DTG Printing Vs. Silk Screen Printing

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So the biggest question we get asked is this: “What’s the difference between silk screen printing and DTG printing?” I figured I’d write a short paragraph on each letting everyone know the pros and cons of each side.

Silk Screen Printing- or “Screen Printing” is the process of burning an image into a mesh screen and filling it with plastisol ink.  The ink is then passed through the screen onto the t-shirt using a squeegee and heated to about 330 degrees to cure.  After the curing process, the shirt is ready to be worn and washed as needed.  Silk screen printing is cost efficient for bulk orders and has a great lasting quality.  95% of the graphic shirts you buy at the mall are silk screened.  As far as the downside goes, generally 1-6 colors of ink are used in this method unless working with an automatic press.  In that case a 4 color process using CMYK inks can achieve full color pictures by bitmapping the image and pressing the inks wet.


Direct to Garment Printing-  or “DTG printing” for short, is the process of machine spraying a water based ink on the tee shirt and heat press curing the garment. The most popular new technology in tee shirt printing is DTG.  The reason for this is the amazing result of full color printing!  With the DTG machine, we can offer no minimum order, same day service and a large 14″x16″ print space.  A shirt can take as little as 2 minutes to be done!  As far as the downside to DTG, it’s much more expensive than silk screen printing.  On the other hand, it looks much better than a 4 color process.


In conclusion, both processes have an equal amount of pros and cons but it all boils down to preference.  We encourage coming in to check out the result of both types of printing before making a decision.

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