Learning all of the technical terms of the garment printing industry are hard and confusing! You can watch a short video to see how digital t-shirt printing is done. Read on to help decipher the difference between digital printing vs screen printing methods and become an industry expert! Heck, even sometimes industry professionals are confused about the differences between digital apparel printing (also known as DTG Printing) and screen printing shirts. It's not as simple as one being "better" than the other, it's a question of which one better suits your needs! Check out our guide below to figure if Screen Printing or Digital Printing is more beneficial in for your custom apparel project! Another common think people ask for is digital screen printing. While digital screen printing is really not something that is done industry wide, technology is becoming available that combines the process of digital printing with the under base of traditional screen printing.
Digital (DTG) Printing
The process of using a printer head to apply ink directly to a piece of apparel of fabric.
The process of pushing ink through mesh to apply it directly to a piece of apparel or fabric.
Digital printing is the process of using a printer head to apply ink directly to a piece of apparel or fabric. Digital printing is fairly new but advanced technology that affords the ability to print small run orders on both white and colored garments. If you think about your paper printer at home, a digital printer used for DTG printing is the same thing but for garments! With digital shirt printing the color palette is unlimited, which allows you recreate virtually anything from single color logos to high-color photographs. You could have a photo printed on a customized t shirt and give it to grandma. Creating customized single pieces with digital printing has never been easier. Digital shirt printers use water base ink, which comes with a few limitations. Digital Printing needs to be done on mostly cotton substrates and cannot often achieve the fluorescent colors that some people desire. If you need help picking the best option for your order, contact our digital screen printing experts now.
Screen printing shirts is one of the most commonly used methods in custom t-shirt printing and apparel decorating. It is the process of pushing ink through a mesh screen one color at a time. Although the method uses a system of spot coloring, halftones and blends, it can be used to create an image that appears to have a countless number of colors. Screen printing as a production method quickly overtakes Digital Printing in cost per print. The higher the volume, the lower the cost per print becomes. Screen printing also has the advantage of a large selection of different types of inks that are all considerably less expensive per garment than Digital Printing inks. If your goal is cheap screen printing, check out our amazing guide.
Since we are trying to turn you into an industry expert, you must learn the difference between silk screening and screen printing. What is the difference you ask? Nothing!! They are the same thing. Whether you call it screen printing, silk screening, silk screen printing or silk printing, you are generally going to get the same results on your printed apparel. Don’t forget there are many differences in screen printing vs digital printing. However, all these other terms are the same. They all refer to the process of pushing ink through a mesh screen (typically made up of silk or silk type fibers) to transfer an image onto a shirt, canvas, or other product. Now a little bonus fact for you - many people call digital printing on garments DTG. While that is correct, screen printing is also a DTG or direct to garment method of printing on garments. Direct to garment just means you apply the ink directly as opposed to indirectly such as a heat press or screen printed transfer.
Digital printing is the process of using a printer head to apply ink directly to a piece of apparel or fabric. Digital printing is fairly new but advanced technology that affords the ability to print small run orders on both white and colored garments. If you think about your paper printer at home, a digital printer used for DTG printing is the same thing but for garments! With digital shirt printing the color palette is unlimited, which allows you recreate virtually anything from single color logos to high-color photographs. You could have a photo printed on a customized t shirt and give it to grandma. Creating customized single pieces with digital printing has never been easier.
Traditionally, digital screen printing is not really something that exists. You would typically choose from digital printing or screen printing, but they were two totally separate process. Since a digital t-shirt printer can offer some amazing details, but screen printing can offer more fabric selections, industry manufactures are currently looking for a great way to combine these two amazing benefits. There are some very new piece of equipment on the market today that will allow a traditional screen printed under base to be applied and then the same piece of equipment can go over and digitally print the actual design over top. While this technology sounds amazing, it is relatively new and not yet tested industry wide. Very few digital screen printing machine exists and they are really in the creation phase. Time will tell if these digital screen printing machines become an industry standard offering, but for now, you really do have to choose digital printing vs screen printing. One thing to consider is that we can always digitally print the front and screen print the back or combine methods to create the best product for your needs.
Simply put, digital printing on garments is less expensive for small run t-shirt printing of 12 pieces or fewer and reproducing photographic images, whereas screen printing is generally less expensive for a run of 12 and over. As with all things, there are always exceptions to the rules. If your goal is custom shirt cheap, check out bulk pricing guide. You might have a job that is over 12 and not photographic that might be great for digital apparel printing. You might have an order that is less than 12 pieces that would be perfect for screen printing. Rest assured, our team can help you choose the best method for your custom t-shirts. Whether you choose digital printing vs screen printing, we will make sure you get a high quality product that will last for years to come.