The Direct-To-Garment (DTG) process, also called digital printing, has advanced greatly over the past few decades. With its quality and affordability, it now rivals traditional screen printing in the custom apparel industry. You will learn about the key differences and what’s best for your specific needs in this article. Visit this website for more infomation about DTG!
What is screen printing?
Screen printing (aka silkscreen) is the most widely known and widely used method for decorating apparel, and dates back thousands of years. It is necessary to push each color of ink through a different stencil (screen), layer the ink onto the textile (fabric), then cure (heat) it to set it.
Screen printing technology
The newer automatic machines (like the one we have) are capable of printing 100 T-shirts an hour or more easily. In this way, printing companies (like Direct To Garment Printing | Custom DTG Print Services) can produce high-volume orders with the highest quality. We print thousands of shirts every season for the Philadelphia 76ers.
A 12-head automatic printer.
While technological advances have improved the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of the process over the years, the fundamental concept remains the same. We actually love it for that reason. It is still necessary to use manual screen printers to print each shirt by hand despite all the innovations.
What are the advantages of screen printing over direct to garment printing?
- The benefits of screen printing include:
- Dark-colored fabrics with vibrant colors.
- It is necessary to match colors exactly.
- Prints in one color, such as text or logos.
- Inks for special effects or specialty purposes.
- Fabric printing on polyester and other synthetics.
- Orders of a large volume.
- The printing of unique or oversized areas.
How does Direct-to-Garment printing work?
DTG printing technology
The advancements in technology have come at an explosive rate in the 20 years that DTG has been around. In addition to producing higher-quality prints, this method becomes faster and more affordable each year. As a result, DTG has become widely adopted and popular, and many of the early issues have been resolved.
DTG vs. Screen Printing: Vibrancy
Luminosity and saturation combine to create vibrancy. DTG printing has made impressive advances in recent years, but it still has a slightly duller appearance than screen printing. Screen printing stands out when you want your design to stand out on the shirt.
Screen printing ink
Screen printing traditionally uses Plastisol ink, which is composed of PVC particles suspended in a plasticizing emulsion (there are eco-friendly, non-PVC Plastisol inks available). Due to its opaque nature, this type of ink can create a bright white underbase on dark garments, which plays an important role in maintaining vibrancy.
With Plastisol inks, you can choose from a wide array of vibrant colors, including fluorescents. Top ink brands offer a standard set of base colors for mixing thousands of Pantone colors.
In contrast to Plastisol inks, water-based inks lack the opaqueness and vibrancy of Plastisol inks. In spite of the fact that DTG machines provide a decent underbase (plastic particle pretreatment and titanium dioxide white ink), the final results aren’t quite as bright as those produced by screen printing.
DTG vs. Screen Printing: Color blending
A color blend creates gradients and a range of colors by blending together fewer colors. That’s exactly what DTG printers excel at. With print resolutions of 1200 dpi and diffusion dither, the dots cannot be seen by the naked eye.
With DTG printing, it is possible to achieve a smooth and subtle color blend. As an operator with color blends, digital printing is smooth with gradients, tiny details, smoke that fades into shirts, or precise blends like skin tones.
It is because DTG inks are water-based and more transparent than Plastisol that they can overlap and combine much easier, resulting in beautifully even, smooth gradients.
With screen printing, we can take the same number of colors and blend them using halftones, a technique known as “simulated process”. Color blending is difficult to achieve, and the setup involved makes it less efficient, especially for small orders.
Color matching between DTG and screen printing
We can reproduce virtually any color with screen printing using Pantones. The range of colors that are not covered by CMYK includes supersaturated colors and specialty inks. The ability to match colors precisely is unmatched.
For branding, it is especially important to match colors accurately. Companies often specify Pantone colors in their brand guidelines. With DTG, these colors are likely to be off- or completely out of gamut if you try to match them.
All 20,000 seats have Unite T-shirts
There is some Pantone matching possible with process inks, and several DTG manufacturers claim to match Pantone within gamut. A certain amount of colors (the brightest, most vibrant ones) are not guaranteed.