So you’re ready to create some t-shirts but you’re not sure which method of printing you should go with? No worries mate, I’ve got you covered with a quick run-down on the pros and cons of each style dispelling information about quality and durability of both silk screen printing and digital direct-to-garment. Based on what you’re trying to accomplish you’ll find that one style might be more suitable than the other. Here are the dirty details on each option so that you can pick the right one for your swag…

What’s Screen Printing?

Screen printing uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink can be pressed through to create a sharp-edged image onto a shirt. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil forcing ink into the mesh openings for transfer during the squeegee stroke.

Pros & Cons of Silk Screen Printing

Screen Printing Pros

  • Common, you’ve probably seen and owned a silk screened shirt
  • Cost effective for large orders
  • Color matching i.e. exact match of your logo colors
  • Versatile placement of designs

Screen Printing Cons

  • Limited by designs and traditionally products
  • Not cost effective for lots of colors, designs or products
  • Longer turn around time
  • Specialized artwork/pantone colors

Direct-to-Garment Printing

Direct-to-Garment printing is a process of printing on shirts using specialized or modified inkjet technology. The two key requirements of a DTG printer are a transport mechanism for the shirt and specialty inks that are applied to the textile directly and are absorbed by the fibers.

Pros & Cons of Digital Direct-to-Garment

DTG Pros

  • Cost effective for lots of colors in the design/lots of different designs/products
  • Great for detail or photos
  • Quick turn around on an order
  • On-demand – no upfront investment
  • No specialized artwork required

DTG Cons

  • Not common – if you’re expecting silk screen and get DTG you may be surprised a bit by the print
  • Not cost effective for large orders
  • No color matching
  • Limited placement of designs

Now that you’re armed with the right printing choice for your swag, head on over to create t-shirts for your staff, or an upcoming event, or to giveaway directly to customers!