Printing Guides

Comparing Screen Printing & Direct to Garment

Screen Printing Compared to DTG

Within the print industry, there are various methods to incorporate that can cater to different business needs, which is why it can be hard to determine which is best for you. Two of the most common ways to print custom shirts are through screen printing and direct-to-garment (DTG). Both printing methods carry their own pros and cons, so how do you choose the best one? 

In this article, we will talk about these two options in greater detail so that it will be easier to determine which one will be best for you. Keep on reading to find out more.

Screen printing and how it works

Although screen printing has been around for many years, it originally prints ink on textiles and garments. It works by using a nylon mesh screen with light-sensitive emulsion, and then a negative image is burned into the emulsion. The ink is then pressed through the openings in the emulsion on the screen using a squeegee. 

Direct-to-garment and how it works

With the advancements in technology, DTG uses a digital print head to print designs directly onto a substrate. A DTG printer works like your typical inkjet printer––it works when an image is digitized by the printer and then printed directly onto the shirt. 

How screen printing and DTG are compared to each other

Because the two printing methods are vastly different, it means that you really can’t compare them for having similarities. For what it’s worth, the only similarities these two have are they’re both printing methods. 

It all comes down to the type of printing project that you need for your project. You will realize that in some projects, screen printing will work best, while DTG printing will work on other projects. Additionally, when you’re caught between the two, you should always consider the design and cost of each option to help you make the right decision.

The differences in design

It’s easy to distinguish one from the other because screen printing produces vibrant and durable design. Saturated colours are apparent in screen printing compared to the DTG process. However, due to the labour-intensive process of turning the design into multiple stencils, it may limit the number of colours that you can choose. 

With DTG printing, on the other hand, it will have a more faded design with a single layer of ink. Nevertheless, it doesn’t limit you when it comes to the number of colours that you can use. Yet, you might still stumble on a colour challenge because some colour combinations can be difficult. 

That said, keep in mind that certain types of shirt designs are better suited to each method. For example, if you’re printing simpler designs with graphics or text, you’ll find screen printing to be a better option. If you want more elaborate designs on light-coloured fabric, then you can use DTG printing instead. 

The Costs

Screen printing is a more cost-effective option if you’re printing a huge batch of shirts. However, for smaller batches of custom shirts, you’ll find that DTG will save you more money. 

Wrapping up

If you still can’t decide on which option to choose, you can always opt for screen printing and DGT! This is because some custom shirt companies provide both printing methods, so you can have the best of both options. Nevertheless, knowing the differences between the two printing methods will help you determine what you need if you’re planning to start your own shirt project. 

If you’re looking for a screen printing service in Ottawa, get in touch with us to see how we can help.