Direct to Garment Vs. Screen Printing Shirts

Direct Garment and screen printing are two ways to produce a custom-made shirt. While screen printing has advanced significantly over the years, it still requires manual screen printers. 


Direct to Garment printing is a cheaper alternative to screen printing shirts, especially if you only need to order a small number of shirts. With screen printing, you have to pay for stencils, which adds to the cost of the finished product. The setup is also more complicated. Furthermore, most screen printing companies require a minimum order size.

One big difference between screen printing and direct-to-garment printing is that screen printing uses a stencil to push ink into the fabric. On the other hand, direct garment printing uses a printer to spray the ink directly onto the fabric. This process is less expensive, but the disadvantages of using this method are that you can’t get as complex a design. Moreover, DTG printers can’t print on cuffs or collars, limiting the number of designs you can create.

The cost of screen printing is also higher. The cost can be higher or lower depending on the design and the number of shirts. However, the quality of the prints is better, and the process is more efficient at high volumes. Hence, you can choose Direct to Garment printing when you need high-quality designs in multiple colors.

Direct to Garment printing is less expensive than screen printing shirts, but it’s not always the best option. Unlike screen printing, DTG prints are not as durable and may not be suitable for all types of garments. For example, some customers want their prints to be bulletproof and have zero hand-feel. However, it’s worth noting that screen printing is faster than DTG and is cheaper if you need to order small quantities.


Regarding delivering high-quality print results, there are some significant differences between screen printing and direct-to-garment printing. First, screen printing requires the creation of separate screens for each element of a design. These separate screens are applied layer by layer to the Garment. The more layers in a design, the longer the process will take. Additionally, the design will appear thicker on the finished product. In addition, screen printing is only cost-effective for large print runs.

Another difference between screen printing and DTG printing is the cost per Garment. Screen printing is typically cheaper when done in high volumes, but DTG is more expensive on the first few garments. However, screen printing is more durable and can be printed on various garment types.

Screen printing uses stencils to push ink into the fabric. On the other hand, direct-to-garment printing uses a printer to force ink directly onto the fabric. While screen printing is cheaper and more convenient for t-shirt printing, it isn’t as good at recreating complicated designs.

DTG is more popular when it comes to customized apparel printing. In many cases, DTG is better suited for online clothing stores, where a high stock volume is a concern. On the other hand, screen printing is better for businesses that print in bulk and focus on margins.


Depending on your needs, screen printing or direct-to-garment printing is a great option for custom shirts. Screen printing is usually more affordable, but this will also depend on the design and the number of items. If your design is complex, direct-to-garment printing may be the best option.

Screen printing is time-consuming, and the same screen is used hundreds or thousands of times. This process is often preferred for large orders, while DTG is more cost-effective for smaller runs. Because screen printing is a manual process, the costs can quickly add up, especially when ordering in bulk. However, the screen printing process allows you to choose the placement of your design, which is helpful for designs with a wraparound or sleeve.

DTG and screen printing use inkjet technology, but screen printing is more durable. Both processes require stencils, but screen printing requires multiple stencils. Screen printing is also best for large orders, with lower setup costs. The downside is that screen printing cannot be used for multi-color printing.

While DTG is more expensive than screen printing, it is still more affordable and offers a high-quality transfer of designs. DTG printing is best for low-volume orders of fifteen to twenty-five shirts, while screen printing is more effective for larger runs of 100 or more.

Another difference between screen printing and DTG is the level of detail in the design. Screen printing uses a stencil to push ink into the fabric. Direct to Garment is more versatile and allows for full-color printing. It uses thinner ink soaks into the fabric, making the resulting garments softer and breathable.

Color nuance

There are several key differences between direct-to-garment printing and screen printing. The first is the printing process. Direct garment printing involves the use of inkjet technology. This technology allows for thousands or even millions of colors to be used. While DTG is popular and cheaper, it can be more time-consuming.

Direct-to garment printing has the advantage of allowing for multiple colors to be printed on the same shirt. However, this printing technique requires various quality equipment, ink, squeegees, and practice. However, it is still considered one of the best ways to print multiple colors on a single shirt.

Direct-to-garment printing has several advantages over screen printing. Direct garment printing allows for orders to be filled on demand, while screen printing requires orders to be placed in bulk. It also allows for a faster turnaround time than screen printing. This is a significant difference in production costs and can make a difference in your business.

Direct garment printing uses inkjet technology and specialty textile inks. The printer is similar to a home inkjet printer but is specialized in textile printing. Inkjet printing uses specialized textile ink cartridges that bond with the fibers of the Garment. The final result is a highly detailed image.


The difference between screen printing and direct-to-garment printing can be significant, and the differences are not just in appearance. In general, screen printing is less expensive than direct-to-garment printing. However, this price difference depends on many factors, such as the complexity of the design and the number of items to be printed. Direct-to-garment printing is likely to be the more cost-effective option if you are planning to make multiple colors or complex designs.

DTG printing is much faster than screen printing. Although the finished product is often softer, it still isn’t as durable as screen prints. It also isn’t suitable for all types of garments. While it may be more economical for small-run projects, it is not the best option if you plan to print large-scale. Screen printing is a good choice if you only print a small number of items.

The initial cost of direct-to-garment printing is less than that of screen printing. However, it is much more complicated and requires a lot of upfront investment. In addition, screen printing requires you to have screens that are set up and dismantled, which can be time-consuming and costly. A third-party print service will require a minimum order of 5 to 100 items, so you will have to spend more up-front than you would otherwise. You’ll also have a greater chance of ordering excess inventory.

Direct-to garment printing is ideal for small-run orders because it can be done quickly. While screen printing can take days or even weeks, direct-to-garment printing takes just a few hours to complete. This makes DTG an excellent choice for small-scale projects where you want to create more than one t-shirt.