Direct to Garment vs. Screen Printing
So you want to design clothing or try making your own shirt for your store. At this point, you may be wondering which is better for your custom shirt. Is it screen or direct garment printing?
To help you decide, here’s a comparison between these two popular shirt printing methods.
Method: DTG printers uses a machine that sprays ink onto garments, while screen printing requires a special screen for each element of your design. Unlike direct to garment printing, the ink does not soak into the fabric but sits on top of the garment.
Quality: Both methods result in quality prints for custom T-shirts. Screen printing looks best for designs with simple graphics while DTG prints photorealistic images and detailed designs with almost no color limitations. DTG prints are great for businesses who want to experiment with different colours and design.
Cost: On demand printing for DTG is the quickest way for you to introduce new designs for your ship. There is no upfront cost and shirts can be shipped in as little as 24 hours. If you plan on offering your merchandise in bulk, our screen printing services also have great wholesale rates.
If you need help deciding on which garment printing method fits your business or brand, don't hesitate to give our experts a call at (855) 942-7636 for a free consultation.
Our Direct to Garment Process
Every order receives a professional design review from our team of graphic artists and digital printing experts. We work diligently with you to see to your finished product. To start, we ask for the highest resolution image you currently have. The higher the image resolution, the better!
Our designers are happy to work with any image you provide, even if it takes a bit of polishing. We have mastered the art of transforming designs into masterpieces. For businesses, check with your web developer or marketing team to provide you with any raw logo image files.
When it comes to printing, pixels matter. Pixels are the smallest measurable point in a photo, and together, hundreds of thousands of them (sometimes millions) combine together to make the image you see. Think of mosaic artwork; The greater number of pieces within a canvas, the more detailed and apparent the image will look.
File Types for Direct to Garment
There are two types of images: raster and vector. Raster images use pixels. The higher number of pixels an image contains, the better resolution it will have; better quality prints. Pixels have a direct effect on the scaling capabilities of an image. The more pixels an image contains, the larger it can be scaled without becoming boxy, or “pixelated.”
Vector images, however, use mathematical calculations between two different points to create geometrical shapes. The process itself uses lines instead of pixels, and because of that, they are infinitely scalable. No matter how large you scale a vector image, it will not lose its quality. When you view a photo on a computer screen, it usually requires a fairly low PPI (Pixels Per Inch) count – around 72, generally. For digital viewing, that’s fine. But when it comes to printing, both on t-shirts and paper, the higher the PPI count, the better. Ideally, we request customers submit photos at 300 PPI. If that’s not possible, no worries! Our design team is always happy to help. Whether submitting a vector or raster image, here are some of the most commonly accepted file formats:
Direct-to-Garment Printing (DTG) works similarly to printing on paper, but with the design printed directly on the fabric. Direct printing delivers detailed designs in a wide range of colors. And unlike screen printing, there are no minimum prints required.
Benefits of DTG: Small business owners can benefit a lot from DTG. This shirt printing method requires minimal upfront payment, making it great for rush orders and small batches. If you run a small shop online, then direct garment printing is the top choice for you. It’s flexible, customizable, and makes intricate designs possible.
Disadvantages of DTG: Direct printing is not cost-effective for large batches. This method also has more limited design placement options when compared with screen printing.
Best fabrics for DTG: Direct garment printing works best on 100% cotton fabrics. Combed and ring-spun cotton has a very fine knit and results in prints that are as smooth as butter.
When to use DTG: DTG is perfect if you want photorealistic images with lots of color and details. Compared to other garment decorating methods, direct-to-garment printing has a quick turnaround time, almost no set-up cost, and full-color output on light and dark images. The best part, DTG printing, allows you to customize your shirts in any design you like.
If you need to fill orders quickly or need to deliver product samples to potential customers, book a consultation with our DTG printers today.