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Direct To Garment vs. Screen Printing

23rd January 2018

What is the difference between Screen Printing and DTG (Direct to Garment printing)?

Screen Printing

Screen Printing is a process that allows one layer of colour to be applied at a time using a stencil made of woven mesh. Because of this design process the number of colours you can apply to a garment is limited. It is a good process for simple designs or for big print runs of the same garment. Every time you wish to apply a new colour to the garment you will need another stencil and another screen which can add costs to the process depending on your design specifications. Having said this screen printing is a fairly low cost way to mass produce an printed item of clothing as long as it involves the same designs in the same colours. Because of the time it takes to set up the screens, the inks and set up the artwork it can be timely which makes smaller print runs less cost effective.

Direct To Garment Printing

As the name suggests this involves printing directly onto the fabric just as you would print onto paper using highly modified inkjet printer which prints specialist inks that sink into the fabric of the garment. There is no setup cost because there are not the initial time consuming methods involved with screen printing. The DTG system allows for a limitless range of colour and the option to change your design without the costly process of having to remake a stencil. Because it is all just printed using a printer the image can be modified at any time. It also gives you greater design capabilities as you can print in much higher quality, in fact the printers can print in large format full photo quality.

The process means it’s just as easy to create one t-shirt as a batch quantity giving you more control over costs and production runs. This can help in so many ways, you can order as and when you like so you don’t end up with unused stock as you can print the same design on new sizes as needed.

The print quality of DTG printing is evident and the prints are very durable, the print will not crack or come off with washing.