DTG Vs Screen Printing | Explanation, Pros, Cons, How Much It Costs

If you have just started printing and are seeking a reliable method to make stunning prints, read this blog. Let’s compare DTG vs screen printing and which one is more expensive.

Selecting one of these two techniques is a relatively easy task but requires proper learning of their features and your finances.

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Introduction of screen printing:

It is the mechanism of putting ink on a mesh screen. After that, it is applied to the top layer of desired objects. Since it produces prints with excellent quality, it is the most widely utilized method across all renowned sectors. It is just like silk printing.

It is compatible with plenty of options e.g., staff uniforms or sportswear and marketing banners. Plus point is that you can make similar patterns multiple times due to the creation of a stencil.

Introduction of screen printing

You can produce custom prints by blending several inks. But be careful while choosing the correct tool for printing projects such as ink, squeegee printing press, etc.


  • Can print almost all kinds of articles such as soft garments to hardwood covers etc.
  • Greater longevity than alternative printing types.
  • Suitable for making identical designs in mass production


  • High material and labor cost
  • You cannot get prints of more than one color
  • You need to take extra care at each step

Introduction of DTG:

This method uses an inkjet to create designs, pictures, or letters on textiles and other items. Multiple industries use this method for making high-grade prints quickly. This technique covers all the baby items, children, and adult apparel such as jackets and so on.

Printers are also making decor items like throw pillows or bags etc. You can easily search for DTG printers for home and industrial use. It does not occupy a large space.

Introduction of DTG

And the best part is, you don’t need to spend much time handling and understanding the application process. You can try an entry-level printer to generate professional-looking prints.

The DTG printers are available in many categories based on the user’s level of proficiency and desired use. (We will discuss its types in detail in our next blog)


  • Affordable than screen printing
  • Produce soft-to-feel designs
  • Can use multiple colors at a time


  • It is less durable
  • Limitation with printing on just flat objects

Which is the ideal choice: DTG vs screen printing

Which is the ideal choice: DTG vs screen printing

Most reputable brands are gaining extra income due to DTG and are also doing the same with silk printing. It relies on the company’s capability, the solutions that you are providing, and the speed.

The key difference focuses on the outcome, speed, and cost. Take a look at the basic variations in these mechanisms.

DTG vs Screen Printing: Price and Volume

Printing one design on an article with silk printing gives you outstanding results without any doubt. How would you go about getting that design across several materials?

It requires heavy investment to increase quantity. Screen setting time is another factor. It is a very long procedure as explained above. Because of this, screen printing is a less effective method for big projects.

DTG vs screen printing_ Price and Volume

You can estimate the amount for DTG printing by the cost calculator tool easily. Most printers have featured that tool for price calculation such as Epson.

The DTG printers release a certain amount of ink in a specific area, so you can easily calculate how much ink you need and preheating fabric investment. So, the formula is: labor costs ink price + fabric treatment machine, and fabric purchasing cost are added to the overall DTG printing cost. This is how you can plan the whole budget required before starting the procedure.

What’s the printer’s price?

On average, you need to spend around twenty thousand dollars for a DTG printer. This is not a fixed price. It can raise to 250,000 dollars for a high-quality printer.

DTG Ink Cost:

A normal DTG ink cartridge charges about 200 dollars: it may vary according to printer ink. For example, a good DTG printer that uses CMYK ink costs about 1200 dollars.

Price of DTG and Pretreatment Machine:

It typically ranges between 10 thousand to 30 thousand dollars. Plus you need to take care of the maintenance of the machine for long use. The price range for a Pre-treatment machine is approximately three to four thousand dollars.

Heat press:

The expenses of the heat press are also included in the DTG overall cost required. Its range starts from 1 thousand to 2 thousand dollars for getting the best quality. If you think of less, a casual heat press still charges a few hundred dollars.

It costs roughly $50,000 to operate a screen printing firm.  It’s a multi-step process. And you need to purchase each tool separately.

DTG vs Screen printing: Who can produce things quickly?

The other dissimilarity is the production speed. Consider these the  basic points:

  • If you get a small order, let’s say 20 shirts at a time, go for DTG printing.
  • If it is a big order, up to 20, screen printing is a reliable choice to consider. For high-yield volumes, it is a quick process.
  • If you want a last-minute dress with a kind design, DTG is a convenient method. While it works faster compared with silk printing, the results are still amazing.

Which feels better: DTG vs Screen Printing

Inks for screen printing, including water base or discharge, provide prints that are glossy and smooth. These prints sometimes look like a piece of fabric. On the other hand, if you want changes to the design, you cannot use multiple colors with screen printing.

In contrast with plastisol inks, most DTG printers yield vivid, soft-to-the-touch prints. You’re also able to create prints with greater color.

Which feels better_ DTG vs Screen Printing

This is due to the thin layer of ink that we sprayed with the DTG printer.

But water-based is an exception and is well known for giving a soft feel to any fabric. Still, DTG is not a good choice for all fabric types and less durable. That’s why most clients rush toward screen printing for bulletproof prints.

DTG vs screen printing: Material care

You need to be very careful in the process of screen printing. First, you need to prepare mesh screens then template creation. After that, apply ink in a single layer and let it cure. This process requires proper care and labor work. They all contribute to producing eye-catching prints.

DTG vs screen printing_ Material care

But there is no need to create mold and multiple screens in digital printing. You can spray the ink of different colors directly on the fabric to create the design. With a low setup, it doesn’t involve so much care and maintenance cost.

DTG vs screen printing: Compatibility with different materials

There is a wide list of items on which you can apply screen printing. such as t-shirts, bags, and clothing. It is also used for making promotional banners and other accessories like decorative mugs and glassware objects. And most of your gadgets such as laptops or phones have screen-printed covers.

But DTG printing is just limited to flat surfaces such as garments and paper. It cannot be used on wood or metal objects. It is very hard to remove over these surfaces and damage the printers.

Final Words:

After reading this review, You can compare DTG vs screen printing in detail based on your desired theme and spending limits.

In short, screen printing being a lengthy process is good for large production of identical items. But for small and instant prints, DTG suits your business well. Now it’s your choice what features you find best in these methods and drawbacks you consider according to your business setup and overall investment.

It depends on your savings and working area. All that is required is fabric treatment equipment and a printer. You can easily find the best printer and can make stunning prints over t-shirts.

The other benefits you may consider are the less labor cost and time. Moreover, it allows you to be more creative with different ink colors. You don’t need to worry about handling large equipment. Just search about the beginner-level printer and start making prints today.

It depends on your savings and working area. All that is required is fabric treatment equipment and a printer. You can easily find the best printer and can make stunning prints over t-shirts.

The other benefits you may consider are the less labor cost and time. Moreover, it allows you to be more creative with different ink colors. You don’t need to worry about handling large equipment. Just search about the beginner-level printer and start making prints today.

You can get more shiny prints with a more fresh look. Printers often use a device that applies a thick layer of ink to increase the setting time of print on the desired shirts. But you can also do it by hand and it only takes one or 2 minutes. If you want to be a more professional printer, invest in a high-grade pre-treatment machine.

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