DTG vs Sublimation vs Screen vs DTF | Which one’s Better?

DTG is generally a great alternative for DTF in terms of speedy printing actions and maintaining the quality of the designs. On the other hand, sublimation is the best & simplest process that helps you get the perfect quality output results. 

Both these processes have a great demand in the market. Therefore, make sure to read about their major differences as given below thoroughly till the end.

DTF vs DTG vs Sublimation vs Screen Printing:

In my article on DTF printer vs sublimation, I have explained that DTF works just like DTG but, it is a slow process and gives vivid color designs that might crack up after some time. 

Therefore, it stands no chance as compared to the amazing and highly versatile process of sublimation printing in this printing business.

Moreover, it is also pretty expensive and requires some extra confusing steps for accurate output results. On the other hand, sublimation might not be fast but it is pretty accurate and that’s why it is the premium choice for all printer users.

Printing TechniqueProcessMaterialsColor RangeDetailDurabilitySetup Cost
Screen PrintingInk through a mesh screenCotton, polyester, and moreLimited, Pantone matchingSimple to intricateDurable but may crackHigh setup cost
DTF (Direct-to-Film)Heat-transfer from filmCotton, polyester, blendsWide color rangeFine details possibleModerate durabilityModerate setup cost
DTGInkjet directly on fabricCotton blendsFull color, gradientsExcellent detailGood durabilityModerate setup cost
Sublimation PrintingDye transfer with heatPolyester, coated itemsVibrant full-color printsDetailed, not as crisp as DTGHighly durableModerate setup cost

DTG vs. Sublimation – Head to Head Comparision in 2023:

Other than DTF, its alternative DTG (Direct to Garment) has the highest ability to withstand the printing capabilities of the sublimation process. Therefore, I have shared some of the major features upon which these two processes can be differentiated.

1. Printable Materials

Well, this round goes to DTG. there is no chance for sublimation to cover all types of materials in terms of accurate printing actions. DTG allows you to print on types of fabrics as well as other items that are blended with 50% polyester.

Moreover, the screen printing process can also not stand against this DTG process. Now, you can even see the difference between DTF and DTG. 

2. Printing Process

DTG requires films to print on the surface of the fabrics. Therefore, they work the same as DTF. however, in sublimation, you just need to make designs, print them, and then transfer them using heat presses at a certain temperature of 150-200 degrees.

In addition, it makes sure that all designs are converted perfectly into suitable patterns and you can still change them differently. However, you can’t perform such actions for DTG, as once the designs are transferred they can’t be changed even from the printers.

3. Printer Cost

Last but not least, let’s discuss the price tags of both printers for sublimation and DTG. In my previous post on screen printing vs. sublimation in 2023, I shared that Sublimation printers are pretty affordable. You can easily purchase them on a budget starting from $1000 to $15000 which will include branded printing machines.

On the other hand, DTG printers are pretty expensive. Their starting prices are from $15000 and increase up to $250000. Therefore, the choice is yours as both of them are good. 

But, I think if you are a beginner then choosing Sublimation printers would be your best choice. So, make sure to get the best quality machines for yourself and enhance your business.

AspectDTG PrintingSublimation Printing
Color VibrancyOffers vibrant, detailed, and full-color prints.Provides vibrant and saturated colors.
VersatilitySuitable for a wide range of fabrics, including cotton and blends.Ideal for polyester and polyester-coated items.
DetailExcellent for intricate and highly detailed designs.Great for detailed prints but not as crisp as DTG.
DurabilityGood durability with prints that withstand multiple washes.Highly durable as ink becomes part of the fabric.
Small BatchesEconomical for small batch or single-piece printing.Efficient for both small and large batches.
Material LimitationPrimarily works on cotton and cotton-blend fabrics.Limited to polyester-based materials.
Setup CostModerate setup cost for DTG printers.Moderate setup cost for sublimation equipment and blanks.
Color on Dark FabricsMay require a white under base for printing on dark fabrics, adding complexity.Not suitable for dark or black fabrics, as colors won’t show well.
Print FeelMay have a slightly thicker print feel on the fabric.Provides a softer, smoother print feel.
FadingColors may fade with frequent washing over time.Colors tend to remain vibrant but may fade on dark items.

Closing Things Up:

In DTG Printing vs. Sublimation, plenty of features are different between these two amazing printing processes. Sublimation includes 3 simple processes for accurate and efficient printing results which are cheap and not very confusing. Therefore, it is considered the perfect solution for all printing actions.

On the other hand, DTG works similarly to DTF, as it transfers designs from the films in a proper way. Thus, it would also be a great choice as it is fast and pretty versatile for the printing business. However, it might be expensive. So, try to consider other options like Screen printing & DTF for much better results.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is DTG a better printing method?

Yes, DTG is a pretty decent method of printing different materials. It can print nearly all types of fabrics in a fast and accurate way. So, make sure to try it as it is one of the best competitors for sublimation printing.

What is the disadvantage of DTG?

DTG is expensive and limited only to one item per print. Therefore, it has no match for DTG as compared to sublimation. However, both of them are pretty decent printing processes and you must check them out.

Does DTG fade easily?

No DTG is generally the best choice in terms of print quality and accuracy. Compared to DTF, they don’t allow the prints to easily fade away. As a result, they are perfect in terms of all colors, quality, and long-lasting impressions.

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