April 12, 2024
The Top Two Garment Printing Methods

The Top Two Garment Printing Methods

There are different methods of printing to create custom garments such as a tshirt print on demand. Some use heat to transfer the design, some use chemicals to create a fading, some use thread and stitching and some use a direct-to-garment method where the ink is applied straight into the shirt. Here we look at DTG using an inkjet printer and the always popular screen printing methods.


When you want to print on demand in smaller batches on cotton shirts you should take a closer look at this DTG method. It uses a special inkjet printer and the printing is high-quality. It is great for photos and other images that have intricate details and complex designs. These are more expensive to print which is why smaller batches might be better. The t-shirt has to be pre-treated to make sure the ink fixes and there is no bleeding. Before printing the shirt is also heated to activate it.

Advantages of DTG printing

  1. There is no texture to feel as the ink integrates into the shirt’s fabric it does not sit on top
  2. Great for more detailed designs
  3. Fast to print

Disadvantages of DTG printing

  1. Limited area to print
  2. Better for blends or cotton-only t-shirts, not synthetic-only shirts
  3. Over time the ink does wash out

Screen Printing

Also sometimes still called silkscreen printing though silkscreens are a thing of the past, this is a popular method. Using a mesh screen stencil the ink is applied to the t-shirt with a squeegee. It produces results that are vibrant and long-lasting. It can be used on different fabrics and is great for bulk orders especially since many printers charge less per shirt the more you want. It is best used for designs that have fewer colors and that are simple rather than photos like DTG. 

Advantages of screen printing

  1. Works on most fabrics
  2. Absorbed deeply so vibrant results
  3. Fast to do a larger order
  4. Can handle many washes without fading
  5. Cheaper to order a bulk amount 

Disadvantages of screen printing

  1. If the printer is not skilled can get less than precise results
  2. Limited with colors
  3. Limited with details as it is not good for intricate designs
  4. Not great for smaller orders as is more expensive

Understanding Print on Demand

Tshirt print on demand is when the order is only printed after it has been paid for, ie printed on demand. It means you can better ensure you are not loaded up with stock you cannot get rid of, or you might have limited space for physical products. So rather than ordering a bunch of t-shirts and having to find somewhere to put them until you use them up, you can find a printing business that offers print on demand options.


If you have a design with lots of detail and color and it has to be that image, then you will need to use DTG out of that or screen printing. If the design is simple and it is a handful of colors or less then screen printing is perfect.

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