If you’re new to the textile industry, you’ve probably heard of the latest technology, Direct to Garment Transfer and direct to film printer, commonly known as DTF printer vs DTG printer. However, the question remains as to why DTF technology was introduced into the textile business. The purpose of this article is to provide a full comparison of the techniques DTG printer vs DTF printer based on several features and their effect on the process. Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing has long been the most popular method for t- shirt printing and small productions, but in recent months, Direct-to-film (DTF) has gained traction in the industry, with more supporters on the way. Both printing methods are appropriate for little products or personalization, such as T-shirts or masks. However, the results and printing process differ in both circumstances, making it tough to select which to use for a business.
The epidemic has led the establishment of individual studios specializing in Print-on-Demand production, and with it, DTG and DTF printing have entered the market, raising the interest of manufacturers looking to begin working with personalized clothes.
Direct-to-garment (DTG) has been the major method used for t-shirt printings and small productions for a long time, but in recent months, Direct-to-film or Film-to-Garment (DTF) has sparked attention in the industry, gaining more supporters with each passing month. To comprehend this paradigm shift, we must first understand the distinctions between the two methods.
It requires pre-treatment: In the case of DTG, the process begins with garment pre-treatment. This procedure is required before printing because we will be working directly on the cloth, allowing the ink to be well set and preventing it from transferring through the fabric. In order to activate this procedure, we will also need to heat the garment before printing.
Direct to garment printing: DTG printing refers to Direct to Garment printer, hence the process is faster than DTF because there is no need to transfer.
White ink usage: We have the option of using a white mask as a base to ensure that the ink does not mix with the color of the medium, although this is not always necessary (for example, on white bases), and we may also reduce the use of this mask, putting white just in certain regions.
Print on cotton: Only print on cotton fabric.
Final press: To set the ink, we must perform a final press at the end of the process, after which our garment will be ready.
Pre-treatment is not required: Because DTF printer is pre-printed on a film that must be transferred, there is no need to pre-treat the fabric.
Printing on film: At DTF, we print on film and then transfer the design to the fabric. This may lengthen the process as compared to DTG.
Adhesive powder: This sort of printing will necessitate the employment of an adhesive powder, which will be applied immediately after the ink has been printed on the film. This step is included in printers designed exclusively for DTF, so you skip any manual processes.
Use of white ink: In this situation, a layer of white ink is required to be applied on top of the color layer. This is the one that is transferred to the cloth and acts as a foundation for the design’s major colors.
No limitation of fabric: DTF has the advantage of allowing you to work with any type of cloth besides cotton.
Film-to-fabric transfer: The final step in the process is to use a press to transfer the printed film to the fabric.
So, what factors should we consider while picking which print to purchase?
Materials: As previously said, DTG printer can only be printed on cotton, but DTF can be printed on a variety of different fabrics.
The volume of production: DTG machines are currently far more adaptable and enable for greater and faster output than DTF machines. As a result, it is critical to understand each company’s manufacturing requirements.
The outcome: The outcome of one print and the other is considerably different. While the drawing and inks in DTG are integrated with the fabric and have a rougher feel, similar to the base itself, the fixing powder in DTF printer makes it feel like plastic, hard, and can’t integrate with the fabric. However, because the colors are pure and the underlying color does not intervene, they have a higher perceived quality.
Use of white ink: Both procedures require a significant amount of white ink to print, but with the use of a decent Rip Software, it is possible to manage the layer of white that is used in DTG, depending on the base color, and thus significantly cut expenses. For example, neoStampa features a unique print mode for DTG that not only allows for quick color calibration, but also allows you to select the amount of white ink to use on different types of fabrics.
In a nutshell, DTF printing appears to be gaining more polularity on DTG printing, although the two have quite different applications and functions. DTF printing
may be better ideal for small-scale printing if you want good color results but don’t want to make such a large investment. However, DTG printing equipment are
now more adaptable, with numerous plates and processes, allowing for faster and more flexible printing.