Now, how in the world do you tell which kind of printing you should use? Both screen printing and Direct to garment printing have their own qualities and specifications which makes easier for you to decide which way of printing to use in which case. Here are some scenarios by which you will find that it’s actually not that hard to decide…
Screen printing is exactly what the name states, printing with a screen. Your artwork is first broken down into separate layers, one color on each layer. Each of these layers is then transferred on to a screen, and the design is burned in. This burning process makes holes in the mesh of the screen so that when ink is pulled across the screen, it gets pushed through the mesh and onto your t-shirt. This is repeated for each of the layers(and colors) until the whole design is finished.
Are printing a large number of shirts
Have artwork that is 6 colors or less
Are looking for high quality, long lasting prints
Need exact color matching
Then I suggest you go with screen printing. It will take care of all of these and then some.
Direct to garment printing (DTG)
Direct to garment printing is a digital print of your artwork directly on to the shirt (hence the name). Think of a huge ink jet printer with your shirt inside of it, that is basically what happens when using this method of printing. Unlike screen printing, all of the colors are printed at the same time and there are no screens or different kinds of ink involved.
Are only printing a few shirts
Have artwork with lots of colors and/or shading
Have a small budget
Don’t need colors to be matched
Then DTG might be a better option for you. It will save you money and still deliver what you need.