Why is Direct to Garment printing pricier than screen printing?



Depending on what you (as a customer) are looking to accomplish, Direct to Garment (DTG) printing can be extremely helpful.


One question we get is "what is DTG printing and why is it pricier?"


Before I get into the 3 main reasons of why DTG is pricier, I want to add that, SOMETIMES it is NOT pricier. Again, it all depends on what YOU (the customers) need.


  1. Supplies: DTG supplies like inks, are much pricier than screen printing inks. And unlike screen printing inks, the DTG inks have an expiration date.


2. Time to print: DTG printing simply takes more time. The shirts have to be pre- treated, heat pressed, printed, and cured. Our average time to screen print 100 shirts is 30 minutes or so. Our average time to DTG print 100 shirts is 3 1/2 hours.


3. Pre-Treat: Pre-Treat is like a glue. It bonds the WHITE ink to a dark shirt and is required to DTG print. That gallon of liquid is super pricey, and requires extra time in the printing process.


Now, let's talk about some instances where DTG can be LESS expensive.


  1. White shirts with high color counts. Since DTG printing is a digital process, the number of colors in your design is NOT a factor in price. If you're looking for 25 White shirts with a 12 color design, DTG is the way and will be much cheaper than screen printing. Higher numbers of shirts, say 500 with 12 color print would be cheaper to screen print.

  2. You recently placed an order for 250 shirts. You received the shirts and everything is great. Except you realize that you need 4 more. It will be much cheaper to DTG print those 4 additional shirts, than it will be to re-setup a screen print job.

  3. Online stores and on demand printing. DTG makes it possible for your school, team, or business to have an online store with on demand print capabilities. This is EXTREMELY helpful for many.

I can tell you first hand as a shop owner, than DTG printing has made more of our customers happier. It's another tool in our chest and has been a game changer as far as solutions that we can offer. If you're interested in Direct to Garment printing, feel free to contact us at WeMakeTShirts.net

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