DTG vs. Screen Printing

If you’re thinking about starting an apparel printing service for your business, it’s important to know the difference between DTG and screen printing. With the print industry constantly advancing with new technologies, this leaves printers with a variety of different print methods to choose from. When it comes to printing apparel, many are turning towards digital printing as it is both increasingly popular and affordable for printers. However, there are advantages and disadvantages for both print methods, which will be outlined in this quick guide.




What’s the difference between DTG and screen printing?



DTG (Direct-to-Garment)

DTG printing is the most standard and modern form of printing for apparel today. Thanks to the digital advancements we have in technology, DTG relies on a digital print head that works like an inkjet printer in your home or office. DTG offers extensive color options for print, which allows printers to print images in full-color and detail. This is beneficial especially for those looking for customization of printed apparel.



  • Quicker turnaround compared to screen printing
  • No set-up costs (ideal for low volume runs that are 100 or less)
  • Good option for designs that use a variety of different colours
  • Accurately prints full-color detailed photographs
  • Does not require artwork to be layer/colour separated or vector format



  • Printing on dark-coloured garments is less vibrant and may be grainy
  • Unable to match exact Pantone colours
  • Staining could appear due to how pre-treatment reacts to the garment
  • For small batches, DTG is more ideal.



Before digital technology existed, screen printing was the traditional method for printing on apparel. The process for screen printing involves pressing the ink down through a woven mesh-like stencil onto the fabric. Despite the limited colors, printed graphics can come out in full saturation.



  • Flexible print material options
  • Works best with simple designs
  • Ideal for high print volume
  • Durability



  • Only good for high print volume
  • Setup more complicated
  • Slower turnaround time
  • Limited colours

As opposed to DTG printing, screen printing is best for those who are looking to print a large quantity of apparel products. Many printers currently rely on screen printing because of the vibrant and durable results.



Which Method Should I Use?

For those who are new to printing apparel, you’re probably wondering which method is best for you. Before making a decision, do your research on both methods. Below are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing your print method:


  • Volume (are you printing a low or high volume?)
  • Turnaround time
  • How complex are the designs you plan to print?
  • What and how many colors will you be using?
  • Is a lot of time and effort needed for setup?
  • Which method is more cost-efficient for your business?


Overall, the easiest and most effective way to grow your business today would likely be DTG printing. This method has been adopted by many printers in the modern print industry, and its ease of access and setup saves time and resources. Also, with the rising popularity and need for customization from clients, this is where DTG plays a big role in the apparel industry.


At Aliant Brands, our apparel printing service is brought to life using both DTG and Screen Printing. We strive to offer quick turnaround times and customization for your convenience.



About Aliant Brands

Aliant Brands is a marketing services and promotional products agency based in Britain. We are a team of doers who are obsessed with delivering the best solutions ever. We are brand evangelists, designers and developers. We empower brands and deliver solutions. For more information, visit www.aliantbrands.co.uk