DTG vs. Sublimation Printing: Which is the Best?

DTG vs. Sublimation Printing: Which is the Best?

When it comes to custom shirt printing, there are many options available. Two of the most popular methods are DTG (Direct-to-Garment) and sublimation printing. Each technique has its strengths and weaknesses, and knowing the difference can help you choose the best method for your needs. Whether you’re a business owner looking to print shirts for your employees or you’re a DIY enthusiast wanting to create custom designs, this article will help you decide which is the better choice for you.DTG is a newer technology that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves printing ink directly onto the fabric using a specialized printer. One of the biggest advantages of DTG is that it can print full-color designs with exceptional accuracy and detail. However, it’s essential to note that DTG works best on cotton or cotton blends, so it may not be the ideal choice if you’re looking to print on polyester or other synthetic materials. On the other hand, sublimation printing relies on heat and pressure to transfer the dye onto the fabric. Sublimation printing is excellent for creating vibrant, long-lasting prints that won’t fade or crack. Additionally, sublimation works on polyester and other synthetics, making it a versatile option. However, sublimation printing can be expensive, especially for small runs, and it doesn’t work well with darker fabrics. Overall, both DTG and sublimation printing have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between them depends on your specific needs. So, read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each technique, and feel confident in your decision when it comes to investing in customized apparel.

Difference Between Dtg And Sublimation
“Difference Between Dtg And Sublimation” ~ bbaz


Printing technology has gone through a lot of advancement, and the garment printing industry is no exception. Among the popular options, Direct to Garment (DTG) printing and Sublimation printing are worth considering. When it comes to choosing one between the two, the verdict can be confusing. That’s why we’ll thoroughly analyze both printing methods, comparing each feature to decide which one is better.

Overview of DTG Printing


Direct to Garment printing, also known as inkjet-to-garment, has gained popularity because of its low setup cost, short turnaround time, and flexibility in customization. It involves the use of inkjet technology and specially formulated water-based pigment inks that give a detailed and precise print on the fabric.

The process of DTG Printing


The process is simple: the fabric is positioned on the printer platen, and software processes the design file into data for printing the design in ink onto the fabric. It uses CMYK colors for printing on white and light-colored garments and CMYK plus white ink for dark garments. After printing the fabric, the design is dry-cured with heat onto the garment, giving a long-lasting and vibrant finish.

Overview of Sublimation Printing


Sublimation printing is a dye technology that embeds designs onto the fabric. It involves a sublimation printer, specially formulated sublimation ink, and transfer paper. Sublimation ink is unique because it converts into gas under heat and pressure, allowing it to bond with the polyester fabric.

The process of Sublimation Printing


The process is straightforward: the design is printed by sublimation ink onto transfer paper. The transfer paper is then placed on the polyester fabric, and high heat is applied to transfer the design from the paper to the fabric. Because of the dye’s chemical bonding with the fabric, the colors’ vibrancy is long-lasting and won’t crack or peel off.

Comparing DTG and Sublimation Printing

When it comes to choosing between the two, there are several factors to consider:

Color options

DTG Printing typically uses CMYK ink cartridges, whereas sublimation printing can produce millions of colors. Sublimation printing produces more vibrant color options as the dye colors absorb into the fabric’s fibers, resulting in brighter and sharper prints.

Material compatibility

DTG printing works best with natural fibers, such as cotton or linen. Sublimation printing works optimally on polyester materials, but some advancements have made it possible to sublimate onto a blend of polyester and cotton materials.

Setup cost and production speed

DTG Printing’s setup cost is lower than sublimation printing. DTG Printing requires a printer and ink cartridges, while sublimation printing requires an entire set-up of the printer, transfer paper, heat press, and ink cartridges. In terms of production speed, DTG printing takes less time than sublimation printing because there’s no transfer process involved.


The pricing for DTG printing and sublimation printing depends on the design’s size and complexity, the fabric’s material, and the amount of ink used. DTG printing is typically more expensive than sublimation printing, but the cost may vary depending on the quantity and the type of design required.


Ultimately, choosing between DTG and sublimation printing comes down to your business needs and the type of customization you require. Both printing technologies have advantages and disadvantages compared to each other, so assess your priorities and ask yourself the questions we’ve highlighted to help you make the best-informed decision. However, if you’re still unsure or want more information, it’s best to speak to an industry specialist who can help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

DTG vs. Sublimation Printing: Which is the Best?

Thank you for reading our comparison of DTG and sublimation printing. As we have seen, both methods have their own strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately the choice between them will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for a printing method that produces vibrant colors and can handle complex designs, sublimation printing may be the way to go. It’s also ideal for printing on polyester fabrics and other materials that can withstand high heat. On the other hand, DTG printing offers a more traditional look with a softer hand feel, and is better suited for printing on cotton or cotton-blend fabrics.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to work with a reputable printing company that has experience and expertise in your desired printing method. A good printer will help you select the right materials and provide suggestions for optimizing your design for the best possible print quality.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful in making your printing decision. Please feel free to leave us any comments or questions below.

When it comes to printing designs on fabrics, two popular methods are DTG and sublimation printing. Here are some common questions people ask about these two printing techniques:

  1. What is DTG printing?

    DTG stands for Direct-to-Garment printing, which is the process of printing graphics directly onto fabric using a specialized inkjet printer.

  2. What is sublimation printing?

    Sublimation printing involves transferring ink onto fabric using heat and pressure, which causes the ink to become part of the fabric itself.

  3. Which one is better for printing on cotton fabrics?

    DTG printing is generally better for printing on cotton fabrics because the ink is absorbed into the fabric, resulting in a more vibrant and detailed print.

  4. Which one is better for printing on polyester fabrics?

    Sublimation printing is the best option for printing on polyester fabrics because the ink becomes part of the fabric, resulting in a long-lasting, durable print that won’t fade or crack over time.

  5. Which one is more cost-effective?

    DTG printing is typically more expensive than sublimation printing, especially for small quantities. However, for larger quantities, sublimation printing can become more expensive due to the setup costs involved.

  6. Which one is faster?

    DTG printing is generally faster than sublimation printing, especially for smaller quantities. However, sublimation printing can be faster for larger quantities due to the ability to print multiple items at once.

In conclusion, the best printing method depends on the type of fabric being used and the quantity of items being printed. DTG is better for cotton fabrics, while sublimation printing is better for polyester fabrics. DTG printing is more cost-effective for smaller quantities, while sublimation printing can be more cost-effective for larger quantities. DTG printing is generally faster, but sublimation printing can be faster for larger quantities.