This article compares and contrasts the two primary methods of printing on clothing—DTG vs Sublimation—and identifies which is more appropriate for smaller businesses.
The primary distinction between Direct Garment vs Sublimation Printing is that a DTG printer works best for printing on natural fibers like cotton and linen. Additionally, a sublimation printer produces the highest-quality prints when printing on polyester. Additionally, the sublimation printer works better on white shirts, and the DTG printer prints better on darker materials. Although you may use a sublimation printer to print on dark hues as well, you must heat transfer a white layer underneath the picture.
DTG vs Sublimation vs Screen Printing:
Direct to Garment (DTG) / Digital Printing:
While it would be the ideal choice for a bachelor party shirt worn only once, I would not recommend these for retail quality prints or shirts you want to wear frequently as this is still a very new technology with many issues to iron out.
There is no need for any messy pre-treatment sprays with the OKI 8432wt and, as of recently, the OKI Pro 9541wt white toner printers. It can be very challenging to get many items to flatten down and stay in place for printing, even though it doesn’t call for specific framing, tucking, or flattening of the clothing.
Another type of digital printing is sublimation, in which graphics are produced on big transfer paper and heated to adhere to white 100% polyester shirts. Useful for small runs of all-over prints and personalized jerseys, but will only be available on shiny-looking polyester shirts.
It comes in an infinite variety of hues. For instance, hundreds of different color combinations can be created with four-color ink (CMYK).
Compare to DTG vs sublimation, the disadvantage of sublimation is that while the systems are reasonably priced, the objects are not. Only plastics may be used for the transfer, and once transferred, there is a high chance of “dye migration,” as it is known in the business. A garment’s inks may reactivate if it is heated up too much in the dryer, causing it to bleed ink onto other clothes while being washed. Comparing sublimation to the Digital HeatFXTM technology, there are fewer products available, and the washability is also less impressive.
About dye sublimation printing:
The method of dye sublimation printing involves printing an image on specialized paper, which is then used to transfer the picture to clothing. Similar to DTG printing, dye-sublimation printing involves printing images on transfer paper using a specific digital printer before applying the paper to the garment using a heat press to transform the solid ink into a gas that permeates the fabric fibers.
Between DTG vs Sublimation, it is suggested that you look into the Epson F-Series printers for the greatest results if you’re trying to get into any form of printing.
Screen Printing – (Silk Screening)
The most dependable and widely used printing technique is still screen printing. Works well for the majority of applications, including apparel businesses, educational institutions, and team jerseys. The only problem is that it requires a time-consuming setup process, which is why shops set minimums to keep price charges reasonable
Pros & Cons of DTG vs Sublimation vs Screen Printing:
Screen printing, DTG printing, and sublimation printing each have advantages and disadvantages. The best option will depend on your needs and the content you intend to print.
DTG Printing: Pros & Cons
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation – Having access to a wide variety of colors allows you to create designs in your preferred color with the adaptable D-T-G printer. It has the choice of utilizing digital tools to develop personalized designs and offer higher-quality and accurate results at a low-cost setup. The entire procedure takes little time and little work, and because it uses water, it is environmentally benign.
-Typically requires no setup or minimums, making it ideal for small batches and samples
-Prints full-color photos very effectively and cheaply without the use of time-consuming separations.
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation disadvantages – Although it’s also the finest for mass production, which clearly requires more time and resources. Only white and cotton clothing can use, and only certain designs can be used.
-Expensive for larger runs
-Solid colors will not look solid
-No Pantone matching
-Fades in wash easily
-Does not print well on dark garments
Sublimation: Pros & Cons
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation advantages – The ability to print on durable and hard surfaces like mugs, clocks, plates, and other items is one of the finest advantages of sublimation printing. By selecting CMYK four-color, it has a lot to offer in terms of colors. because you can choose any preferred color for the design and there are a limitless number of colors available at no additional cost. It is very simple to understand and put into practice quickly to manufacture thousands of units.
-Ease of printing all over printing
-No feel to ink
-Usually has low minimums is printable on solid surfaces (mugs, photo slates, plates, clocks, etc.)
