DTF Vs DTG Printing, Which is the best?

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DTF Vs DTG Printing
2022-08-04 17:29:46

Statistics show that the digital printing industry has witnessed rapid growth over the last few years. With the enormous growth of this industry and technological advancements, many individuals or entrepreneurs are shifting to the digital printing sector to meet the high demands. Due to the popularity and high demand for these products, many companies have innovated various sophisticated digital printers.

These printers enhance ease of printing, consistency, high-quality products, and better fabric performance during production. DTF and DTG printers have been the most popular options among investors. However, these printing processes come with different aspects and functionality, which you need to understand before making the right choice. This article provides a comprehensive DTG vs. DTF printing comparison, helping the appropriate textile garment printing suit your needs.

What is DTF Printing?

DTF printing is a new digital printing process that has revolutionized the garment printing and decoration sector. The DTF printing process combines high-quality digital print technology. DTF printing uses specially developed textile inks to print onto the film and then heat press to transfer the image to the garment.

The process result in high-quality and durable garments, ranging from cotton to silk and polyester to synthetic fibers. The DTF printer is essential in the process, allowing you to print your preferred design and transfer it directly to the intended garments. Besides the DTF printer, you also need films appropriate software, hot-melt adhesive powder, DTF inks, an automatic powder shaker and a heat press machine for the process.

How does DTF printing works?

With the appropriate and right printer, DTF printing is a straightforward process. Below is a stepwise process of how DTF printing works:

Step 1. Print on film

Printing on the PET film is the first step of this printing process. After setting the print image and resolution on the software, start the printer to obtain a mirror image of the real image required for the fabric.

Step 2. Powdering

It involves adding the hot-melt powder to the film with the image. Ensure that you add uniformly and spread evenly on the printed surface while the ink is still wet, and remove the excess powder. Pick the powdered film and bend it inwards to form a slight U or concave surface. You can then rock the film sidewards, spreading the powder on the image's surface. Alternatively, the automated shakers will suit mass or commercial production.

Step 3. Melt the powder

During this step, melt the powder on the film in different ways. The common one is putting the film having the image and applying powder in a curing heat or oven. You can also consider placing the film in the heat press, bringing the press's top near the film.

Step 4. Pre-pressing

It involves pre-pressing your fabric or garment before transferring the image. Experts advise that you pre-pressure for 2 to 5 seconds to flatten and de-humidify the fabric.

Step 5. Transfer

The process involves placing the film bearing the image on your pre-heated fabric under high temperatures, approximately 170 degrees for 20 seconds.

Step 6. Cold peel

After attaching the garment and film, you must cool them before pulling the film. The cooling effects act as a proper binder. You can now pull off your film to get the appropriate or desired image. The fabric will now be ready, or you can consider post-pressing for high-performance parameters and better results.

Pros of DTF Printing

  • Applies to a wide range of products
  • It doesn't require pre-treatment
  • Easy to operate
  • Requires less white ink, making it a cost-effective process
  • Environmentally friendly
  • It doesn't require special equipment for the application
  • Allows for proper reassurance before printing

Cons of DTF Printing

  • Expensive option when printing on large surfaces
  • Despite the reassurance advantages, it's a time-consuming process
  • The PET film and paper aren't reusable
  • Less smoothness and tenderness

What is DTG Printing?

DTG or direct to garment is sometimes referred to as digital printing on garments and inkjet garment printing. The DTG process is a relatively new printing method that produces incredibly high quality artwork that will remain in place for years to come.

DTG printing is the process of printing graphics onto textiles and garments, using improved inkjet technology to print any graphics you want onto your shirts. Our ink is completely safe and dries quickly, the ink will bleed into your garment itself and become part of the shirt. This means the graphics won't crack, flake or wash away over time.

How does DTG printing work?

DTG printing works on the same principle as inkjet printing. These printers use a special print head to apply water-based inks to the fabric. As this type of ink is only suitable for natural fibres, DTG prints work perfectly with fabrics such as bamboo, cotton and linen.

Before using DTG to print designs on your garments, the fabric needs to be pre-treated. In order to pre-treat the garment, a heat press can be used to compress the fibres. Fibres such as cotton and bamboo often come off the garment and this printing process flattens the fibres, making the printing process more effective.

Although not every garment needs to be pre-treated, it is essential when applying light or white ink dyes to dark coloured garments. After the garment has been pre-treated, it is fixed in place and the image is then printed onto the garment using a DTG printer.

Pros and Cons of DTG Printing

Since its emergence, many individuals have used DTG printing to produce high-quality designs and prints on various garments. Below are the pros and cons of this printing process you have to understand:


  • Allows a wide range of colors
  • It saves time and resources
  • High-quality results
  • Low setup costs
  • Pre-treatment process enhances high-quality prints


  • Limits the printing to cotton garments
  • Expensive for mass production
  • Limited design placements
  • Not durable garments and prints

DTF vs. DTG printing - Which to Choose?

DTG and DTF printing have the popular digital printing process. With the numerous advantages or benefits resulting from this process, many individuals have found it daunting to choose the appropriate one for their needs. However, the DTF printing process takes the node as the best alternative as it lifts all restrictions or challenges in the textile or garment printing sector.

The process reduces the overall garment digital printing cost, as it doesn't require pre-treatment, making it economical to produce mass fabrics or garments. Experts predict that despite the few disadvantages, DTF will take over the textile printing industry over the next few decades to produce high-quality products.

However, before investing in DTF printing, understand how the process works and invest in a high-quality DTF printer. These tips will help you have smooth digital printing on your different products and supplies. DTF printing process lowers the products while enhancing high-quality prints or fabrics with various colors and styles.

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