DTG vs. Screen Printing: Which Is Better for Online T-Shirt Businesses?

DTG vs. Screen Printing: Which Is Better for Online T-Shirt Businesses?

There was once a time when display printing was once the overwhelmingly preferred type of revealed t-shirt manufacturing for companies. But now DTG is turning into an increasing number of standard, specifically with Etsy and different small on-line store house owners who acknowledge its many advantages to them.

What is DTG? How is it other from display printing? Which means is healthier for promoting t-shirts on-line? We will dive into those subjects nowadays and come up with in-depth details about those printing types.


What is DTG Printing?

DTG is brief for Direct to Garment. This manufacturing means has been commercially to be had for not up to twenty years and continues to be handiest presented by means of a somewhat small choice of printing corporations.

Most Popular Garments for DTG - ASI infographic

Source: ASI  

DTG makes use of a virtual print head to print designs immediately onto the material or floor of your selection. Printers used for DTG vary extensively from house desktop-type fashions to climate-controlled devices. When printing materials, the ink is going immediately into the fibers.

While with different print strategies, you’ll really feel the design when touching it. However, with DTG, this isn’t the case. Some other folks want prints you’ll really feel and contact, whilst different doable shoppers respect this feeling that the paintings is embedded within the garment.

However, those components apart, there are a large number of benefits and downsides to the usage of or now not the usage of DTG printing that eCommerce marketers will have to first imagine earlier than launching their on-line t-shirt trade.


What are the Advantages of DTG Printing?

Naturally, DTG printing comes with many benefits over possible choices. Let’s wreck them down.

1. Flexible Fulfillment

DTG is imaginable for each mass manufacturing and small manufacturing runs. This flexibility makes lifestyles a lot more uncomplicated for budding on-line trade house owners. Because DTG doesn’t wish to be ordered in bulk, you’ll satisfy orders on-demand. When operating with a DTG provider that provides print-on-demand, what you are promoting gained’t wish to entrance the prices of fabrics or apparatus earlier than making your first sale.

2. More Available Colors

DTG printing can improve a large vary of shade choices to assist in making any product stand proud of the gang. If you’d love to print full-color designs in your shirts with intricate main points, DTG is tips on how to pass. Photographs and illustrations particularly shine on this taste of printing.

3. Better Comfort & Feel

Because DTG printing makes use of skinny, water-based ink that absorbs into the material, quite than sitting on most sensible of the fabric, the ensuing clothes are a lot more breathable. The cloth additionally feels extra versatile and cushy, which shoppers might want.

4. Eco-Friendly Printing

Compared to display printing, DTG is the extra sustainable printing means. This is as a result of shirts don’t wish to be made in bulk — what you are promoting can create shirts separately as they’re ordered, lowering waste. Modern DTG printers additionally produce much less wastewater.

Apart from this being excellent for the planet, eco-friendly trade practices also are one thing many doable shoppers are not easy in 2022. Global developments display that an eco-friendly printing product will probably be an increasing number of preferred over conventional screen-printed attire.

5. Higher Quality

Not handiest can DTG printing produce a extra colourful symbol on a t-shirt, however the print itself will also be a lot more intricate. This is why many DTG print designs are advanced with quite a lot of small main points — they might be tricky to reach with display printing.


What are the Disadvantages of DTG Printing?

Unfortunately, there also are a couple of disadvantages that include DTG printing.

1. Expensive in Mass Production

Most of the benefits of DTG are for smaller-scale manufacturing. If your t-shirt trade wishes an economical garment printing resolution for bulk ordering and mass manufacturing, then DTG will not be the fitting means for you. This isn’t to mention that it’s unimaginable to reserve DTG revealed shirts in bulk — it simply will not be probably the most inexpensive possibility.

2. Limited Garment Colors

Unfortunately, DTG makes it tricky to reach on clothes that aren’t white. When DTG printing onto darker cloth, prints would possibly not seem as obviously or appropriately. If you’d love to promote darker shirts with revealed designs, reaching top quality DTG prints will not be superb for what you are promoting.

3. Slower Production

If you aren’t desirous about mass manufacturing, then the chances are high that that slower print velocity than some possible choices would possibly not be an element for you. If velocity issues, then DTG will not be superb — particularly in the event you’re operating with a print-on-demand dropshipping provider and now not printing your self.

4. Limited Design Placement

DTG design placement is generally restricted to a small house at the entrance of a t-shirt. If your required blouse designs come with printing far and wide the entrance, again, and fingers, then DTG printing gained’t meet your manufacturing wishes.

5. Cotton is Required

DTG is proscribed to cotton, which laws out this print means for many. This isn’t straight away a unfavorable, as cotton is an excellent product. It is at ease, naturally sustainable, hypoallergenic, low repairs, and odor-free.

However, if you wish to promote revealed t-shirts constructed from different materials, DTG is not the most suitable option for what you are promoting.


What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the method of moving a stenciled design onto a floor. This means is assumed so far again hundreds of years and has been with us as a well-liked type of business printing because the 18th century.

North American Custom T-Shirt Printing Market - Grand View Research infographic

Source: Grand View Research

This procedure makes use of a mesh display, ink, and a rubber blade. Once a stencil design is created on a mesh display, the ink is driven and imprinted onto the outside beneath. This means can be utilized on many alternative surfaces and with quite a lot of colours.

Screen printing is also known as “silk screening” or “silkscreen printing.”


What are the Advantages of Screen Printing?

While DTG is perfect for many companies, basically small-scale on-line marketers, display printing gives some very good benefits for traders price taking into account.

1. Wide Print Versatility

Screen printing is perfect for what you are promoting if you wish to have designs revealed on an entire host of various surfaces and materials. This introduces quite a lot of design freedom — and with the ability to print on nearly any fabrics to be had is a large plus.

2. Better Profit Margins

Screen printing will also be dear to arrange, making some important points runs unviable. However, display printing temporarily turns into cost-effective if printing in prime volumes, providing an increasing number of favorable margins.

As is at all times the case, do your due diligence and determine your prices and benefit margins earlier than deciding which roughly manufacturing to transport ahead with.

3. Repetition & Efficiency

Screen printing is perfect for any trade taking a look to promote repeat designs. Once you have arrange the display print, it may be applied again and again. There isn’t any loss in high quality over the years; on this sense, it additionally gives potency.

4. Higher Durability

Screen printing has a tendency to imply extra vital ink protection than different strategies. This, in flip, way a harder revealed design much less more likely to fade or endure cracks or scratches. This issue is very important for garments that require out of doors use in all stipulations.

5. Trusted and Straightforward

There’s a explanation why that display printing has been round for centuries and stays some of the standard tactics to print designs onto clothes. It’s a competent type of printing that has stood the check of time. In this regard, it’s depended on and easy, and tens of millions international are conversant in it.


What are the Disadvantages of Screen Printing?

Just like DTG printing, display printing has its personal record of disadvantages. Here’s what you will have to know.

1. Mass Production Shortcomings

Screen printing is regularly used for mass manufacturing. The threat with this type of manufacturing is that masses or hundreds of things of inventory are produced, which might stay unsold — losing finite assets.

If you’re a small trade simply getting began, you would possibly not need to get started generating huge amounts straight away. In this example, it is very important make a decision if smaller-scale DTG printing is healthier for what you are promoting than playing on production a number of inventory that can by no means promote.

2. Set-Up Time

While the real time it takes to print a design on a garment is only some mins, developing and putting in place a display printer can take a number of hours. This isn’t cost-effective for small runs except they’re premium-priced. This is as a result of clothes produced in small amounts generally have prime print setup prices, which components into their value.

3. Less Sustainable

Screen printing isn’t the eco-friendliest manufacturing means in the market. The product is regularly industrially produced, and display printing makes use of vital quantities of water. Additionally, one of the inks used aren’t biodegradable. Even if those environmental considerations are not essential to you, they may well be in your doable shoppers.

4. Disappointing End Results

Sometimes, display printing may end up in disappointingly blurred effects. Unfortunately, printing a one-off pattern to check high quality is not an possibility adore it is with DTG. A display print takes money and time to arrange, so the design should be very best earlier than printing.

5. Color Limitations

Screen printing can turn out to be extraordinarily dear if you wish to upload a number of colours. It’s regularly now not superb if you want to upload 3 or extra colours in your designs. This is as a result of it is very important one by one print the ones colours on most sensible of the opposite colours on your design, which will also be time-consuming and dear. DTG is a lot more superb for designs with various colours.


Is DTG or Screen Printing Better for Your Online Business?

Most possible choices in lifestyles have their positives and negatives. When evaluating DTG vs. Screen printing, that is maximum indisputably the case. These are two of the preferred strategies for custom designed attire printing. Ultimately, what is healthier for you are going to rely on your necessities.

DTG is indisputably higher suited for any on-line clothes store that wants to supply an array of designs that may be offered as and when the orders are available in, quite than held as dear inventory that would possibly by no means promote. On the opposite hand, display printing will regularly go well with companies who need to print in bulk and be aware of the margins.

Fashion properties operating important points amounts will generally tend to want DTG, as will any trade or group that wishes to provide clothes for match product runs with important points runs.

When freeing new merchandise and designs to marketplace at low prices, DTG is perfect. Indeed, additionally it is appropriate for “testing” the eCommerce clothes marketplace with new concepts to look whether or not they have got any doable.

DTG could also be a greener selection to many of the opposition in the market, which would possibly assist outline what you are promoting and allow it to stick out from its competition.

The similar is going for high quality: extremely detailed, top quality DTG prints too can glance higher and value not up to the display printing selection.



As we’ve mentioned, DTG and display printing have many benefits and downsides.

When opting for which to make use of for what you are promoting, you should absolutely perceive what what you are promoting is set and the way those print strategies can assist develop or maintain what it’s you’re doing. In some circumstances, combining a lot of these print manufacturing may well be a excellent possibility.

If you might be beginning a web-based retailer, chances are high that DTG will paintings higher for you. It gives the versatility you want whilst fending off making an investment and retaining huge quantities of inventory. However, in the event you personal an enterprise-level trade with the assets to spend on mass manufacturing, then display printing could also be your selection. In the tip, you will have to make the verdict that’s proper for what you are promoting’s wishes.

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