DTG Printing vs Screen Printing

The alternative title of this article could be the new school vs the old school. Screen printing has been around for ages – it’s the tried and true method of industry veterans, while DTG (direct-to-garment) printing is the up-and-comer, both competing for the most popular method of printing.

Maybe you’re new to the printing game and want to know which method you should use, or you’re a vet, but you want to learn a little more about DTG printing and see if it’s something you should try. Either way, we’re going to break each down and spell out their pros and cons, leaving you with the information you need to decide which method is right for you.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is widely considered the most popular method of printing. Why? Because it’s very cost effective for printing large batches of apparel, especially if printing all of the same color. Because a special screen must be made for each design, there needs to be a large number of orders for this method to be financially feasible.


  • Cost effective for large batches
  • The more product ordered, the cheaper they are
  • Ideal choice for simple designs with less colors


  • Simple designs and shapes are all that can be printed
  • Limited number of colors and less cost effective the more colors used
  • Large upfront monetary investment
  • One design per batch

DTG Printing

Instead of using screens to apply the ink to the garment, DTG printing actually uses something like an inkjet printer to print the ink directly onto the fabric. This method is able to take very intricate, detailed designs and a great multitude of colors and apply them with relative ease.

However, because of the time required to print each design, this method is not as cost effective for larger batches, but instead is more economical for smaller batches.


  • Better option for small batches and one-off pieces
  • Able to print detailed designs
  • Extensive color options
  • Easily customized designs


  • Not cost effective for larger batches
  • Limited design placement

How do you choose?

The first thing to think about when deciding is your design. Are there fine details and/or many colors you want to incorporate? Or is it a simple design with only a few colors?

What is the size of the order – is it quite large or rather small?

Also, keep in mind print times. The DTG printing process is much slower compared to screen printing. DTG is machine dependent and averages just 30 – 60 garments per hour, while screen printing can average 1,000 garments and upwards per hour.

Use our pros and cons list to make an informed decision, and remember, the bottom line is there are positives and negatives to both, so it really all comes down to your individual circumstances and needs.

When you’re ready to print, be sure to visit the new Augusta Sportswear website which consolidates all three of our brands – Augusta Sportswear, Holloway, and High Five – into one cart, allowing a streamlined process, quicker shipping, and volume discounts. Get started today.

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