WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIRECT TO GARMENT (DTG) AND SCREEN PRINTING?

Direct to Garment (DTG) AKA Print On Demand allows for fast turn around times (sometimes same day) and small orders.  Need a sample?  Or just a few?  Come see us.  We can make it happen with DTG.   This process takes the digital image and “RIPs” the image for print.  I can print up to 2880×1440 resolution.   This allows for images with “true” gradients and a nearly unlimited color gamut.  Making it the ideal way to print photos onto tees.  My machines are using a water based, pigment ink and is not as thick as plastisol (for screen printing).  Which yields a thinner, softer feel.   Prints that don’t require white, or that have very little white as an underbase, can barely be felt on a quality fabric.  A good quality ring spun cotton tee is ideal. 

Screen printing is the process of “burning” a film positive for each color of the image onto a screen.  Each screen is lined up to one another in order to create the complete image.  This process is very efficient for most prints and large quantities of prints.  However, there are some limitations.  Gradients are achieved by using different frequencies and sizes of dots.  This means that a “true” gradient cannot be achieved with this process. Also making it very difficult to get an accurate representation of a photo.  Usually, plastisol ink is used.  Plastisol is usually PVC in a liquid plasticizer.  Essentially, it is colored plastic melted onto a garment or other materials such as signs, ceramics, glass, circuit boards, CD’s and DVD’s, etc.  Creating the art, separating the colors, making & setting up each screen is  time consuming and can be costly when using more than 2 or 3 colors.  This is why most screen printing companies have a minimum order of usually 12-24.  If not, it will definitely be expensive to make a few shirts.  This is where DTG comes in…