What is DPI Anyway?

Hello In Stitches Family! Do you have a picture you need to send us for digital printing or dye sublimation? Then you need to think about DPI and why it’s important!

When we ask you to send us a picture for your next order, we will ask you to send one that is 300 DPI or greater. And you may nod and say, “Absolutely,” then think, what the heck is DPI? Wonder no longer!


DPI is a “measure of spacial printing, video or image scanner dot density, in particular the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch.” (“Dots Per Inch”) To put that in layman’s terms, the amount of dots per inch that a picture has. The more dots, the sharper the image. 

A picture from Facebook or a website is normally 72 DPI. That works great for those platforms but look at the difference in DPI in this example.

All of the cowboys look good but the 300 DPI one is crisper. That’s because there are more dots per inch! 

When we try to make lower quality images into higher quality images, Photoshop, the program we use, tries to guess what the image is and where to put the pixels and that’s why you get the blur.


DPI matters in digital printing and dye sublimation for one reason, sharpness. If a picture has less than 300 DPI, it will look out of focus. That’s not what you want and definitely not what we want for you! 


Here’s the kicker. Most ways you send pictures compresses the DPI making the image less crisp. So, email’s out. Facebook messenger’s out. Texting’s out. What is left? Well, the easiest way we’ve found is by sharing the image on Dropbox or other photo sharing sites. 

Need help figuring out how to share an image in Dropbox? Here’s a quick tutorial.

So, there you have it! Now you know what DPI is, no more blank stares for you, you know why it’s important and you know how to send it!

Do you have a project in mind for digital printing or dye sublimation? Let us know! 

Have a great week!
Mike and Wendy
In Stitches Embroidery

“Dots Per Inch”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_per_inch#:~:text=Dots%20per%20inch%20%28DPI%2C%20or%20dpi%29%20is%20a,within%20the%20span%20of%201%20inch%20%282.54%20cm%29.

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