Here on Kittery Ave we offer two different methods for printing your apparel and it's entirely up to you which you choose! To help make that choice easier let's look at some of the key points of the two.
Direct to Film (DTF) Printing
DTF printing is a digital form of apparel printing that allows us to print your swag in full color with no limits on the number of colors used. A large inkjet printer (DTG printer) is used to print your artwork on to a film which is then transferred to your garments.
Benefits of DTF Printing:
- One-off prints (no minimum order requirements)
- No set-up fees (digital prints don't require screens)
- Scalable artwork (we can print your artwork in a variety of sizes)
- Gradient designs & blended colors can be printed
- Detailed designs print great
- Soft, lightweight print
Downsides of DTF Printing:
- Higher cost (the technology is much more expensive to run!)
- Color matching isn't very accurate
- Large prints can be stiff & pucker
- Plastic-like feel
- Heat sensitive materials cannot be printed on
Screen Printing (Silkscreen)
Screen printing is a classic technique and is the age-old favorite of apparel printing. This method uses light exposed screens as a stencil and ink is then pushed through the screen to transfer your image to garments.
Benefits of Screen Printing:
- Large orders & repeat orders
- Single color prints
- Vibrant colors
- Accurate color matching
- Lower cost (even with artwork setup fees!)
- Look & feel (screen printing is a crowd pleaser)
- Product options (screen printing can be done on heat sensitive materials and other materials)
Downsides of Screen Printing:
- Minimum order requirements
- Setup fees
- Color blending & gradients
- Non-scalable artwork (Whichever size you choose for your artwork is considered one setup; to change that size in the future you need to pay for another setup)
Still Can't Decide?
Answer the questions below to help determine which method is best for you.
How many items do you want?
- Just a few - DTF
- More than 21 - Screen Print
Do you anticipate ordering more of this same design in the future?
- Nah, this is just a one time thing - DTF
- Yes! - Screen Print
Is your artwork loaded with colors or details?
- Yep! - DTF
- Nope - Screen Print
How many washes do you want it to survive?
- <40 Washes - DTF
- >40 Washes - Screen Print
- These numbers are based on industry standards and the actual number of washes you get may be different