DTG vs Sublimation: Which printing method is better?

DTG vs Sublimation: Which printing method is better?

When it comes to printing on fabric, there are two popular techniques that have garnered the attention of both DIY enthusiasts and professional printers. These are direct-to-garment (DTG) and sublimation printing methods. While both are effective in producing high-quality prints, the question of which printing method is better remains a subject of debate.

Are you trying to decide which printing method to use for your next project but can’t seem to make up your mind? Don’t worry! This article breaks down the differences between DTG and sublimation printing so you can make an informed decision.

If you’re a fan of bold and intricate designs, then DTG printing may be your best bet. With this method, ink is directly injected onto the fabric, allowing for greater color accuracy and vibrancy. Sublimation, on the other hand, involves using heat to transfer ink onto a special type of paper, which is then transferred onto the fabric. While the end result can also be vibrant, it may sometimes produce colors that are not as accurate.

So, which printing method is better? The answer ultimately depends on several factors, such as the type of fabric you’re using, the complexity of the design, and your budget. If you’re still stuck between the two, read on to learn more about their pros and cons.

By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to choose the perfect printing method for your needs.

Dtg Vs Sublimation
“Dtg Vs Sublimation” ~ bbaz

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When it comes to textile printing, there are two main methods used: DTG (Direct-to-Garment) and sublimation printing. Both techniques have their pros and cons, and the choice between them largely depends on the specific printing project. In this article, we’ll compare DTG versus sublimation printing and explore which method is better for various applications.

DTG Printing

How it works

DTG printing involves using a modified inkjet printer to print designs directly onto the fabric. The garment must be pre-treated with a specialized coating to ensure the ink adheres properly. Once printed, the garment is heat-pressed to set the ink into the fabric.


  • Allows for more detailed designs and vibrant colors
  • No setup costs, making it ideal for small runs or one-off designs
  • Can print on a variety of fabrics, including dark colors


  • Not suitable for high volume production, as each garment must be printed individually
  • Ink is more expensive than other methods
  • Quality may diminish over time or after multiple washings

Sublimation Printing

How it works

Sublimation printing involves printing designs onto a special transfer paper using sublimation ink. The paper is then heat-pressed onto the fabric, allowing the ink to vaporize and fuse with the fibers of the material.


  • Durable, long-lasting prints that won’t fade or crack over time
  • Can be used for all-over printing, covering the entire garment
  • Ideal for high volume production, as multiple garments can be printed at once


  • Limited to certain types of fabrics, such as polyester or polymer-coated surfaces
  • Colors may not be as vivid as with DTG printing, particularly on darker fabrics
  • Setup costs can be expensive, making it less practical for small runs

DTG vs Sublimation: Which is Better?

As with most things, it ultimately depends on the specific project and its requirements. If you need high-quality, detailed prints on a variety of fabric types, DTG printing may be the better choice. However, for large scale projects or designs that cover the entire garment, sublimation printing is likely to be the more cost-effective option.

DTG Printing Sublimation Printing
Best for: – Small runs or one-off designs
– Vibrant colors and fine details
– Dark-colored fabrics
– Large scale projects
– Durable, long-lasting prints
– All-over printing
Costs: – No setup costs
– More expensive ink
– Not cost-effective for high volume production
– Expensive initial setup costs
– Lower ink costs
– Ideal for high volume production
Limitations: – Print quality may diminish over time
– Not suitable for all materials
– Limited to certain fabric types
– Colors may not be as vibrant


Both DTG and sublimation printing have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the benefits and limitations of each technique is crucial for choosing the right method for a particular project. By assessing the purpose, budget, and required output, you can determine whether DTG or sublimation printing is the best fit for your printing needs.

DTG vs Sublimation: Which printing method is better?

After we’ve presented the key differences between DTG and sublimation printing, it’s time to draw a conclusion. Keep in mind that both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and what works best for one business might not work as well for another.

DTG printing is ideal for small orders, high-quality images, and intricate designs. It provides vibrant colors that won’t crack or peel, and its versatility allows for printing on a wide range of fabrics. However, it can be time-consuming and costly, especially when dealing with bulk orders. Additionally, it’s important to choose the right printer, ink, and pretreatment for optimal results.

Sublimation printing is more suitable for large orders, repetitive designs, and polyester fabrics. It produces long-lasting, photorealistic prints that won’t fade or wash out, and allows for all-over printing. However, sublimation requires specific equipment, such as a heat press and sublimation ink, and can only be used on light-colored fabrics. The process involves multiple steps and a steep learning curve, but once mastered, it can lead to significant profits.

We hope this article gave you a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of DTG and sublimation printing, and helped you make an informed decision for your printing needs. Keep experimenting, adjusting, and improving your printing techniques, and remember that quality and customer satisfaction should always come first.

People often wonder about the difference between DTG and sublimation printing and which method is better. Here are some of the most common questions people ask:

  • What is DTG printing?
  • What is sublimation printing?
  • What are the pros and cons of DTG printing?
  • What are the pros and cons of sublimation printing?
  • Which method is better for printing on t-shirts?
  • Which method is better for printing on mugs?
  • Which method is more cost-effective?
  • Which method produces higher quality prints?
  1. DTG printing is a method where a printer directly applies the ink onto the garment, similar to how an inkjet printer works. This allows for high-quality prints with a wide range of colors.
  2. Sublimation printing involves transferring dye onto the fabric using heat. This process creates a permanent, full-color print that won’t peel or fade over time.
  3. DTG printing is great for small runs and detailed designs, but can be more expensive than other methods. It also requires frequent maintenance to avoid clogging.
  4. Sublimation printing is cost-effective for large runs and produces vibrant colors that won’t fade. However, it only works on polyester fabrics and requires a specialized printer and transfer paper.
  5. For printing on t-shirts, DTG printing is generally better for small runs and detailed designs, while sublimation printing is better for larger runs and all-over designs.
  6. For printing on mugs, sublimation printing is the only option as it requires a high-temperature press to transfer the dye onto the surface.
  7. Cost-effectiveness depends on the size of the run and the complexity of the design. In general, sublimation printing is more cost-effective for larger runs, while DTG printing is better for smaller runs.
  8. In terms of quality, both methods can produce high-quality prints. However, sublimation printing tends to produce more vibrant colors and a softer feel, while DTG printing allows for greater detail and color accuracy.

Ultimately, the choice between DTG and sublimation printing depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider the size of the run, the complexity of the design, and the type of fabric you’ll be printing on before making a decision.