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screen printing or DTG

1421 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  splathead
I'm getting ready to open a t-shirt printing business but am still doing my research and trying to decide if I am going to get the Brother GT-541 or to do screen printing. I have 3 years experience screen printing working for someone other than myself. From the research I have done I figure that I will end up spending about the same amount,give or take a little, investing in screen printing equipment or the Brother GT-541. The main thing that still has me up in the air is the fact that the Brother can't print on darks, other than that their machine is pretty amazing. From my previous printing experince I saw a pretty large variet of colors. I just don't want to get the DTG and then start getting lots of orders for darks and have to keep contracting those jobs to someone else. I'm am located in south Florida, printed before in Alabama, and just not sure how much the climate effects customer's choice on the color shirt they want. If anyone does both screen printing and DTG, chose one over the other, if you had to do it again today which would you choose. Also anyones input on what percent of their orders are for dark shirts vs. lights.
Thanks, Daniel
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Hi Daniel :)

I think the major differences to take into effect are how big are your orders going to be. Dtg is good for smaller runs up to the hundreds, and screen printing is better for larger runs. Space is also a issue. If you have a big space for screen equipment that would cover that, but if you have a small space then of course the dtg is going to cover that better. It really depends on your business plan and what type of orders you plan on doing. If you plan on doing a lot of large orders, screening would be the way to go. If you want the capablilty of doing small orders in the hundreds and down to the one offs and such then dtg would be a better fit. What you first need to do is figure out what type of business you want to be printing and go from there :) hope this helps with a direction to research some :)
well for me DTG are small runs. couple of hundreds per week maybe. while silk screen are for large order. DTG maybe need lesser work than silkscreen.
From my experience the DTG machines are still not able to produce the same quality imprints as traditional screen printing, especially on darks. They are also slow and even if you charge $30 per shirt, you can still do better from a volume perspective using traditional screen printing, the downside is the investment in equipment and time.
As far as darks are concerned, Brother is coming out with a new printer that will print on darks. It's going to cost double what their 541 costs.

That being said, silkscreening is still a safer bet. It's faster, more flexible, and less prone to breakdown.
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