Screen Printing vs. DTG: Which Is Right For Your Custom Apparel Orders?

Custom apparel orders are tough enough to get right, but they get more complicated when you compare printing methods!

Direct-to-garment (DTG) is a form of digital printing that has grown a lot in popularity throughout the apparel industry in recent decades. Twenty years ago, DTG was a new type of printing method that a lot of custom apparel businesses didn’t take seriously, but today it now rivals screen printing in terms of affordability and quality.

Today everyone wants to know how screen printing and DTG compare against one another, and which printing method is right for their team’s jerseys and overall apparel needs. At ARES Sportswear, we utilize both techniques all the time, and you can count on our expertise and reliability for your team’s apparel needs. But just like anything else, there are particular pros and cons of each printing method that you should know about.

Below we’ll be going over some of the key differences between both of these printing methods so you can better understand what’s best for your next orders!

What Exactly Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is known to be the most common way for designing apparel, and this method can actually be dated back thousands of years. What happens is each ink color will be effectively pushed through a screen/stencil and then layered on top of the apparel fabric before it’s cured to let the ink set in.

Today’s screen printing technology allows for making over 100 shirts in an hour, which supports an apparel company’s ability to efficiently develop high-volume orders. What’s wild about screen printing is that the general concept has remained the same over the years even as technological improvements have advanced accuracy, quality and efficiency. So even today there is still a significant need for shirts being made by hand via manual screen printers.

Some of the benefits of screen printing in comparison to DTG include the following:

  • Affordable, high-volume orders
  • Oversized/unique printing areas
  • Specialty inks
  • Single-color prints
  • Printing on synthetic fabrics
  • Vibrant colors on darker fabrics
  • Exact color matching

What Exactly Is DTG Printing?

DTG is an apparel printing method that utilizes what’s referred to as the process, and this is because it’ll make a range of colors from primary colors like red, yellow, cyan, magenta, etc.

So a DTG machine is kind of like a massive inkjet printer like the one you may use at your office, but it’s specifically designed for apparel. This technology has been in existence for about 20 years, and many technological advancements have emerged throughout the past couple decades at a very fast pace. It seems like every year there are new DTG methods to make custom apparel orders more affordable, more efficient and of a higher quality. A lot of the early problems that DTG experienced 20 years ago have been resolved, and today this printing method is gaining much more notoriety.

One thing to keep in mind about DTG printing is that there certainly is a glass ceiling for apparel companies to break through to even offer this service, and this is partly because professional DTG machines cost anywhere from $15K to $800,000! But even with the hefty up-front costs, countless printing businesses are utilizing DTG machines for their customers’ needs.

At ARES Sportswear, we’re very proud to offer state-of-the-art DTG printing technology for our clients. Some of the benefits associated with DTG in comparison to screen printing include the following:

  • Better for smaller orders
  • Standard print sizing and locations
  • Capable of printing on 100% cotton
  • Very intricate design details
  • Various gradients and many other photographic design elements
  • Easy blending of colors
  • Great option when a lightweight print or soft feel is important for your order

Which Printing Method Is Best For Your Custom Apparel Orders?

When it comes down to it, choosing between screen printing and DTG is always totally up to you and your unique needs. Your decision should be based upon the overall quantity of apparel items, your unique design, and the specific garments that you’re going to be printing on.

The good news is that you can always count on the ARES team to help you better understand these printing methods in regards to your orders, and we’ll always provide expert guidance in terms of which printing method is best suited for your team’s needs.

Reach Out To The ARES Sportswear Team To Learn More About Our Many Different Printing Options!

ARES Sportswear has supported thousands of schools, athletic programs, non-profits and businesses when it comes to custom apparel orders, and we’ve seen firsthand just how far DTG printing has come in recent years.

Our specialists are always here for you when you have questions about printing methods or any concerns about your next order, so feel free to contact our team online and speak with one of our custom apparel experts today!

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