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screen printing vs DTG

As a Creator Studio artist, you can access two distinct printing methods: direct to garment (DTG) and screen printing. Both are excellent ways to transform your artwork into merchandise, but what sets DTG and screen printing apart?

what is direct to garment printing?

DTG, or Direct-to-Garment printing, is a technique for printing images or graphics onto textiles. Originating in the US in 1996, it's based on a patented innovation by Matthew Rhome. In the realm of on-demand merchandise, DTG has become the industry go-to, producing exceptional results.

how does DTG differ from other printing methods?

Unlike screen printing, heat transfer, or dye sublimation, DTG employs a large printer with special inks that print directly onto a garment. The garment's fibres absorb the ink, creating a more resilient print that is less prone to cracking, peeling, or distortion compared to screen prints.

how does DTG work for on-demand merchandise?

When a fan purchases one of your products, our DTG process begins. The Creator Studio technology identifies the nearest production hub to the fan's location and initiates a print run of the exact quantity needed.
All our hubs use a single type of Kornit machine to ensure consistent reproduction wherever you are. Each hub exclusively prints Creator Studio merchandise on our in-house apparel label, True Blanks. Creator Studio has bespoke ink mixes optimised for each True Blanks garment and colourway for enhanced consistency.

what is screen printing?

If DTG represents modern printing, screen printing is a more traditional form. Today, we view screen printing with nostalgic admiration, embodying heritage merchandise.
At Creator Studio, we appreciate both methods, each with unique strengths. DTG is flexible, cost-effective, and eco-friendly. Screen printing delivers deep, rich colours, excelling in more straightforward artworks with fewer colours and providing a distinctive tactile feel.

how is screen printing done?

The process involves using a squeegee or professional press to push ink through a mesh stencil onto a flat surface. For multi-coloured artwork, different stencils are used, printing one colour at a time to build a layered print.
While there are variations like silk screen printing, the principles remain the same.

advantages of screen printing

The advantages of screen printing can also pose challenges. It's ideal for bold colours and thick line work, with vibrant colour reproduction. Reusable stencils expedite batch printing, making it popular for sportswear or uniforms. On the downside, intricate designs can be challenging, and print quality may suffer with many colours—uneven prints or thick layers that crack quickly.

which is best, screen printing or DTG?

There's no definitive answer. The best method depends on your artwork, production volume, and timeline. Choose the process that suits your specific project. With both formats yielding excellent results, there’s never been a better time to explore your creativity through custom printed merchandise.

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