Custom Shirts: DTG Printing vs Screen Printing Guide

When it comes to custom shirts, there are two more main options that you can choose from: do you want DTG printing or screen printing?

Whether you want DTG printing or screen printing depends pretty much on a few factors like your choice of design and shirt, your budget and so on. The truth is, both of these t-shirt printing methods are awesome for creating your custom shirts but one may be better depending on your situation.

How does DTG printing work for custom shirts

Design-wise, DTG printing can be a great option for businesses and clothing brands. DTG printing gives you the ability to have a design on your apparel just like an inkjet printer would give you the ability to have a design on your computer paper.

The big difference between screen printing and DTG printing is that while DTG uses dyes, screen printing uses pigments. Pigments are heavier than dyes which causes them to sit on top of the fabric instead of being absorbed into the fabric like dye does which can cause long-term fading of colours.

With DTG printing you can get custom shirts completed faster because the dyes are absorbed by the fabric and no curing is needed after completing like screen printing.

Which material is best for DTG printing

Not all custom shirts are created equal. Every fabric has its own characteristics, and the one you choose will affect how your shirt will look and feel after it's been printed. Cotton is the most popular choice because it can be printed on with dye-sublimation (DTG) printers, which are the best kind of printer for printing directly onto fabric.

There are three different kinds of cotton that are commonly used for DTG printing: standard weight, mid-weight and light weight. The heavier the shirt material, generally speaking, means that it will hold up better over time when washed repeatedly in hot water or dried in high heat settings as it holds its original shape better than thinner fabrics do when subject to these types of conditions.

Is DTG printing good quality

There are many benefits of DTG printing that make it the preferred choice for many businesses and clothing brands. Here are a few of the main reasons why:

Durability – DTG printing is very durable, making it a great choice for those who want their shirts to last through multiple washes before needing to be replaced.

Resistance – DTG printing is resistant to fading, shrinking, colour bleeding and peeling. This makes it perfect for those who need their designs to look good even after repeated use or multiple washes.

Cost-effective – If you're looking for something less expensive than screen printing but still offers excellent quality, DTG printing may be right for you!

How does screen printing work for custom shirts

Screen printing is a method of printing on fabrics, such as custom shirts, using a stencil and ink. The process involves placing a stencil on the fabric and then going over it with a squeegee to push the ink through the holes in the stencil onto the fabric.

Screen printing is a common t-shirt printing method for custom shirts because it is affordable, durable and flexible. Screen printing allows for unlimited colour options and designs, making it ideal for creating a custom shirt or other apparel with your favourite design or logo.

Which material is best for screen printing

There are many different types of fabric for screen printing, but cotton is the best material for screen printing. Cotton is used because it has a good balance between strength and flexibility.

Polyester is another common fabric used for screen printing. Polyester can be stronger than cotton, but it doesn't absorb ink as well as cotton does. Some people choose to use polyester when they need to print on dark or very bright colors because the ink won't bleed through the fabric like it can with cotton.

Both fabrics come in different weights and thicknesses, so make sure you choose one that will suit your custom shirts.

Is screen printing good quality

The screen printing process is a highly versatile method of decorating fabric and other materials. This is due to the fact that the process can be used to create a wide range of designs, from simple logos to complex artwork.

While screen printing may not always produce high quality results, it is definitely durable enough for most projects that require an image on fabric or other materials.

Which is better: DTG printing or screen printing

When it comes to print quality, it's important to understand what you're comparing. There are several different types of t-shirt printing methods, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses.

DTG printing is great for small orders. These machines allow you to print on a variety of materials for custom shirts, tanks, bags and more.

The process is fast - from printing to delivery only takes about 7-10 days. You can even get them printed in one day! The quality is also very good.

Whereas screen printing has a longer turnaround time than DTG printing, which means that you have to wait longer for your clothing to be completed.

DTG printing is also great for complex designs.

This t-shirt printing method uses direct to garment printing, which means they print directly onto the shirt rather than using transfers or stickers like screen printing. This makes DTG printing ideal for more intricate designs that may not transfer well for other t-shirt printing methods.

Screen Printing is better for simple designs.

Screen printing is generally considered a premium t-shirt printing process, with higher production costs than other processes. It's also considered to be one of the best ways to get rich, vibrant color and detail in designs. But there are some trade-offs that come with this high quality.

How to choose the right t-shirt printing method

There are many ways to put your own image on custom shirts, but two of the most common are screen printing or DTG printing. Both are durable and versatile, but they have some key differences that will help you decide which one is best for your project.

The method you choose will depend on the look of your design and how much you want to spend.

Screen printing is a traditional method of printing that uses mesh screens with stencils to transfer ink onto paper or fabric. It's durable and can be used on almost any surface, but it's not as flexible as DTG printing. Screen printing also has a higher cost per unit than DTG printing.

DTG printing uses heat to transfer ink directly onto the shirt without using screens or stencils. This makes it more flexible than screen printing.

This allows for more flexibility in terms of design since you don't have to worry about creating a stencil beforehand or dealing with registration problems (when multiple colors overlap they sometimes don't line up exactly).

The DTG printing method is fast, affordable and eco-friendly which makes it perfect for small orders or complex designs.


The choice between DTG printing or screen printing largely comes down to individual preference, but if you are considering both and trying to decide, DTG printing is a far more eco-friendly option, cheaper and in some cases, faster.

Both can be printed on a variety of garments, such as cotton, linen, polyester, and more. The durability of your printing method really has to do with the garment you choose to print on.

For example, DTG printing will look best on 100% cotton or high quality fabrics regardless of its color or style.

You don't need ink to be durable on these garments, since DTG printing will not crack or fade away. In addition, DTG printing offers a nice rubbery finish that is hard to get from screen printing.

If you want to learn more about DTG printing or screen printing, request a consultation with Tagit Express to receive a no-obligation quote. 

Looking for custom shirts in Oshawa? Call (416) 315-3366 for an express t-shirt printing order. 

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