When it comes to t-shirt printing, you’ve got options. Most commonly, DTG and screen printing. We’re not gonna lie, each of these methods can be useful. Nevertheless, here at the Scrappy Apparel Company we only offer the latter. Why you ask? Let’s just say, we’ve learned a few things that you may not yet realize.
What Is DTG Printing?
Also known as direct-to-garment printing, DTG printing one of the latest methods of t-shirt printing. The DTG method involves the use of specialized inkjet technology, known as aqueous inkjet technology. DTG printers work in a way that is similar to inkjet printers you commonly see in many home offices and businesses; the words and/or images are digitized by the printer. From there, the digital image is printed directly onto the garment.
Obviously, this is not the most efficient printing method by our standards, but we’re not in the business of dictating, and respect our customer’s right to choose. So, in the spirit of the freedom of the press, here are some benefits of DTG printing:
- Great Versatility: One of the top benefits of DTG printing is that it can be used to create a variety of detailed designs, custom printing, and other vibrant designs. This makes it a good option for companies who are looking to create a wide variety of colorful creations.
- Minimal Setup: Since the printers that are designed to create DTG printing projects are just like the everyday inkjet printer, the setup time for these machines are very minimal.
- Consistent Designs: Another benefit of DTG printing is that it provides consistent printed designs.
- Eco-Friendly: Also, garments created using DTG printing are considered Eco-friendly because the printers use water-based ink.
- No Minimum: One other advantage of using DTG printing is that unlike screen printing, there is often no minimum quantity required in terms of the number of products you can order at once. This often makes DTG the go-to for On-Demand Printing.
Quite frankly, the benefits of using DTG printing, do not apply to everyone. This usually depends on what your business goals are. And for many businesses, the cons far outweigh the pros:
- Lower Quality:One major reason we don’t offer DTG printing is that using DTG printing makes inferior quality products. So, you can get these products fast and cheap, but the level of quality is another story.
- Fabric Limitations:Also, there are fabric limitations when using DTG printing. In general, t-shirts printed using this method should be 100% cotton. This is because the ink generally bonds much better to this fabric as opposed to popular fabrics, such as tri-blends, polyester, and other fabrics.
- Expensive/ Hidden Fees: Although on the surface, DTG printing seems to be fairly cheap, the tools and maintenance associated with using DTG are often more than your bargain for. For instance, the ink used in the process is expensive, as well as the equipment itself. These things only increase prices for lesser quality products and limit the savings of printing in large quantities.
- Slow Turnarounds:Much like ink-jets, DTG printers print line-by-line. This means you will only be able to print about one shirt every 2 minutes. This is fine for smaller projects. However, we prefer to work with customers who are doing larger-scale projects exclusively.
- Size Limitations: Also, there are size limitations that prevent us from using DTG printing. In particular, large format screen printing, which is not compatible with DTG printing.
What Is Screen Printing?
On the other hand, screen printing is the traditional method of printing on textiles of all kinds. With this method, an individual screen must be created for each color used in the design. From there, each screen must be registered (positioned) with each other on the press, so the colors are properly aligned on the finished product. Once it has been properly set up, ink is then pushed through a meshed screen and ultimately onto the garment. In screen printing, each color is applied one layer at a time. Some colors will require a second layer.
Nevertheless, in the name of honesty and transparency, we must also admit that there are some cons to using this type of printing. For instance, it takes skill and a well-trained team, such as ours, to be able to use these printers effectively. Also, these printers have relatively expensive upfront costs and we may not be able to accommodate designs that are overly complex or include too many colors.
Either way, here at the Scrappy Apparel Company we love screen printing. Here’s why:
- Variety of Fabrics:One of the top reasons we love screen printing is that it can be used on a wide variety of fabrics such as Bamboo, Triblend, CVC, Performance Polyester, Hemp, RPET,and Supima Cotton.
- Beautiful, Vibrant Prints:Another reason we offer screen printing over DTG printing is that it offers beautiful, vibrant prints that are much nicer than those that can be created by DTG printers. Also, we can use different inks like discharge, water-based, metallic, high density to produce unique looks and feels.
- Less Maintenance:Also, although there are more upfront costs, there is typically less maintenance required to maintain these over time. This makes it possible for us to keep costs lower for all of our customers.
- Small Minimum Order:Another major perk of screen printing is that it allows us to accommodate orders of all sizes. Our order minimum for screen printed projects is only 24, and the more you order, the more your savings per item increases. For instance, the cost to print 50 shirts with screen printing is far less than DTG, increasing your profit per shirt.
- High Quality and Durable:Lastly, we use screen printing because it allows us to provide our customers with products that are both high-quality and durable. Here are Scrappy Apparel Company, our main goal is to supply every customer with high-quality products that last for years.
The Bottom Line
If you are seeking high-quality products that are beautifully crafted and durable, please contact us today to discuss your options and get a quote for your project.