DTG Vs Screen Printing - what do you think this ‘versus’ denotes? Are we going to arrange a fight? Just kidding! The fact is, that is our topic of discovery today. Being in the printing and designing arena for more than a decade, we know that people often show their thirst. Hence in this post, we will be focussing on the differences between DTG printing vs screen printing to help you find your betterment. These are the most common printing techniques to provide people with an aesthetic clothing experience. 


The discussion contains the most vital differentiators. If you are planning to start a printing business, especially t-shirt printing, it's very important to understand DTG printing Vs screen printing. You are going to learn them through some criteria such as definition and working process, quality and quantity, durability, cost, eco-friendliness, etc. Both of them are popular for printing custom designs onto garments. But you should know how to contrast for the sake of your business and meet your specific needs. 


Let’s go through the differences between DTG printing vs screen printing!


DTG Vs Screen Printing - Which Is Best?  


Screen printing and direct-to-garment (DTG) both have a rich history. Each of them has merits and demerits against different requirements. So it is time to dig deep into the matter. 


Definition and Working Process: DTG Vs Screen Printing  


In DTG printing, you need to use a digital printer to spray the ink onto the garment. Then the ink will start soaking into the fibres. It is like printing on paper. The only difference is, here, you will work on a garment instead of paper. 


DTG printing is adorable for precise design with a high level of customised detail. The setup is so simple. It acts like an inkjet printer. The ink soaked into the fabric does not wash away or crack easily. You will need to apply water-based ink to each layer. The technological advancement in DTG printers has made them more popular. This is indeed ideal for the dropshipping business model.


On the contrary, screen printing is the paragon technique of pushing ink by a woven screen or mesh stencil to work on the fabric. The ink doesn’t sink into the garment; instead, it stays on the product’s surface. It is indeed a classic module for applying saturated colours to give your garments a unique look! This craft has been a favourite to the experts for years.


Screen printing is a labour-intensive process. For each element of your design, you need to create a screen. Then you have to put the colours and elements of the specific design to print in a see-through acetate film. You have to print each colour separately, layer by layer. If you increase the number of layers, you will need increased time to finish. And to come up with outstanding designs, it would help if you used software like Photoshop or Illustrator. 


Quality and Quantity: DTG Vs Screen Printing 


Let’s talk about direct-to-garment first. This method is ideal for all sorts of designs. It leaves you the floor to full-colour spectrum! You will have joy in printing detailed designs, photorealistic images, gradients, and shading. It allows you to print the entire design at once. By leaving tiny droplets of ink, it makes the garment enriched with intricate details and designs. The DTG is mainly popular for on-demand t-shirt designs. This will leave you with better production than traditional screen printing. However, the major three drawbacks are- 


  • It takes around 2-3 weeks to print in bulk 
  • You cannot afford large orders all the time and 
  • The elements with below 100% transparency don’t convert expectedly in this technique 


Now come to screen printing. The screen printing method ensures superior quality. You would be glad to learn that it is reliable for being durable. A screen t-shirt lasts long despite hundreds of washes. 


The flags are also a sheer example of screen printing excellence. It takes only an hour for a screen printing machine to cover 1,000+ pieces. So you can undoubtedly print in bulk!   


The bold graphics or typographic design suits the screen printing most. Also, it goes well with simple designs, provided that you have only a few colours to insert. It needs flexible placement like sleeve prints or wraps around prints. 


The designs turn to be precisely vigorous as you are applying the colours directly through the screen. Screen printing can provide you with more saturated colours than DTG printing. Significant events like fundraising campaigns, charity races, walkathons, or mission trips prefer this method for custom printed tee shirts. However, this printing technique is not suitable for complex design or and photorealistic images. 


Durability: DTG Vs Screen Printing 


The topic of direct-to-garment (DTG) printing vs screen printing also inspires us to talk about printing sustainability. And to be clear of DTG Vs screen printing durability, you should know that a printed product’s durability depends on three things. These are:


  • The applied inks 
  • Pre-treatment and 
  • Machine’s quality 


So if you can perform the pre-treatment well, ensuring a good DTG printing machine, your tee-shirts will last for long. The thickness of the ink will be a great plus for you. Isn’t it fair enough? 


And in the case of durability, screen printed clothes are more durable than the previous one. So you won’t see your shirts getting faded soon and can use your favourite one cheerfully! It has superb washability. 


Cost: DTG Vs Screen Printing 


Let us learn about DTG vs screen printing cost and DTG printer vs screen printing machine. Do you want to net a good profit in exchange for a nominal upfront cost? A risk-free store settlement to grow your business? You don’t even need a large workforce to accomplish an order. No worries about the various colour cost too! It doesn’t impact the ultimate expenditure. Yes, we are talking about the direct-to-garment method. 


A single t-shirt costs around $1-3 or 0.73-2.18 pound sterling, whereas a light-coloured shirt costs the lowest range, i.e. $1 or 0.73-pound sterling, and the dark ones will cost $3 maximum. DTG is the best option for producing custom printed t-shirts cost-effectively. The cost of a starter DTG printer may vary from £7k to £25k. And an industrial-grade DTG printing machine usually costs between £7k to £50. 


While screen printing leverages you to earn a 20% to 45% profit margin, depending on the fabric price, the number of colours, cutting, stitching, labelling, pressing, packing, etc., the average manufacturing cost for a tee in the United Kingdom is £8.85. So based on the order, shipping cost, and your shop’s reputation, the selling price range should be £10-£13. 


Then how about the machine cost, right? Well, a High Volume Auto Production Screen Printing Machine costs between £20K - £80K. However, it depends on the brand and configuration. And a standard auto production machine costs between £7K - £15K. Hopefully, the assumed picture of DTG vs screen printing profit margin is now just before you! 


Eco-friendlinessDTG Vs Screen Printing 


The contrast ‘DTG printing vs screen printing business’ also asks you to be environmentally conscious. Since screen printing services get large orders, there is always a risk of overproduction. And in that case, whether you will have to burden the soil or burn the wasted products. In contrast, the DTG method is almost free from such an environmental issue. 


Embrace Print Britannia 


Anyway, if you are googling ‘what is the best screen printing or DTG printing near me’, then reach Print Britannia. We are one of the best in London and have been serving with our self-commitment to nature. We provide the best hoodies for DTG printing and the best t-shirts for screen printing at a cheap rate! Even if you merely have additional queries about screen printing vs DTG, feel free to reach out to us.  


To Wrap Up 


We are glad to provide the contrast on DTG Vs Screen Printing. We hope this guide has been enough to illustrate what is DTG printing vs screen printing—feeling okay now? Whether you are a start-up or not, this article will help you go far. Now it’s time to apply this during your performance. Wish you a stroke of good luck!