Difference between DTG printing and sublimation for customized apparel

Difference between DTG printing and sublimation for customized apparel

Are you looking for the perfect way to customize your apparel? Then, DTG printing and sublimation might be the options you have in mind. However, as much as they both offer beautiful and unique results, there are significant differences between them. DTG printing is a technique that uses inkjet printers to print designs directly onto fabric. This process is known for its high-quality print output, allowing for highly detailed and intricate designs. On the other hand, sublimation is a process that transfers designs onto the fabric, turning ink into a gas that adheres to the fabric’s fibers. This method is ideal for fabrics that have a high polyester content or those that can withstand high heat.One of the most noticeable differences between the two techniques is the materials they work best with. DTG printing works well with cotton, and some blended fabrics, while sublimation works best with polyester and other synthetic materials. For this reason, you need to consider the type of material you’ll be printing on before selecting your preferred printing method. In conclusion, understanding the differences between DTG printing and sublimation can help you make informed decisions when selecting the ideal technique for customizing your apparel. Both methods have their merits, but it ultimately comes down to the material you want to work with and the final outcome you’re hoping to achieve. So, if you plan on customizing your apparel and want more insights on these techniques and which would best serve you, our article has got you covered!

Dtg Printing Vs Sublimation
“Dtg Printing Vs Sublimation” ~ bbaz


Customized apparel is more popular than ever, and it requires a printing technique that can cater to the demand for personalized designs. Two popular techniques for customizing apparel are direct-to-garment (DTG) printing and sublimation. DTG printing involves printing designs directly on the fabric of the garment, while sublimation involves transferring designs onto the fabric using heat and dye-sublimation ink.

DTG Printing


How It Works

DTG printing uses a specialized printer that sprays ink directly onto the garment’s fabric. The ink is absorbed by the fabric, creating vibrant and high-resolution prints. This technique is most suitable for small batch printing, as it is less time consuming than traditional screen printing methods. However, it may not be suitable for printing on darker fabrics, as the colors may appear washed out or muted.

The Pros

DTG printing has several advantages. First, it produces high-quality prints with vibrant colors and intricate details. Second, it requires minimal setup time and is ideal for small-batch printing. Third, it allows for greater design flexibility, as it does not require the use of separate stencils or screens.

The Cons

The main disadvantage of DTG printing is that it is more expensive than other printing methods, especially for larger orders. Second, it may not produce consistent results on certain fabrics, such as polyester or blends. Third, it is not suitable for designs requiring an opaque or solid print, as the ink will be absorbed by the garment’s fabric.



How It Works

Sublimation printing involves printing designs onto transfer paper using dye-sublimation ink, and then transferring the design onto the fabric using a heat press. The heat from the press causes the ink to turn into a gas and bond with the fabric, resulting in a permanent and vibrant print. This method is best suited for polyester or blends and is not recommended for cotton fabrics.

The Pros

The main advantage of sublimation printing is that it produces high-quality prints that are long-lasting and resistant to fading or peeling. Second, it is ideal for printing on polyester or blend fabrics, as the ink bonds with the fabric, resulting in a soft and breathable print. Third, it allows for large and multiple-color prints without increasing setup time or cost.

The Cons

The main disadvantage of sublimation printing is that it requires specialized equipment, such as a heat press and dye-sublimation printer, making it less accessible for small-scale operations. Additionally, it is not suitable for printing on cotton or dark-colored fabrics, as the colors may not be as vibrant or sharp as on lighter fabrics.

Comparison Table

DTG Printing Sublimation Printing
Suitable for small-batch printing Best suited for large-scale printing
High-quality prints with intricate details High-quality prints that are long-lasting and resistant to fading or peeling
May not be suitable for darker colored fabrics Not suitable for printing on cotton or dark-colored fabrics
More expensive than other printing methods Requires specialized equipment, making it less accessible for small-scale operations


Both DTG printing and sublimation have their pros and cons and are suitable for different types of customized apparel. DTG printing is best suited for small-batch printing and offers greater design flexibility, while sublimation is ideal for large-scale printing and produces long-lasting and vibrant prints. Ultimately, the choice between the two techniques depends on the type of fabric, printing volume, and design complexity. It’s always best to consult with a printing expert to determine the best method for your custom apparel needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the differences between DTG printing and sublimation for customized apparel. We hope that this article has provided valuable insights into the unique advantages and disadvantages of both methods, and how they might fit into your business or personal needs.

Ultimately, the decision between DTG printing and sublimation will depend on a variety of factors, such as the type and quantity of garments you are looking to produce, the level of customization you require, and your overall budget. While DTG printing offers excellent quality and detail for small orders, sublimation is ideal for larger runs and all-over designs.

Whichever method you choose, it is important to work with a reputable and experienced printer who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your final product meets your expectations. At the end of the day, customized apparel is all about creative expression and making a statement – and with the right printing technology and expertise, you can bring your ideas to life in stunning detail and vibrant color.

When it comes to customized apparel, two popular methods are DTG printing and sublimation. Here are some common questions people ask about the difference between these two methods:

  1. What is DTG printing?

    DTG printing stands for Direct-to-Garment printing. It uses a specialized inkjet printer to print designs directly onto garments such as t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts. The printer sprays water-based ink onto the fabric, which is then cured with heat to create vibrant and long-lasting images.

  2. What is sublimation?

    Sublimation is a printing method that uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as polyester and other synthetic fabrics. The dye is first printed onto a special transfer paper, which is then placed onto the garment and subjected to high heat and pressure. This process causes the dye to sublimate or turn into a gas, which then bonds with the fibers of the fabric, creating a permanent image.

  3. Which one is better for customized apparel?

    The answer depends on the type of garment you want to customize and the design you want to print. DTG printing is ideal for printing complex designs with multiple colors on light-colored cotton garments. Sublimation, on the other hand, works best on polyester or synthetic fabrics and is great for printing all-over designs or patterns with bright colors and gradients.

  4. Which one is more expensive?

    The cost of both methods depends on several factors such as the quantity of garments, the complexity of the design, and the size of the print. Generally, sublimation tends to be more expensive than DTG printing due to the cost of materials and the specialized equipment required.

  5. Which one lasts longer?

    Both DTG printing and sublimation produce high-quality, long-lasting prints. However, sublimation is known for producing prints that are more durable and resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling over time.