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Screen Printing vs Direct to Garment

Screen printing and Direct to Garment (DTG) printing are methods used to apply ink to products of all types. RushOrderTees uses both techniques and after printing millions of products, we know which printing technique will produce the best results.

Consider this summary to understand which printing method produces the best results for different types of projects.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a mesh screen to transfer ink onto fabric. A stencil is created for each color needed; afterward, ink is applied to each screen producing the printed design. This is a manual process and can be used to customize an assortment of products like t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more.


See more screen printing examples.

What is Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing?

Direct to Garment (DTG) printing is a customization technique that uses modified inkjet technology to transfer ink onto fabric. Also known as Digital Printing, DTG uses machinery that resembles a large inkjet printer to apply ink to a product. While more automated, this process has a manual component and is most appropriate for products like t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, and others.


See more Direct to Garment (DTG) printing examples.

Screen Printing vs DTG Printing

Screen printing and DTG can both produce a great, long-lasting print, but there are some key differences that are helpful to be aware of which we've highlighted below.


  • Order Size: Set-up for screen printing requires more effort and material, so for smaller orders, DTG may be a better option.
  • Print Locations: Print size and location is more limited for DTG, so screen printing is a better option for larger designs or those placed in a unique location.
  • Colors: DTG excels with designs that have more colors. Designs with fewer colors are screen printing’s sweet spot.
  • Image Complexity: Complicated designs or those with photorealism are best printed using DTG. Screen printing is better for simple designs.
  • Fabrics: Screen printing provides better results on a wider range of fabrics. The results of DTG printing are best on cotton fabrics.

While we typically determine whether to use screen printing or DTG with an order based on the product, quantity, and design, if you have a specific preference, feel free to reach out to one of our experts at 1-800-620-1233 or email