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Screen Printing vs Direct-to-Garment

screen printing vs direct to garment

When you first start printing your t-shirts, the first decision to make is printing method. There are all kinds of different ways to plaster your design onto fabric. Methods include heat-transfer, sublimation, screen printing, direct-to-garment, and many others. This article explains the differences in screen printing vs. direct-to-garment (DTG). These are the two most common methods used.

Screen Printing

The oldest method of printing uses plastisol, which is the industry standard. It can also use water-based (acrylic) inks, which are softer. The way it works is a squeegee forces the ink through a mesh stencil and onto the fabric. The process takes a lot of time! Although the machine needs manual labor to operate it, it is bulletproof! Any breakdowns that do occur are rare and are difficult to troubleshoot. Most of these machines are well-setup without anticipating problems so we explained – how to screen print on custom t-shirts.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG)

Direct-to-Garment, or DTG for short, is a more modern method. It is much faster, and there’s no setup. It is like printing onto paper and operates in much the same way as an inkjet printer. With acrylic ink, the machine shoots the ink through the nozzles as it squirts into the fabric. The device hooks up to a computer, and when you are ready, you click “print” to start! Despite its simple operation, it is a very complicated machine. Money out of your pocket follows any breakdowns. Repairs learn how does direct to garment printing work.

Simple Designs

Screen printing is a much more viable option if you would like to have special effects on your t-shirts. Inks that puff-up, glow in the dark ink, and reflect light are options. Glossy, matte, metallic, glittering, and shimmering ink work as well. One drawback, though, is you can only use simple designs. You are also limited to about 1 or 2 colors.

Complex Designs

DTG offers much more variety when it comes to designs. Because of the way it prints, you can go crazy with your plans, and even apply photographs to your t-shirts! Unlike screen printing, DTG prints are smooth and feel more natural to wear.

Mass Production

Screen printing is the choice if you need your t-shirts mass produced. There are no charges on volume per ink used, but there are more significant upfront costs. Also, when it comes to design, you will often need to convert the artwork to a vector format and separate the colors when screen printing tampa.

Short Batches

DTG prints price at milliliter of ink used per print. Larger ink volume designs will cost more than smaller plans that cover less area. There are no screen printing set-up costs, however. This fact makes them great for one-offs. You also don’t always have to convert to vectored designs before printing.

Which Method is Best?

Upon deciding between screen printing vs. direct-to-garment (DGT), ask yourself the following questions. Do you need your t-shirts mass produced? Do you need a few? Are your designs simple or complex? Do your prints need to last a long time or are you expecting them to fade after a while? Designs printed with DGT will begin to fade after about 10 or more washes. Screen printed designs will last for years. Which approach is the best? Well, that all depends on the quantity you need, the design itself, and the longevity screen printing tshirts near me.

 

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