DTF vs. DTG Printing

Which is Better: DTF or DTG?

Both Direct-to-Film (DTF) and Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing have the potential to yield excellent results. However, considering factors such as project requirements, garment type, and budget, we recommend DTF as the optimal choice. DTF offers cost-effectiveness and versatility, while still delivering a comparable feel to Direct-to-Garment printing. Whether you're an individual creator or a small business, Direct-to-Film printing presents substantial advantages over Direct-to-Garment, unlocking new possibilities for your printing needs.

Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing is a rising technique in the realm of clothing customization, posing a competition to Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing. As an apparel designer, creator, or retailer, gaining insights into these methods will drive profitability in your business.


What is Direct-to-Film (DTF) Printing?

Direct-to-film (DTF) printing revolutionizes clothing customization by employing high-quality inkjet printing to transfer designs onto a specialized film. The film is subsequently applied to the fabric and heat-pressed, seamlessly transferring the ink onto the fabric surface.

The main benefits of DTF are:

  1. Experience the versatility of Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing as it excels on various materials including cotton, poly-cotton blends, polyester, and more, ensuring exceptional results.
  2. Indulge in superior quality results with DTF printing, akin to traditional screen printing. Revel in vibrant designs and crisp prints that captivate the eye.
  3. Experience enhanced durability with DTF printing as the designs seamlessly adhere to the fabric, ensuring long-lasting impressions.

How does DTF printing work?

Here are the basic steps of DTF printing:

  1. The design is printed onto a special transfer film with water-based inks
  2. The ink on the film is then coated with a special adhesive powder
  3. Then the design is transferred onto the fabric using a heat press

While the process seems lengthy, involving multiple steps and actions, print time for one garment is just a few minutes.

What is Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing?

Elevate apparel customization with Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing, where ink is directly applied to fabric using a specialized inkjet printer. Embraced as a popular alternative to traditional screen printing methods.

The main benefits of DTG are:

  1. Experience the awe-inspiring detail of Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing, where intricate designs featuring multiple colors shine brilliantly.
  2. Indulge in the luxuriously soft feel of Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing, as water-based inks seamlessly absorb into the fabric, preserving its gentle touch.
  3. Streamline your production process with Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing, requiring fewer steps to bring your projects to life efficiently.

Comparing DTF vs DTG

Recognizing the uniqueness of each project, it's important to note that there is no universal best printing method. Both Direct-to-Film and Direct-to-Garment printing can yield exceptional results. However, based on our experience, the following insights have been observed.

Printing Speed

The production speed of DTG and DTF apparel printing is influenced by various factors, with Direct-to-Film generally offering a faster turnaround. However, the significant distinction lies in the curing time for DTG, which can extend up to 15 minutes.


While both customization methods can create enduring prints, DTF printing typically yields more resilient results. Direct-to-Film designs are heat-bonded to the fabric, ensuring a durable and long-lasting connection, whereas Direct-to-Garment ink coats fabric fibers, which may gradually weaken over time.

Fabrics Types

Unlock the versatility of Direct-to-Film (DTF) as it effortlessly applies to an array of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and blended fabrics. On the other hand, DTG shines when used on natural-fiber products like cotton, utilizing water-soluble ink that may not be readily absorbed by synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and rayon.


When it comes to cost, DTF printing often proves more economical compared to DTG. While both methods require considerable equipment investment, factors such as consumables, maintenance, and staff training tend to favor DTF, giving it an edge in the cost battle.


Experience the exceptional versatility of Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing, surpassing the capabilities of Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing. DTF not only adapts to a wide range of fabrics but also accommodates various apparel types. Moreover, the manual positioning of DTF transfers enables unparalleled creative freedom for unique print placements that DTG cannot replicate.

Hand Feel

When it comes to the feel of printed apparel, both methods offer comparable results, with DTG providing a softer texture. However, the feel of a DTF-printed garment can vary based on several factors, occasionally resulting in a smooth, glossy finish reminiscent of vinyl.

Printing Ease

Direct-To-Film (DTF) printing offers a simpler process compared to Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printing. With DTF, after printing the ink onto a transfer, it only requires heat pressing onto the fabric. On the other hand, DTG printing involves pre-treating the shirt with chemicals before printing and subsequent heat curing post-printing.

Color Vibrance

Direct-To-Film (DTF) transfer prints deliver outstanding color vibrancy, saturation, and accuracy, ensuring remarkable visual impact. In contrast, Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printing has not achieved the same level of vibrancy, particularly in terms of vivid color rendition.

While this simplified comparison of Direct-to-Film with Direct-to-Garment printing is founded on general assumptions, it is crucial to recognize that the results may diverge based on specific applications. Feel free to reach out to us for further information on determining the optimal option for your unique project.


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