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation disadvantages – Your material must be 100% polyester, which is a frustrating drawback of this printer. Additionally, the material needs a polyester covering. Another drawback of this printing method is that dark surfaces won’t be sublimated, so your sublimation should be on a white print area. Except for sunlight, nothing can diminish the impact of a design’s color.
-Only works on 100% polyester white shirts which greatly reduces the number of garments available
-Does not fully print in all creases – leaving the white blank area on side seams and armpit area of shirts
-Expensive form of printing
-A well-screen-printed shirt will last for years of wear
-Holds small detail
-Vibrant and custom colors
-Very cost-effective for large runs
-Lots of effects and additives are available
-Full color and simulated color are possible
-Prints well and dark and light garments
-Performs on all materials (Nylon, Cotton, Spandex, Polyester, Blends)
-Only cost-effective in larger runs (25+)
-Plastisol ink can sometimes have a thicker feel (white ink mostly)
DTG vs Sublimation: What is the Best Type of Printing For You?
You should be able to choose the best printing method by answering the following considerations.
- Do you print t-shirts, polos, and other clothing that looks similar?
- Will you be printing on items other than apparel, like coffee mugs?
- What kind of fabric is it if you’re printing on it?
What Quantity of Items are You Printing?
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation, when producing orders in higher volumes, screen printing is fantastic. Of course, there are other ways to print in large quantities, but they will be more expensive. You might want to think about DTG if you only need to print a few things or a single item. On the other hand, if you are making a premium product and need the colors and details to be flawless, you can print higher quantities with DTG.
What is Your Total Budget?
Compare to DTG vs Sublimation, when printing large numbers of goods, screen printing is frequently the most affordable option. However, for some tasks, DTF or sublimation is better suitable. You must factor printing expenses into product price if you are selling goods.
What Kind of Image Are You Printing?
When we compared DTG vs Sublimation, a wide range of graphics, including logos, typographic designs, and various illustrations, can be rendered well by screen printing. However, simpler images work best with this technique. DTG or sublimation will produce better results for graphics that are highly detailed or have a variety of colors
How to Choose the Printing Method That’s Right For You?
Between DTG vs Sublimation vs Screen Printing, the appropriate printing technique must be used when producing things for your company. The kind of printing you plan will significantly affect both your costs and the quality of the finished goods. For many different printing jobs, screen printing, DTG, and sublimation printing are all suitable. What you are printing, the material and the quantity are all important considerations when choosing the best process. If you’re unsure of the best approach, you can always ask a printing firm for guidance.
Which Is Best for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses?
When we compare DTG vs Sublimation for businesses, DTG printing is typically less expensive than screen printing for orders of fewer than 100 shirts. This printing process is also quick. The DTG approach will allow you to print in only a few minutes as opposed to several hours when screen printing a shirt.
The ideal printing method for photography designs is sublimation printing since it produces tones that are exceptionally smooth. There is simply no more effective way to produce realistic outcomes. The ink is fused with the fabric rather than remaining on top when printing with this technique. This guarantees that the pattern won’t fade despite being washed numerous times.
Between DTG vs Sublimation – Both approaches are effective for producing high-quality goods that will satisfy even your pickiest customers. But bear in mind that for printing intricate designs and pictures, sublimation is preferable. However, this process takes more time, and in addition to your sublimation printer, paper, etc., you will also need to buy a heat press.
Purchasing DTG or sublimation printing equipment would be a wise investment whether you plan to launch a new company or grow your current one. Whichever option is best for you will depend on your business objectives as well as the above-mentioned benefits and drawbacks.
FAQ – DTG vs Sublimation
Heat Transfer Printing vs Sublimation- which is better?
If your business specializes in or is primarily focused on creating white and light-colored polyester clothing, sublimation is a terrific option. Your prints will be extremely washable, durable, and have the lightest hand. Heat transfer paper, on the other hand, will be your best bet if you want to print on any color or type of material.
What are Digital Heat FX transfers paper?
In contrast to (DTG) – Direct to Garment Printing, Digital Heat FX transfers can be produced in many locations and applied to even the most intricate sections of clothes. Only a few seconds are needed to press each transfer, and the edges of each transfer are also pressed quickly. The colors of the prints are also identical.
You can also use the DigitalHeat FXTM system to custom-print literally tens of thousands of different things. More than with any other client decoration technique, you can express your creativity.
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