Digital printing is becoming more popular and affordable. But is it ready to derail the king of textile printing – screen prints? Here are a few points on DTG vs. Screen Printing.
DTG vs Screen Printing
Long story short – screen still rules for bulk printing. Both the printing techniques are suitable for t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, etc. Screen printing is typically done by applying ink through a mesh-like stencil of the design. This is generally a manual process, and hence labor intensive.
The ink spread has to be done individually every time for each color. So multi-colored prints take time, as each color is separately applied. Also, a separate stencil has to be created for each color. This entire procedure is redundant in direct to garment (DTG) printing. DTG is essentially digital, that is, it is similar to inkjet printing technology.
The design can hence be of any number of colors. The print timing doesn’t depend on the type of the graphics. Every print comes out in one go.
Even though it is more convenient to print on DTG, it is an expensive process when it comes to bulk printing. Screen printing turns to be economical in the war of DTG vs. screen printing. But for printing a single piece, screen print is not viable as a separate dye has to be specially made for each color.
Here, DTG printing comes as a boon. Single piece orders can be processed economically using this technology. Hence users can print their designs using custom t-shirt designing tools like inkXE without having to bother ordering ten pieces of the same model. It is impractical for someone to order multiple parts of the same t-shirt unless there is a team or event requirement. Modern DTG has overcome problems like white base requirements for printing on a darker material.
Screen Printing Pros & Cons:
– Quality of prints is high
– Colors last well
– Tried & Tested
– More top setup cost
– Labor intensive
– Multiple colors require separate slides
– Slower process
– Prints can be thick at times
– Single copies are not economical
DTG Printing Pros & Cons:
– Easy to set up and use
– Inexpensive and fast unique prints
– Designs cannot be felt on hand unlike screen prints
– Designs with numerous colors take same time as single colors
– Cleaner process
– Easy to customize
– Not so economical in printing bulk quantities
– White base required to print on dark colored material
– Fabric dependent
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