sublimation vs dtg

Dye Sublimation vs DTG (Direct-to-Garment) | Advantages & Disadvantages

Are you curious about the difference between dye sublimation vs DTG printing? In this blog, we’ll break down the differences between these two methods and help you decide which is best for your business. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Dye Sublimation?

sublimation vs dtg

Dye sublimation involves printing designs onto heat-resistant polyester papers or polyester fabrics, which are then ironed onto various fabrics. Dye sublimation ink is embedded in the fabric so it won’t crack or fade with washing.

What is DTG?

sublimation vs dtg

Direct-to-garment print methods are digital printing processes that apply specially formulated inks directly to garments using an inkjet printer. These inks are absorbed by the materials’ fibers, giving them a level of water resistance, needed for screen printing.

If you’re in the market for a printer but aren’t sure which one is best for you, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. You only need to read this article on the best sublimation printer for beginners to make your choice.

Dye Sublimation vs DTG: How does the Printing Process Work?

DYE sublimation printing works in the same way as screen printing. A printer head ejects tiny droplets of ink onto paper that’s specially formulated to accept the image. The special paper then transfers the image to a transfer sheet ironed onto the fabric at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, permanently transferring it to your garment.

DTG printing uses specially formulated inks that are absorbed by the fibers of your garment, making it water-resistant. The ink is printed directly onto fabric using an inkjet printer.

Dye Sublimation vs DTG: Advantages and Disadvantages

DYE Sublimation

Advantages :

  • The printing is durable and does not crack with washing.
  • There are unlimited color options at an affordable price.
  • Images can be transmitted electronically to a transfer printer for simplified order fulfillment.
  • Anyone can do it because it’s a straightforward technique.


  • You cannot print on dark-colored shirts or dark garments with graphics that have a lot of black ink involved, as the black ink will absorb into the shirt’s fibers and become invisible.
  • The print size is frequently limited, as it should be due to the print plate and paper sizes.
  • A white or light background is required for all materials.



  • You can print on dark-colored shirts or garments with graphics that have a lot of black ink involved.
  • There are no limitations on the number of colors you can print in it and it produces stunning images, and it is suitable for photographs or high-resolution images.
  • This printing method is very versatile and can easily handle both small and large orders.


  • The setup costs for this process may be relatively higher than sublimation printing.
  • Limited design placements are available.
  • DTG printing is fussy, and the fabric needs to be at least 50% cotton.

Dye Sublimation vs DTG: How much do they cost?

sublimation vs dtg

Dye sublimation is relatively more affordable than DTG printing.

Each color design on your print costs an additional $10 for Dye sublimation, and every item has the same price regardless of size or quantity ordered. For example, if you wanted to sell a t-shirt with 10 different colors of ink via Dye sublimation, the cost would be the same as selling a t-shirt with one color of ink on it.

Dye sublimation printers can range from around $300 to $10000, starting from small home entry-level ones to high-end office printers.

Direct To Garment printing is less expensive per item for low quantities and more costly for higher quantities. For example, if you wanted to print 100 t-shirts with DTG printing, each shirt would cost $18.00. So, for example, if you wanted to print 100 t-shirts with DTG printing, each shirt would cost $12.00.

Direct To Garment printers can cost $10000 to $30000 for a starter printer and can go as high as $200,000 to $500,000 for a high-end fully functional printing station.

Which is better, Dye-Sublimation or DTG?

There is no “better” choice between sublimation printing vs DTG. Both processes have their place, only you can decide which process is best for your business and initial investment. When deciding on a company to print with, be sure to ask about the type of ink used and the color limitations, to choose one method or the other that will work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many colors can I produce using a DTG printer and dye-sublimation printer?

A Direct To Garment printer can produce up to 16 million colors, whereas a dye sublimation printer can only produce 272 or 510 different colors.

Can DTG ink be re-filled?

One of the benefits of DTG printing is that there is no need to change cartridges. Instead, the digital printer uses special ink cups, which are re-filled as you need them for future orders.

How long does a DYE sublimation ink last?

Dye sublimation inks can last around 16 wash cycles before fading begins to occur.


Dye sublimation vs DTG (Direct-to-garment) printers are two very different printing methods. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which we’ve outlined for you in this post. So, how do you decide which is right for your business? The cost is a factor to consider, DTG printers are generally more expensive than dye sublimation machines. But the most important question to ask yourself is what kind of product you want to produce. Hope this article helped you in making an informed decision. Thanks for reading!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *