Screen Printing Vs. DTG - What's the best method?

There are quite a few differences between screen printing and direct to garment printing and both have their pros and cons. There are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding on traditional screen printing or direct to garment printing.

  1. What volume are you looking to produce?
  2. What type of garment will we be printing on?
  3. What is the quality and color complexity of the artwork?

The answers to these questions will dictate which method is best for your project.

fish water based print on tee
Man running screen printing press

Screen Printing is hands down the best process to use for most garments.

  1. It is more cost effective over any larger volume
  2. There are multiple ink options available- Plastisol, Waterbased, Specialty
  3. There are very few fabric limitations

Screenprinting does have one large con and that is that it is not good for small orders. There are also minimums in place based off of color count, so that is the other limiting factor.

direct to garment printer

DTG (Direct-to-Garment) is a great alternative to Screen Printing for many reasons. It is an option that uses a machine to print jobs digitally rather than with screens.

  1. It is more cost effective over small volumes
  2. It is the preferred method for small volume jobs and samples.
  3. There is no limitation based on color count.
  4. Only works on primarily cotton garments.

There really isn't a clear winner for every project, but we primarily use DTG printing for jobs that do not fit well into our screenprinting minimums, because screen printing provides a higher quality feel and is less expensive at a higher volume.

manual screen printing process


We also offer heat transfers at a 20 piece minimum order quantity and those are more expensive than screen printing around the same price for direct to garment. This method is great for materials that have a waterproof coating or with a lot of seams that would typically hinder printing.

The last printing method that exists is Dye Sublimation and this is typically paired with Cut and Sew as a finishing technique. We do not offer this service and often have very high minimums as well as a lengthy turnaround time.

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