Screen Printing Machine vs. DTG: Best Print Method Compared In 2021

Screen Printing Machine
Screen Printing Machine

As Direct-to-Garment digital screen printing machine has achieved popularity and price, the question that arises increasingly more often: how does DTG printing compare to typical screen printing?

To put it simply, what is the very best T-shirt publish method?

In this comparison of screen printing machine vs DTG, each round will undoubtedly cover various aspects of personalized clothing printing, including vibrancy, shade matching, sturdiness, as well as extra. Whichever print approach wins one of the most rounds takes home the champion belt.

And keep in mind, kids, nobody is obtaining punched in the head. It’s just an allegory. Now on to the intros.

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The Challenge Giver

DTG has been around for 15 years. However, because of time, innovations in modern technology have come with a rapid-fire speed. Each year this print method gets much faster, more budget-friendly, as well as produces better prints.

Bench to entry for most printing companies is still relatively high. A respectable professional machine can set you back anywhere from $15,000 right as much as $800,000. Yet as service financial investments go, it’s a good one: a firm can start taking low-quantity, on-demand orders without the standard set up price and effort of screen printing for screen printing machine cost.

The majority of the internet on-demand printing firms are presently using DTG printing press. Here at RushOrderTees, we have the most state-of-the-art equipment on the market. However, when it comes to high amounts, we depend on the traditional screen printing machine.


The Defending Champ

The screen printing machine has been around forever (at least considering that the Song Dynasty in China about 1000 ADVERTISEMENT) but exploded into modern-day culture throughout the 1960s. With the appeal of Andy Warhol’s artwork, the blossoming printed T-shirt fad, as well as the development of the turning multi-color screen printing press.

A steady stream of technological improvements improved top quality and effectiveness, but the main principle continues to be the same: press ink through a mesh stencil onto a textile (or “the substrate” if you want to seem like a professional).

Screen printing remains the most widely known and also favored form of embellishing personalized apparel, but DTG is fast ending up being a challenger.

Even the up-gradation of screen printing machine does screen printing still hold the championship belt, or is it time for the beginner to take the title? Let’s learn.


Screen printing comes out hostile with the one-two punch of saturation and also illumination.

When you desire your layout to attract attention indeed and when you want it to pop off the shirt, you choose screen printing. If screen printing machine quality is not up to the mark, you will get the best result.

DTG printing has gone through a long way last few years yet still has a somewhat duller appearance when you contrast both.

What accounts for the difference?

Traditional screen printing machine utilizes Plastisol ink (composed of PVC bits suspended in a plasticizing emulsion), which are incredibly non-transparent and available in a vast array of shades. It’s specific colors– whether right out of the container or with a custom Pantone mix.

Digital printing, on the other hand, utilizes water-based inks, which do not have the opaqueness and also the vibrancy of plastisol inks, especially on darker garments.

Even though DTG machines can give an intense under base (plastic particle pretreatment and titanium dioxide white ink), which boosts the vibrancy, the final results are still lacking, contrasted to screen printing.

DTG relies upon procedure printing or the CMYK color model (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to make the various shades of shade.

While the colours themselves are bright and also saturated, they are additionally semi-transparent to make sure that you can mix them extra easily. (This mixing ability is useful but doesn’t come into play till the next round.).

Screen printing machine use of Plastisol Inks, one of the most dynamic colours offered (fluorescents, for example) tends to be outside the CMYK shade gamut (or series of feasible shades).



DTG appears swinging in the second round with excellent color mixing.

What do I imply by shade mixing?

Shade mixing can develop smooth gradients and a series of shades by blending a lower quantity of shades, precisely what you made direct-to-garment printers.

A DTG screen printing press is a massive version of an inkjet printer, comparable to what you may have at your office or home, but it is to print on T-shirts and various other garments.

When printing DTG, we call it “full shade”; however, we’re using four colours (or six like on the advanced designs like we utilize right here at RushOrderTees). It functions using procedure printing; the four colours of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) blending to create a range of colours.

How accurately does it match those shades? You’ll need to wait until “shade matching” in round 3 to discover.

What we’re discussing in this round is color blending.

When it comes to gradients with smooth shifts, subtle aspects like smoke that fade right into the tee-shirt, or specific blends like those needed for the complexion, digital printing is far more trustworthy than screen printing. And also with little to no arrangement.

With screen printing, we can take spot colours of Plastisol and develop a range of shades using a technique called “substitute process.” The setup included makes it much less effective, specifically for smaller orders. And the results can be mixed.

With DTG, as I discussed in the previous round, the inks are water-based and extra transparent than Plastisol.

That enables the ink to overlap and blend much more comfortably, making beautiful, smooth gradients and offering DTG the winning edge in this round.



One round an item as we go into the third. And also, screen printing returns solid with its accuracy color matching capacity.

Using the cherished Pantone Matching System, we can replicate any color you could need. That consists of colors outside the range of CMYK, incredibly saturated shades, and specialized inks.

Matching shades properly is especially essential when it comes to business branding. Numerous companies have brand name guidelines that define Pantone shades. They’re practically always going to be off if you try to match those shades with DTG.

The primary factor is that the under base isn’t opaque sufficient, so the t-shirt color hemorrhages. When attempting to color suit, darker shirts and also shade shirts can quickly become a trouble.

Pantone matching can be done with process inks and especially with inkjet printing– and also is done daily in other printing tools. And numerous DTG suppliers declare they can Pantone match– however, only within range.

One of the most innovative DTG equipment has added slots for two additional colors: bright green and bright red. Still, it doesn’t offset screen printing’s capacity to publish a variety that consists of every shade on the planet.

Sure, some shades are out-of-gamut for the best t-shirt printing machine too, but overall, its gamut is much larger than DTG. This round is no contest. When you need to match exact colors for your brand, you select screen printing.

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