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DTG Printing Vs. Screen Printing

dtg vs screen printing

DTG Printing

DTG  printing, also referred to as direct to garment printing, is a method used to print digital imagery onto t-shirts and other fabrics. DTG printing is the method we use most frequently here at Printaura. Direct to garment printing is just what it sounds like; the design is directly printed onto the garment. We use large specialized printers and inks to print designs directly onto fabrics.

DTG printer

How It Works

Curious about how DTG printing works? The process is quite simple and yields beautiful results, as long as the digital art is setup correctly. Here is what happens:

1. The printer is set up in accordance with your desired placement and product.

2. Your design is sent to the printer.

3. The printer transfers your design onto the product.

4. The ink is then sealed in order to promote product longevity.

5. And we're done. Easy!


There are many benefits to using DTG printing for your needs. Here are just a few:

Available to be printed on demand

Available with no minimums

Unlimited color possibility at no extra charge

Accommodates great amounts of detail

No overhead (no startup costs)

Prints photographs


There are also some drawbacks to using DTG Printing. Here are the main limitations:

Limited placement options

Ink takes to different fabrics differently

Limited volume discount options

Screen Printing

Screen printing, also referred to as silk screening is another method for printing graphics on t-shirts and other fabrics. Screen printing is a printing process that goes back thousands of years.

Screen Printer

How It Works

Curious about how screen printing works? The set up process for screen printing is a very technical process. After the screen is setup with your design, many prints can be made from that one screen. Here is what happens:

1. Your design is transferred onto a fine mesh screen using a photo emulsion process.

2. The press is then setup in accordance with your desired positioning and product.

3. A squeegee is then used to push a thick ink through the stenciled mesh.

4. When the screen is lifted, voila! Your design has been transferred onto your product.


Screen printing can be great for certain circumstances. Here are some of the benefits to using the screen printing process:

Ideal for large volumes

Brighter colors (thicker ink)

Many possibilities for design placement

Great volume discounts available

Retail Quality


Screen printing also has some limitations when it comes to printing digital images. Here are a few:

Limited colors

Cost per item usually increases by number of colors used

Only accommodates a limited amount of detail

Substantial setup cost

Cannot print photographs

Not economic in small quantities

Rarely available for print on demand


Do you still have questions about these different printing processes? If you are still curious about which method is right for you, reach out! Leave us a comment with any questions on concerns about either of these methods. We are always happy to help.

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