DTF and Sublimation Printer, Which One Is Better?
There are several approaches you can take to printing pictures on fabric. Sublimation and DTF printer are two of the most popular methods for printing on clothing (direct to film). Although both methods produce high-quality images, each has advantages and disadvantages. The images’ post-print shelf life is one significant distinction. Does DTF printing last longer than sublimation printing? Here is a comparison to assist you in deciding which printing method would best achieve your objectives.
What Are The Differences between Two Printing Method?
Liquid ink is used in direct to film printing (DTF printer) to print images onto transfer paper (film). The film is coated with adhesive powder, which is then transferred to the fabric. You will be able to feel the image on the fabric once it has dried. Although it feels soft to the touch, the texture differs from that of the fabric that is plain and unprinted.
In dye sublimation printing, the ink never transitions into a liquid state; instead, it goes straight from a solid state to a gas. This enables the ink to bind with the fabric fibers in a way that makes the image on the shirt virtually invisible. The material’s texture remains unchanged. On sublimation paper, the image is printed, and it is then transferred from the paper to the fabric.
Printing on clothing using sublimation is especially effective because the ink is absorbed into the fabric’s fibers. Since the image on the material cannot be felt, it is more comfortable than screen-printed graphics.
You will need a particular kind of transfer paper, a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and a heat press in order to experiment with sublimation printing. A heat press is used to transfer the image from the sublimation paper to the fabric. It’s important to understand how to properly use the transfer paper if you want to master sublimation printing. Here is the procedure.
How Long Do the Images Last?
DTF printer images may occasionally outlive sublimation images in some circumstances. The phrase “last longer” refers to the image maintaining its vibrancy and resisting fading, peeling, or cracking. Sublimation images might last longer in other circumstances. A number of variables affect how long an image on fabric will last.
Factors That Affect Longevity
Printing ways. Printing techniques vary in how long their images last. Due to the ink’s ability to be seen through the fabric, DTF typically lasts longer than sublimation. When using sublimation printing, the ink combines with the fabric to allow it to fade along with the fabric. However, because sublimation images begin more vividly, some fading can occur before the final appearance deteriorates.
The ink’s quality. Not all ink is created equal. The better the ink used in either printing method, the longer the image will last. A sublimation image printed with the right ink may last longer than a DTF image printed with lower quality ink.
Printer performance. The longevity of the printed image is affected by the printer’s quality. Some printers are designed to be fast in order to produce large quantities of garments, but the quality may suffer as they are produced more quickly. Before purchasing a printer, consider your printing objectives.
The fabric type. Sublimation printing is most effective on polyester or polyester blends containing at least 23% polyester. DTF printing works on almost any fabric. Because synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, resist fading better than cotton, a DTF image on cotton may fade faster than a sublimation image on polyester.
Methods of washing. Washing has an effect on the longevity of an image regardless of how it is printed. The more a garment is washed, the more faded it becomes. Using mild detergent, particularly those designed to reduce fading, may help your image last longer. Hand washing may even be a better option for fading resistance.
If you want to make a wide range of printed garments in a variety of styles, DTF printer may be the best printing method for you. Sublimation may be the best option if you want to create realistic, high-definition printed images. When it comes to printing long-lasting images, the quality of your ink and equipment is the most important factor.