Anytime you order custom shirts, you’ll always be forced to choose: would you prefer screen printing, or DTG printing? This is, after all, a valid question, knowing that there are just so many different factors to be considered with each of the choices. To a regular person who knows very little about custom shirt design, it all seems the same, as long as their preferred design ends up on the fabric. For those who know a lot more about its technical aspects however, the choice you make will not only affect your costs, but the quality of the product as well.
What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing uses a woven mesh stencil that dictates where the ink will go when pushed against the fabric. It is a tedious process, with the need to place the stencil over the fabric, pour the ink onto the stencil, and pull the squeegee or fill blade to push the ink onto the fabric underneath it. It is a traditional way to customize shirts and has been around even before digital printing, although screen printing machines are now available that somehow speed up the process.
The Pros and Cons of Screen Printing
Screen printing is very cost-effective if you need whole batches of the same design. This is because only one stencil needs to be used for the entire batch, and you would just have to go from one shirt to another to print the design. You can also choose any area on the fabric where you want the design to be printed.
A downside to this technique, however, is the fact that it is also not cost-effective and time-efficient if you need multiple colors. This is because each color requires a separate stencil and a separate application. It also restricts you to simple designs that do not have too much detail. It is also not a good choice if you need a number of different designs in a single batch.
What is DTG Printing?
DTG printing, or direct-to-garment printing, uses a printer that applies the ink onto the fabric through inkjet technology. Unlike regular inkjet printers, the one used for t-shirt printing uses a special kind of ink that garments will easily absorb.
The Pros and Cons of DTG Printing
Because of the printer used in DTG printing, this technique gives you a wide range of colors to use for every design. It also allows you to use designs that have intricate details in them. This is also perfect if you only need a few pieces for each batch, or if you need a bunch of different designs to be printed out. Using DTG printing also gives you a lot of customization options as well.
If you need a huge batch of shirts to be printed out however, this is definitely not a cost-effective approach. There are also limitations when it comes to design placement, as the printer can only print on specific areas of the shirt.
With the pros and cons that come with each of these choices, have you decided on which technique would suit your needs the most?