Photo Credit: The photo shown above is by Shout Out Loud Prints. The shirt on the left shows DTG Printing, the shirt on the right shows screen printing.
In the fast-paced world of modern printing techniques, two methods stand out: traditional screen printing and Direct-to-Garment (DTG) digital printing. While DTG printing has gained popularity due to its convenience, traditional screen printing holds its ground with a range of benefits that cater to durability, vibrant colors, cost-effectiveness for bulk orders, and versatility.
Both printing methods have their place in the world of textile printing, and the choice between them depends on the specific needs of the project. In this blog post we will look at the distinct benefits that traditional screen printing offers over its digital counterpart.
The Time-Tested Craft: Exploring the Benefits of Traditional Screen Printing Over DTG Digital Printing
While DTG digital printing may be a good option for one-off orders and sample runs, it's important to recognize and appreciate the value that traditional screen printing brings to the table for long runs and cost savings. Here are the top six benefits of traditional screen printing over DTG printing.
1. Durability and Longevity
One of the most significant advantages of traditional screen printing is its durability. The ink used in screen printing is thicker and more substantial than the ink used in DTG printing. This results in designs that stand up well to repeated washing and wear, making screen printed garments ideal for items like team jerseys, work uniforms, and promotional merchandise. In contrast, DTG prints may fade or crack over time, particularly after multiple washes.
2. Vibrant Colors and Opacity
Traditional screen printing allows for vibrant and opaque colors to be achieved effortlessly. The thick layers of ink penetrate the fabric deeply, creating bold and eye-catching designs even on dark-colored garments. This level of color vibrancy can be challenging to replicate with DTG printing, especially on darker fabrics, where the ink tends to be more translucent.
3. Cost-Effectiveness for Bulk Orders
When it comes to producing large quantities of printed items, traditional screen printing shines. Once the screens are prepared, the cost per unit decreases significantly for each additional item printed. This makes screen printing a cost-effective choice for bulk orders, such as promotional merchandise or team uniforms. On the other hand, DTG printing might be more cost-efficient for small runs or one-off pieces but can become expensive when producing in large volumes. For example, you can print about 20 shirts per hour with a DTG printer, and you can print 200-300 shirts per hour with screen printing (number of shirts will depend on the design, number of colors, and your shop setup).
If you're not sure which emulsion to use for your long screen printing runs, check out our blog post, Choosing An Emulsion System.
4. Versatility of Substrates
Screen printing isn't limited to fabric alone; it can be used on a wide range of substrates, including paper, plastic, metal, and wood. This versatility makes screen printing a preferred choice for creating items like posters, signs, promotional products, and packaging materials. DTG printing, while excellent for textiles, may not offer the same level of versatility across different substrates.
5. Artistic and Textural Possibilities
Traditional screen printing allows for a variety of artistic effects and textures to be incorporated into designs. Specialty inks, such as metallic or glitter inks, can be used to create unique and visually appealing effects. Additionally, different screen meshes can be employed to create varying levels of texture in the print, adding depth and interest to the design. While DTG printing can achieve intricate details, it may not replicate the textural possibilities that can be achieved by building up layers of emulsion on a screen or using a product like Chromaline's Super PHAT Film.
6. Time-Tested Craftsmanship
There's a certain charm and authenticity associated with traditional screen printing. It's a craft that requires skill, precision, and a deep understanding of the printing process. Screen printers often take pride in their work, treating each item as a canvas for their artistry. This craftsmanship and attention to detail can be felt in the final product, creating a unique connection between the printed piece and its recipient.
Contact Chromaline Today
Chromaline's line of premium screen printing emulsions and products stands out as the top choice for screen printers seeking exceptional results. If you have any further questions about the benefits of screen printing over DTG printing or any of our Chromaline screen printing products, please contact us today.