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DTG VS Screen Printing Durability & Which Is Best

Jul. 22, 2022

DTG and Screen Printing are the two most common types of printing methods for textiles. The primary differentiates between the two are production quantity, the amount of detail in the design, which is most cost-effective, and the overall process of both. Continue reading if you have ever wondered about DTG vs screen printing durability and other important information when deciding between both methods for your printing business.

DTG VS Screen Printing Durability


DTG Printing

Before deciding which is the better option, let’s first review the basic information regarding direct-to-garment or DTG printing. This method is most typically compared to an at-home printer. Much like a regular printer, a DTG printer directly sprays ink onto the garment using inkjet technology.


Summary Of Pros & Cons

Digital printing is perfect for custom printing, detailed designs, or designs that utilize several colors. This is good if you want to easily switch between various designs and color options. There is minimal setup time and it provides consistent printed designs. DTG is cost-effective for short runs since there is minimal upfront investment in equipment compared to screen printing. DTG also uses water-based ink, making it an eco-friendly choice.

On the other hand, a downside to DTG is that it may not penetrate into the garment as much as with screen printing. It can be more challenging and require more steps to print a light-colored design onto a dark garment.


Quantity & Quality

DTG is an ideal solution for lower quantity print jobs. This printing method can print on demand and does not require a minimum quantity order like screen printing typically does. For the best quality and durability, 100% cotton material is the best choice since the ink bonds to the fabric better than polyester, tri-blends, or other kinds of fabrics.

In addition, pretreating light garments as well as dark will help with the cotton’s washability and enrich the colors in the image. If you need to print intricate designs, a wide range of colors, or photo-realistic images, DTG is the best option.


Screen Printing

Screen printing is the traditional method of printing on textiles. Individual screens must be made for each color used in the design. Each screen must then be positioned, or registered, to each other on the press so the colors line up properly on the finished garment.

Once press setup is complete, ink is pushed through the mesh stencil that was created with the design and then onto the chosen fabric. Each color is applied one layer of ink at a time; however, some colors benefit from a second layer of ink after a quick cure.


Summary Of Pros & Cons

The great thing about screen printing is that it works well on a wide range of fabrics, and easily accommodates specialty items like caps that can be more difficult to print with DTG. Another advantage of screen printing is that although it is time-consuming and takes skill, it creates beautiful and vibrant prints. Additionally, it is cost-effective in the long run if you are printing large orders with simple designs. In this case, it will be worth the upfront investment costs.

A potential con is that screen printing works best with designs that are less intricate with limited colors. If your design requires full color and is very detailed, then screen printing may not be the best option. Also, the amount of time it takes to complete one design will be determined by the detail and number of colors in the job. If the design is more complex, it will take longer to complete.


Quantity & Quality

Screen Printing is ideal for bulk orders that are approximately 25 or more of the same design. Printed apparel that features simple designs is the best choice for this printing method and will increase production time. Screen printing may be an older, more traditional method, but it can produce high-quality and richly colored prints that are extremely durable. If you are looking to print bulk orders of authentic, simple designs with a few colors, then screen printing is the best option.



Compared to DTG, screen printing has better washability but that doesn’t mean that DTG isn’t durable. If there is a problem and a DTG print isn’t as durable after washing, then it could be that it was not correctly pretreated or cured. The durability of a print depends on the inks that are used, the quality of the machine, and whether or not it has been properly pretreated and cured. To ensure the long-term washability of a print, avoid using hot water, harsh detergents, or excessively hot or long dry times. If all of these steps are done correctly, then a DTG print should hold very well over multiple washes.


Perfect Prints

Now that you know more about DTG vs screen printing durability and the pros and cons of each when it comes to cost-effectiveness, quality, quantity, and the finished product, you can pick which method works best for your business and print custom apparel that will properly showcase your brand. 

DTG VS Screen Printing Durability