DTG vs DTF – Complete Guidance of Printing in 2023

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Beneficial technological advances, such as DTG vs DTF – printing technologies, have made it difficult to decide which is superior. The printing of clothing is growing constantly, and more small businesses are entering the market. Every business person aspires to provide its clients with high-quality products.

DTG (Direct-to-Garment) printing techniques were popular in previous years for printing clothing, but DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing is now widely used in the clothing printing sector. Which is better, DTG printing or DTF printing is a query you might have. In this article, we’ll make it simple for you to understand how both techniques function and which is best for your company. DTG vs DTF

Table of Contents

DTG VS DTF – Which one is better

The most popular technique for producing small-scale products and printing t-shirts has long been direct-to-garment (DTG), but in recent months, Direct-to-film (DTF) has gained popularity, gaining more admirers every day.

What is DTG Printing – Direct to garment

DTG is the process of transferring the design to be printed directly onto your clothing, such as t-shirts and hoodies. The cloth must be clean and hot enough to take the pattern before you heat the garment so that the ink can be applied straight to it. Allow the garment to sit until the ink has dried after the design has been printed. T-shirts and other thick materials like cotton print beautifully with this technique. We’ve discovered that it doesn’t produce quality heavy clothing like hoodies and leather.

The main selling point of DTG printing is its capacity to produce complicated graphics in a variety of colors at brisk print rates. Screen printing cannot effectively reach small-time clients looking for distinctive custom prints with less than 30 shirts per order, thus it is best suited for doing so.DTG vs DTF

What is DTF printing – Direct to film

DTF printing, on the other hand, prints designs on a unique transfer film. On the back of the film, the artwork will be printed before being covered with a hot melt powder. By employing a heat press to apply the design to the chosen clothing, the powder, which acts as an adhesive, helps the inks attach to the fabric.

DTF is an extremely flexible printing format. You may heat press your prints onto a variety of other surfaces in addition to clothing. Excellent surfaces that are compatible are those made of polyester, glass, ceramics, and even metal. Additionally, you may sell the prints as-is to anyone who wants to do it yourself or keep extra copies for later use.

Comparison between DTG VS DTF Printing

What is the better choice for your company, though? Before deciding between the two printing solutions, take into account the following solution if you’re new to the market or hoping to grow your current company.

Working Time

DTG Printing

Since DTG printing prints design line by line, it is the slower of the two printing options. Using the time required to pretreat the clothing first, you can print 15 to 20 t-shirts per hour with an entry-level DTG printer. By pretreating clothing in advance or by purchasing readily pre-treated clothing offered at various retailers, you can still cut down on the amount of time.DTG


DTF Printing

But using DTF, printing many designs on a single transfer film greatly reduces manufacturing times. Before using a heat press to transfer the image to the garment, you might be able to print 60 transferring films with graphics in about 30 minutes or so, according to some calculations.

Garments Printing Quality


Many people believe DTG printing to be the softest of the common printing techniques since it can produce prints with a very delicate hand. You’ll be producing premium, full-color designs that stand out from the rest since the inks are fused directly into the fabric, and drawings are generated immediately from your computer.

Since DTF design transfers are printed on film before being heat pressed into the garment, they frequently have a plastic-like feel. You may sense a strong, plastic-like finish when the print is placed on cotton clothing. However, the print and the substrate are indistinguishable from materials like polyester.

Printing Durability

When properly prepped and cured for DTG printing, printed clothing is fairly durable. DTG prints typically survive up to 50 washes, and they can last longer if you take special care of them. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on the material and ink you use. You could start to see sporadic cracks or disappearing colors on different portions of the print after some time.


Stretch the design of a DTF-printed shirt as much as you can. When you quit, you could observe that there are no damage, tearing, or stretch marks on the pattern. Their washability is also superior to DTG’s, particularly if you handle your clothing with care.

Colors Accuracy

When printed into a transmission object, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) accurately reproduces color. DTG and DTF prints use this method. Even if the color brightness is not as strong as in screen-printed images, it can still be pleasing to the eye.


