What is DTG Printing?
DTG stands for Direct-To-Garment. This relatively new type of printing method uses a large format ink-jet printer, much like the typical ink-jet printer you probably use at home to print out documents. However, instead of printing on paper, the machine is made for printing directly on textiles. Just like your printer at home, the DTG printer uses 4 water based ink colors (CMYK) mixed to create an almost infinite palette of colors available. Also like your printer at home, this printing process is capable of producing very high resolution, photo quality prints. Although the print quality is exceptional, the printing process per shirt is slower than screen printing, and the ink is much more expensive, which typically makes the per-shirt cost higher than screen printing. There is virtually no setup needed, other than making sure the artwork is digitall ready for printing. Pricing is not based on the number of colors, but rather the size of the print and volume of ink being used. Therefore, this printing method is best for high resolution images, or small runs (less than 24). Here at Pacific Paradise Apparel, all quantities less than 24 will utilize DTG printing.
What is Screen Printing?
Screen Printing, also known as Silk Screening, is an age-old printing method which has had many advancements over the years, but still works on the same principal of creating a screen stencil for ink to pass through, leaving a printed image on the shirt (or whatever you are printing on). Technology has come a long way and this type of printing method is capable of producing some pretty amazing images. With screen printing, there can be a significant setup process required before you can start printing, and a cleanup process after printing, which is the main reason that it is not economical or cost effective to do small quantities. Each color in the printed image needs it's own screen, which also drives cost. At Pacific Paradie Apparel, our minimum quantity for screen printing is (24). Quantities less than (72) will also have a $15 screen fee per color/imprint location. Images printed on a colored shirt will also likely need a white underbase, which counts as a color/screen.