all suitable for screen printing. Screen printing applies limited color options while printing through stencils. Prints are durable and cannot fade or crack even after multiple washes. Screen printing becomes expensive for small or single-order shirts because of an initial setup cost.

DTG (Direct-To-Garment) Printing

It is an advanced printing technique for the customization of T-shirts. It is digital printing in which ink is injected directly into the fabric via specialized inkjet printers. It is suitable for a small number of shirts or small orders, including single charges. It is different from screen printing since it does not require stencil preparation like screen printing.

The prints are of good quality, but the vibrancy of images is less than in screen printing. 100 % cotton and cotton blends are suitable for digital printing. It would help to wash it upside down in freshwater (not hot water). Fading and cracking occur after a few washings. If not, follow the washability rules.

  • Digital printing promotes on-demand printing services because the procedure is active and requires less time.
  • You can use various colors for complex, detailed designs on light-color fabrics.
  • It becomes costly if the order size is significant due to the per-unit cost of ink.
dtg-printer-printing-shirts

Comparison Between Screen Print & Direct-To-Garment

Screen Printing

  • The old method with high-quality prints
  • Stencils are mechanically prepared
  • It prints simple, bold and easy designs
  • Limited colors
  • Due to screen printing’s suitability for dark fabrics, white colors can be printed.
  • One color ink can be applied at once through stencil
  • Time taking process
  • Best for big orders
  • The initial setup is required
  • Durable prints/No fading and cracking
  • Less expensive

DTG

  • New method with good quality but less vibrant prints
  • Digital prints are prepared via printers
  • It supports complex, fine and small designs.
  • Multiple inks can be applied at once through the printer
  • Difficult to produce white color in prints.
  • Fast process
  • Good for small order
  • The printer is ready to print
  • Fading and cracking occur if not cared for properly
  • Expensive for large orders

Which One Is Better, Screen Printing Or Digital Printing

Both methods are of great importance in the apparel printing industry. It’s hard to determine which one is the superior option. The selection of any one printing technique depends on your preferences and needs. 

If you need a simple design to print on large orders, screen printing can be the right option, as it provides highly durable prints with simple graphics on dark fabrics. However, DTG printing is suitable for complex designs, producing detailed, full-color designs in smaller quantities. 

It is best for print-on-demand services. Sometimes, you need both techniques to satisfy your customers when you have a large-scale business and deal with different printing techniques on demand. Consequently, the printing method depends on the requirements and budget of your project. Learn more about DTG vs Sublimation Printing.

Which Is Long-Lasting Screen Printing Or DTG

Layers of colors are applied on the fabrics in screen printing, which do not absorb into the cloth but rest on the top and adhere to the surface permanently. In DTG, a single layer of color is applied, so there are more chances to fade and crake during washing after 50-100 washings. 

With proper, careful washing, it can withstand more than 100 washes. Screen prints last 25-50% longer than DTG prints and are suitable for printing uniforms and gaming costumes. Hence, screen prints last longer as long as the fabric they are printed on. 

Let’s discuss some salient facts to understand whether screen prints and DTG prints are durable, sustainable, cost-effective and eco-friendly.

Durability

In screen printing, the prints are more durable than digital prints as the ink used in the process has a bonding capacity with the fabric. It bonds tightly, so the color remains vibrant and does not fade after many washings. 

In DTG prints, a single layer of color is applied, so it needs to be washed according to the company’s recommendations. In hot water, images on the t-shirts may be lost, cracking and fading.

Eco-Friendly

In DTG, fewer shirts are printed, and less wastewater is produced during the process. Due to advanced printers, the printing procedure takes minimum time and produces less wastewater. 

While in screen printing for every color application, the entire procedure is repeated, producing more wastewater. Water-soluble ink is used in DTG, which is environmentally friendly.

Sustainability  

DTG prints are sustainable as they are ideal for one-off production. After getting orders, the fabric is purchased, and the printing process starts. In this way, there is no loss of product. 

On the other side, screen prints are done in bulk with the same design to save money. However, the remaining stock becomes waste if the bulk is not sold.

Cost-Effective

The production cost is less in screen printing because it deals with printing large numbers. Although its initial setup cost is high, it is less expensive when the order size is big with the same design. In comparison, DTG printing is less expensive for small or single orders.

Which Is The Right Choice For Your Printing Business

We at Dallas T-shirt Printing aim for the best printing techniques to satisfy our valued customers. We use the most popular printing technique, DTG, to fill out small orders, while screen printing is done for large orders with the best technology and skilled labour. 

Whether we get a small or colossal order, we complete our task with total energy and innovative designs. 

You can count on us to offer you the best quality and price for your custom shirts, regardless of how many you need or how your design looks! You can count on us to offer you the best quality and price for your custom shirts, regardless of how many you need or how your design looks!