Screen Printing vs Digital Printing
The question always asked is what process is better for decorating tee shirt?
Quality of the print
One feature of digital to garment printing is the quality of the print. The detail on DTG printing is far superior to screen printing With dtg you can choose as many colors as you want and not have to set up a separate screen for each color. This allows DTG to print small orders.
High cost for multicolor small orders
The cost for multicolor screen printing on small orders is very high. This is why a DTG print will knock your socks off.
However if the order is large lets say over a 144 pieces the screen print method becomes cost reasonable. You can amortize the cost of the set up over the price of the large order.
Fill in orders are killers
But one disadvantage is when the customer wants you to do a fill in order. A fill in order is a post order when the customer realizes they need an additional three pieces. The set up gets quite expensive.
One problem with screen printing inks is that they have carcinogenic compounds in the ink. This never was a problem until someone discovered that these inks can be harmful to kids. Government regulations dictate that only water based ink should be used for youth. The cutoff age is generally 12 years. This is a hard one to enforce but the day will come when enforcement will become mandatory.
Soft hand to the touch
DTG printing using water based inks is very soft to the touch. Screen prints inks generally are plastisol and hard to the touch. It’s a crime to screen print a soft cotton top with plastisol inks. The feel is horrible.
DTG gives the garment a very soft and comfortable feel when it is worn. Women especially like the soft feel on a cotton garment on their chest.
At Decosource all our inks and materials are environmentally safe.
Tees, Tees and more tees
Our investment in a Kornit printer was a wise move. We purchased the unit with some reluctance because of the price.
You can expect to spend close to $300,000.00 for a new machine. We bit the bullet and purchased three. We never looked back.
Some say we could get more production if we purchased the less expensive DTG printers available. This argument sounds good if you are shopping price.
Bargin Priced DTG printers are suspect
We found that the lesser priced printers are not fit for production. These machines work real well if your market is geared to single shirt printing. The margins are great for one off printing.
If you are going to use a lesser priced model you have to be aware of the time to print a shirt. They just do not perform as advertised.
DTG Production time
We found that the printing process is slowed down due to the application of the pretreatment. Each shirt has to be pretreated before printing. The process is to first spray the pretreatment on the garment and heat press to lay the fibers of the garment down for printing. With the Kornit the pretreatment is included in the printing cycle. This is a important time saver to consider if you are going to do production. The pretreatment process generally takes about 2 minutes vs no time using a Kornit.
The next step after pretreatment is to print the garment. Time in a Kornit is around 2 minutes or less in the new machines. In a mall style printer the time is about 4 minutes.
Finishing the shirt
After printing the garment has to be heat pressed again to finish. Using a Kornit we run the garment though a dryer and the project is complete. The dryer does take a little longer but it does not eat up labor time like a heat press machine does.
In summary we make tees, tees and more tees than a lower priced DTG printer.
tees, tees and more tees
Both systems are good but you can make some real money with the Kornit.