difference between screen printing and dtg

Production Pointers: The Difference between Screen Printing and Direct-to-Garment Printing

You can find all sorts of information online about the differences between screen printing and direct-to-garment printing (DTG). We decided to write an article and set the record straight. Just so you know, Metron Branding handles screen printing and embroidery in-house, ensuring you get your apparel when you need it. Get your branded merch project started today!

Screen Printing

Production Pointers: The Difference between Screen Printing and Direct-to-Garment Printing 1

Screen printing is a printing process where images are applied to products (shirts, posters, bags, etc.) via a screen (a mesh stencil) and inks for each color of the design being applied. This means that the more colors your design has, the more expensive and time-consuming it is to screen print. Ink is pushed through a screen onto the material using a blade and then flattened onto the garment to create the design. Screen printing is a good choice for designs with a small amount of colors. The lower the amount of colors, the less screens will need to be used, and the faster and cheaper your design can be printed. Another advantage of screen printing is that you are able to print in a variety of locations, so long as you can fit the screen there. Screen printing is best for large orders with a simple design.

Direct-to-Garment Print (DTG)Production Pointers: The Difference between Screen Printing and Direct-to-Garment Printing 2

Direct-to-garment printing uses a machine that directly prints the design onto a garment, in the same way your printer would print onto a piece of paper. DTG is very precise and is a better option than screen print when it comes to a complex design with a lot of colors. It’s also great for small orders, as DTG is much easier to do than screen printing. DTG differs from screen printing in that it uses water-based inks, which are then absorbed by the garment.

That covers the basics of screen printing and DTG. Got more questions? Reach out to us online or by phone (248-545-4444) and we’ll be happy to help!