What’s the difference between screen printing and DTG?
Screen printing is the process of transferring a stencilled design onto a garment using a mesh screen, ink and a rubber blade.
The setup process for screen print is more costly and time-consuming than it is for DTG.
Each colour in the artwork has to be separated and printed with its own screen, with a maximum of 6 different colours or screens. Screen printing is suitable for larger batches. Higher volumes equal lower cost per print. Screen print is better for designs that are graphic and have fewer colours. It’s also suitable for more vibrant colours, fluorescent colours or playful techniques such as flock, foile or, puff prints etc.
The ink or paint also lies in layers on the fabric's surface, giving the print a more tactile quality.
DTG printers use a specialised water-based ink-jet technology to spray ink onto the garment.
Because there is no stencil, multiple colours can be applied simultaneously. DTG has a more limited colour palette but is still better for detailed prints or very colourful designs, such as photo prints.
Since the ink is water-based, it works best for printing on natural fibres such as cotton, hemp, and linen. This is why our fleece garments have a very low percentage of polyester – to work in the Kornit machine.
One of the most significant benefits of print on demand is that you don’t have to produce more printed garments than you sell, meaning no stock with printed garments that haven’t sold.
DTG has no setup cost, which makes it more cost-efficient when printing one T-shirt or smaller orders, and it’s very suitable for print on demand.
The Kornit Atlas Max uses 93,8% less water than screen printing. DTG also uses 67% less energy and saves 87% on CO2 compared to screen printing. The inks used in the Kornit machine are certified as free of heavy metals.