On most jobs


Minimum order



Screen Printing vs Direct-to-Garment In Custom Design Shirts

Screen Printing vs Direct-to-Garment In Custom Design Shirts

Ever wanted to design your own super-cool custom Design Shirts? Maybe you have a killer band logo, a hilarious saying, or just a picture of your adorable pet that you want to show off to the world. T-shirts are a fantastic way to express yourself, and with the rise of on-demand printing, creating your own masterpiece is easier than ever! But when it comes to printing your design, you might be faced with a question: screen printing vs. direct-to-garment (DTG), which is the better choice?

Don’t worry, this blog post is here to be your ultimate guide! We’ll break down the key differences between screen printing and DTG, so you can choose the printing method that makes your custom t-shirt truly shine.

Screen Printing: The Classic Champion

Screen printing is a well-established technique that’s been around for decades. Imagine a stencil made out of mesh, like a super fine bug screen. This stencil is placed on top of a t-shirt, and ink is then pushed through the open areas of the stencil, leaving a crisp and vibrant design on the shirt.

Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of screen printing:

Pros of Screen Printing:

  • Durability: Screen printed designs are known for their exceptional durability. They can withstand countless washes and maintain their bright colors for years to come. This makes screen printing a great choice for t-shirts you’ll wear often and wash regularly.
  • Vibrant Colors: Screen printing offers a wide range of vibrant and opaque colors, perfect for creating bold and eye-catching designs. This is especially true for dark-colored shirts, where DTG might have some limitations.
  • Cost-Effective (for Bulk Orders): If you’re planning on printing a large batch of t-shirts, say for a sports team or a club event, screen printing becomes more cost-effective. The setup process might take a little longer, but the cost per shirt goes down significantly for larger quantities.

Cons of Screen Printing:

  • Setup Costs: Screen printing requires creating screens for each color in your design. This setup process can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for small orders with just a few t-shirts.
  • Limited Design Complexity: While screen printing can handle detailed designs, it’s not ideal for super intricate images with lots of fine lines or gradients.
  • Not Suitable for Small Orders: As mentioned earlier, screen printing’s setup costs make it less practical for small batches of shirts.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG): The Speedy Newcomer

Direct-to-garment printing, also known as DTG, is a newer technology that’s rapidly gaining popularity. It works a bit like a fancy inkjet printer for t-shirts! A special machine sprays ink directly onto the fabric, creating a digital image that becomes part of the shirt itself.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of DTG printing:

Pros of DTG Printing:

  • Fast Turnaround: DTG printing boasts a much faster turnaround time compared to screen printing. There’s no need for creating screens, so you can get your custom design shirts printed quickly and easily, sometimes even on the same day!
  • Ideal for Small Orders: Since there are no setup costs involved, DTG printing is perfect for small batches of shirts, or even just one unique t-shirt for yourself.
  • Great for Complex Designs: DTG printing excels at handling intricate designs with fine details, photo prints, or even full-color images.

Cons of DTG Printing:

  • Durability: While DTG inks have improved greatly, they generally don’t hold up quite as well as screen printed designs over multiple washes. Following proper care instructions is essential to maintain the quality of your DTG printed shirt.
  • Limited Color Options on Dark Fabrics: DTG inks sometimes struggle to show up as vibrantly on dark-colored shirts as they do on lighter fabrics. White or light-colored shirts are ideal for DTG printing.
  • Cost per Shirt (Small Orders): For smaller orders, DTG printing might be slightly more expensive per shirt compared to screen printing.

The Ultimate Showdown: Choosing Your Champion

So, which printing method should you choose for your custom t-shirt? Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  • Choose Screen Printing if:
    • You’re ordering a large batch of t-shirts (50 or more)
    • You prioritize durability and long-lasting colors
    • Your design has a limited number of colors

Contact Us


Get a Quote

Custom Order

Contact Us

Get a Quote

Custom Order

Special Offers

Don’t miss out on our special offers of the month.

Special Offers

Don’t miss out on our special offers of the month.

Our Services

Los Angeles Printing Services

You can place your order in person, online or by phone and we’ll ship the order to you.