However, your DTG and DTF prints will have outstanding color blending capabilities. The water-based nature of the inks and their transparency characteristics make it very simple to capture or duplicate gradient variations and minor design components. It’s simple to mix inks to create attractive mixtures.

Printing Capabilities


DTG printing has a lot to offer, but sadly it cannot be used with fabrics other than cotton, such as nylon or polyester. Cotton and particular cotton mixes, such as canvas or hemp, perform well for DTG printing since the water-based inks are quickly and permanently absorbed into the fabric. Due to the waterproof nature of substrates like polyester, it is challenging for inks to adhere to the surfaces.

DTF printing succeeds in this area because it employs transfer films. The designs can be easily transferred to a wide range of substrates, including polyester, silk, nylon, and more. Actually, The ability to accumulate printed films and use them on other items have previously been described. Put your artwork on cups, thermos flasks, and signboards – the options are endless.

Printer Cost

The most important factor when choosing your next investment may well be the cost. DTG is by far the most expensive option out of the two. If not more, a typical DTG printer can easily cost between $13,000 and $25,000, and that’s just the printer you’re buying.

You only need a DTF printer, inks, transfer films, and a heat press if you’re using DTF equipment. With a rather tight budget, you can easily purchase an affordable desktop printer that has been converted, a heat press, and other necessary components. Most importantly, you won’t require a pre-treatment tool or solution, which will save costs even further.

Printer Maintainess

One of the most crucial factors to take into account when choosing a printer is maintenance. The maintenance cycles for DTG and DTF printers are comparatively comparable. White ink, however, is the cause of many maintenance problems for printers, hence DTF printers benefit from using a lot less of it than DTG printing. Best Printer for sublimation. This is because these printers are adaptable, long-lasting, durable, efficient, and suitable for a wide range of applications.

Pros & Cons – DTG vs DTF

DTG Printing

  • The most flexible is DTG.
  • Tested and proven
  • to have a pleasantly smooth feel when well performed.
  • Really effective
  • Extreme learning curve
  • The price of ink is really high.
  • Easily broken down if properly cleaned

DTF Printing

  • Really simple to learn
  • improved print quality: printing on a sheet of thick paper
  • excellent for achieving elusive places
  • Suitable for a wide range of different materials
  • It takes a lot of time
  • DTF might be soft or plastic-like, thin or thick.
  • Rough edges

Frequently asked questions

1. DTG or DTF, which is superior?

The DTG can only be used to print on cotton, but DTF can be used to print on a variety of materials. DTG can be a great option if you are targeting a specialized demographic with few fabric options. However, DTF may be a better option if you want the adaptability to print on any fabric or item of clothing.

2. DTF or DTG, which lasts longer?

DTG is the faster of the two techniques; 100 shirts may be produced using it in roughly 3 hours. In contrast, DTF can print roughly 50 shirts in the same period of time.

3. A DTF printer is made by Epson?

The L1800 prints photographs in about 191 seconds, making it a quick six-color A3+ printer for households and offices on a budget1. 1,800 10x15cm photos2 may be printed using its high-capacity ink tank system before it needs to be refilled.

4. What is required for printing DTF?

Due to the fact that DTF printing appears to be a variation on transfer printing, it calls for a desktop inkjet printer with textile inks that are specifically made for DTF printing.

5. Which is best, DTG or sublimation?

The ideal fabric printer for natural fibers like cotton, linen, canvas, or denim is DTG printing. High-quality prints can be created on even darker materials. The ideal materials for sublimation printing are coated in polyester or made of polyester.

Conclusion – DTF vs DTG

We have discussed all of the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of both printing techniques. Now it’s up to you to decide what level of quality outcomes you want for your company and how much money you’ll spend. DTF should be your top priority when starting a firm that deals in large orders. Best printer for miniatureres successful in producing plenty greater complicated designs with an awful lot much less fabric than standard strategies of manufacturing.

Although DTG printing is an older technique, it still produces high-quality results. Ideally, you are aware of the differences between the two approaches and can quickly select one of them. Please let us know if you are still having questions or problems printing by leaving a comment below or contacting us.

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