Direct to Garment > DTG - General

DTG vs. Screen Printing

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Years ago, (pre-white ink), I was visited by "The Man in Black" (forgot his name, but I bet some of you know who I mean) from Brother, trying to sell me on this then new technology . At the time, he made what I thought was an outrageous claim of when all time and expenses are factored in, it was more practical to Inkjet 100 full color white shirts than sep, burn screens, set up, and screen print them.
What's the situation today?
If pricing gets really specific, that's cool, but I might move the discussion to the pricing section.

Depends on how good your screen dept is & how well you can sep in house. I can do a sim process sep pretty quick with the assistance of ultra seps, send it to the CTS & have screens on press pretty quickly maybe an hour or two), just depends on art complexity and your separation skills. With tri loc & CTS setup time is much reduced. Our press op can often register screens faster than the press assistant can put squeegees / floods & ink in the heads. We find that printing sim process is actually easier many times than vector art with lots of spot colors & flashing. But you have to really nail the sep, print order, & know what the hell you’re doing. I’d run 100 pcs sim process for a retail customer all day long. First time might need a tweak, but we usually are 90-95% there on the first go and tweak on reprints.

With a full on process or sim-process our deciding point is around 53 pieces on darks based solely on "the numbers".  That said, there is way more to it then "the numbers".  Art, garment type, department workloads vs desired turn times, client preference (this is such a huge one), etc.  We push things back and forth rarely as well, so future potential plays a roll for us as well to some degree.

blue moon:
we have about $2 in ink and pretreat per shirt. We use a lot more than most to get screenprint equivalent quality. Point being, that the cost is s limiting factor in addition to the two great posts above this one.


Remember, this claim by the Brother guy was made before white ink was even an option, so, I assume that costs would be lower.
In fact, the potential job that spurred this question for me right now is for a white shirt.


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