Direct to Garment Vs. Screen Printing

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Direct to Garment Vs. Screen Printing

In our modern day, there are several techniques available on the market that can get an image, logo, or phrase printed onto a piece of apparel, home furnishing, or even an accessory. The two most famous and commonly used techniques are screen printing and direct to garment digital printing. Screen printing is a fairly traditional technique originating from Asia while direct to garment is a fairly modern method developed in the United States.

What is Direct to Garment Printing?

Direct to garment (DTG) digital printing is exactly what it sounds like. It is the process of high performance inkjets printing directly into the fibres of your garment. It uses water-based inks and is best used on cotton or cotton type blends. Due to being a digital printing method, designs can be highly detailed, vibrant and customised to suit your specific needs.

Advantages

  • Long-lasting and durable printing that will survive several washes
  • Fast turnaround as it digital printers and can often be compared to printing a document from your home or office computer
  • Great quality and ability to printer finer and more intricate details
  • Great for ‘on-demand’ and smaller run productions
  • Simple process that is easy to use as it is connected to a computer and prints digitally
  • Uses safer and more environmentally friendly inks than other printing methods

Disadvantages

  • While it has low setup costs, it may not be entirely cost-effective for those looking to produce mass runs
  • Is recommend to only print on cotton or cotton blends that have at least 80% cotton
  • Unable to match exact colour codes meaning your product may be produced at a slightly different colour than expected

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the process of ink being pushed through a woven mesh stencil of the artwork straight onto the garment. It is the oldest printing method and is known for its versatility, durability and vibrant prints. It’s is recommended that you invest in at least 10-15 prints as a minimum if you use a screen printing service.

Advantages

  • Relatively inexpensive for bulk orders
  • Durable and long-lasting results due to the composition and thickness of the inks used
  • Can screen print onto almost any material or fabric (with no limitations to thickness) such as cotton, wood, metal and even plastic
  • Range of ink types to choose from

Disadvantages

  • Only one colour can be applied at a time with each colour requiring a new stencil. Due to this, it is quite time-consuming
  • Not a very large colour range and extra colours incur an additional cost
  • Is not considered an environmentally-friendly solution due to the excessive use of screen for each ink colour
  • Can be quite a complex method due to the amount of steps taken to produce one image

Contact Us Today

With over 50 years in the textile printing industry, our team at Lee T-Shirts can help you every step of the way with your garment printing. Any questions or queries you may have, our team of local experts have the knowledge to provide you with the best and most relevant advise. From screen printing to direct to garment printing and even more, we have the tools, techniques and machinery to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Contact us today for more information on our range of printing methods or to receive a free quote on your one-off, unique design, or your mass production run!