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Hi Everyone,
A couple of months ago we started a Direct To Garment printing business in a small area (about 90,000 population).
The only competition is two regular screen printing / specialty merchandising shops in the area.
Knowing virtually nothing about screen printing, we have been searching all over the net for details of screen printing vs. DTG, specifically - can screen printers do full color photos and if so, at what resolution?
The problem is we are being told different things. For example some people have said screen printing cannot print full color photos or complicated color gradients, or at least not of any quality or decent resolution.
I am looking for specific resolution information on screen printing, especially photos. I would also be willing to pay for someone to ship me a sample or two of said hi-res screen printed garment(s) or at the very least, email some hi-res photos of photos printed via screen printing.

Thanks much,
Bob J.
 

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Screen printing can definitely produce a photo quality result. It's obviously a different process than DTG though. The company I used to work at would screen print as spot colors. It requires a color separation and the higher the resolution of the original artwork the better. The quality of the artwork and separation definitely makes a huge difference. Another factor is the mesh count and quality of the screens being used. They used a 305 mesh for this type of work.

Because of the many variables, not all screen printers can produce a great result. But it most certainly is possible and is pretty much standard quality for any printshop producing shirts for the retail market.

If you do some searching for Majestic Athletic, Reebok/Adidas or Nike player photo t-shirts, you will find some examples of great photo realistic screen printed artwork. You can also search Affliction's site. Their art is hand drawn art, not photos, but it's another example of the level of quality with screen printing.
 

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Hi Everyone,
A couple of months ago we started a Direct To Garment printing business in a small area (about 90,000 population).
The only competition is two regular screen printing / specialty merchandising shops in the area.
Knowing virtually nothing about screen printing, we have been searching all over the net for details of screen printing vs. DTG, specifically - can screen printers do full color photos and if so, at what resolution?
The problem is we are being told different things. For example some people have said screen printing cannot print full color photos or complicated color gradients, or at least not of any quality or decent resolution.
I am looking for specific resolution information on screen printing, especially photos. I would also be willing to pay for someone to ship me a sample or two of said hi-res screen printed garment(s) or at the very least, email some hi-res photos of photos printed via screen printing.

Thanks much,
Bob J.
screen printing a photo is very expensive for small runs. i charge 150 to 300 for separations 20 for screens and it could take anywhere from 4 to 14 to make it look right. so thats 230 to 580 in just set up. but if the shirt order was for 10000 shirts, i could complete in less than 18 hours for under a dollar per shirt. if the order was for 1 shirt i would not want to do it. the set up alone could cost me 30to 50 + in labor
there is a need and place for both processes.
 

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How do you think photo resolution shirts were produced before DTG?

As Brice pointed out DTG is a relatively new process compared to screen printing and both can produce photo quality as Tim said totally different process to achieve the same goal.....that being said, you as a DTG printer should already know that in large runs 100 or more pcs you cannot compete with a screen printer, yes you may be able to achieve a more detailed (higher quality) print then a screen printer but that is debatable.

Where DTG really shines is doing low production runs of 50 pc or less and in some cases up to 100 pc orders regardless of what the artwork is, unless you own a Kormit. IMHO

My point is while it still printing shirts both processes have their market regardless of what is being printed, IMHO DTG is cost effective at 100 pc or below, and screen printing for everything above 100 pcs, and of course I'm talking about multi-color prints not one or two colors where a screen printer can get cost effective in very low quantities and a DTG really can't.

Our cost for a two color print on a dark shirt is basically the same as it would be for 16 colors on the same shirt depending on ink usage, a screen printer doesn't have that luxury.

I know your question was about photo quality prints and your question was answered a couple time, but because you asked the question I thought more info might be necessary, hope I'm not being redundant and telling you things you already know.

JMHO.
 

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IFY graphics:

Is the "Will Racing" graphic at your website a Tshirt? With screen or DTG? What is the longevity difference between the two?
 

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IFY graphics:

Is the "Will Racing" graphic at your website a Tshirt? With screen or DTG? What is the longevity difference between the two?
Tee shirt, DTG printed....longevity? depends on how it is washed and worn like any garment, typically any screen print, or DTG print should last the life of the garment, we have shirts that are two years old and washed at least 100 times that have held up great that were DTG printed, I have screen printed shirts that are years old and thin from age but the print has held up great also.

Hope this helps.
 
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