Which one is better?
Many people are curious in the new (Direct-to-Film) DTF printing technique, which has emerged as a breakthrough in t-shirt printing technology. What capabilities does the DTF offer that other printing technologies do not? How does the DTF compare to vinyl heat transfer technology because it uses an adhesive to fabric technique? And DTF printing VS HTV, which one is better?
Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing
DTF printing VS Heat transfer vinyl? Heat transfer vinyl is one of the most often utilized processes for customizing fabric goods. The method begins with an eco-solvent printer printing on white heat transfer vinyl before cutting following the outlines of the artwork with a vinyl cutting plotter. Weeding out the surplus vinyl after printing and cutting is essential to leave only the desired artwork. Following that, application tape is used to hold the artwork in place while the under-liner of the heat transfer vinyl is removed, leaving only the sticky vinyl layer. The vinyl will be applied to the fabric using a heat press machine. This procedure is comparable to applying a sticker or decal, except that it is done on fabric with heat onto common fabric merchandises such as t-shirts, sportswear, sweatshirts, hoodies, bags, and backpacks.
There is also heat transfer vinyl that cannot be printed on. Such vinyl is available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and qualities, ranging from plain colors to glossy, shiny, and even sparkly materials. This non-printable vinyl just requires the user to cut and weed the artwork with a vinyl cutting plotter before applying the vinyl in the manner described above. Non-printable vinyl is most commonly used to customize names and numbers on jerseys for sports such as football and basketball.
The workflow for the vinyl heat transfer technique is as follows: Design > print on heat transfer vinyl > contour cut > weed > add application tape > heat press > remove application tape > finish.
Direct-To-Film (DTF) Printing
(Direct-to-film) DTF transfer printing is a new technology that prints on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) film with a specific water-based DTF colored ink. The artwork will be printed with a layer of colored ink first, followed by a layer of white ink. Furthermore, the artwork printed must be mirrored in order for the application to face in the correct direction when it is placed under the heat press. The printed picture will next be processed by an automatic powdering and curing system.
All that remains after the printing and curing is a general trim of the artwork. Transfer the artwork on the film to the fabric using a heat press machine at roughly 170℃ for about 15 seconds, then remove the film.
The finished product will only leave the desired artwork on the fabric. DTF can be applied to the same fabric items as heat transfer vinyl.
The following are typical steps in the DTF printing technology process: Print on film > apply adhesive powder > cure > trim > heat press > remove film > finish.
Why Should I Choose DTF Rather than HTV?
With vinyl heat transfer being the most widely used t-shirt printing method in the world, how does DTF differentiate itself such that users will want to switch?
To begin, vinyl heat transfer necessitates meticulous weeding. If the artwork is intricate, it may take hours to remove all the unneeded elements. It may be impossible to remove elements that are too small if the artwork has a number of little texts. Furthermore, it is usual to discover that some details are lost throughout the weeding process. As a result, certain elements of the project must be reprinted or re-cut to be completed.
DTF printing, on the other hand, does not require weeding. Instead, DTF technology prints directly onto a coated PET film, which also serves as the transfer paper. The process difference leads in faster and higher production and efficiency rates.
Because DTF does not use vinyl printing, there will be no additional layer of vinyl on the t-shirt. As a result, unlike vinyl, which tears off over time, the end product’s durability will be strengthened.
A transfer paper or application tape is necessary in vinyl heat transfer technology to hold the artwork in place and prevent it from coming apart before transferring the artwork onto the cloth. You will also need to carefully peel and transfer the complete artwork onto the transfer paper, which will take more time and money.
DTF just requires you to print straight onto the PET film, which also serves as your transfer paper. Because it is already on the PET film, the transferring step is no longer necessary.
DTF printing technology also allows the user to alter the feel and texture of the print by adjusting the variables – color ink, white ink, and adhesive powder that is applied to the film. As a result, you can modify the print texture to meet the needs of the product.
In the t-shirt printing sector, production speed is also a significant factor. Faster production rates allow for higher production volume. In a comparison of a Roland BN20 vinyl heat transfer printer with an entry level DTF printer, the former prints at 1.75m2/hr while the latter prints at 4m2/hr.
The DTF printing and powder curing process is a streamlined operation, but the vinyl heat transfer printer cutting process can only be done after the printing is completed. Aside from printing and cutting, weeding and transferring consume a significant amount of manufacturing time.
Finally, DTF printing technique outperforms vinyl heat transfer in terms of consumable costs, workforce allocation, and production efficiency.
Although the DTF printing VS Heat transfer vinylare frequently contrasted, the fundamental difference between the two is the workflow process. The key advantage of DTF printing technology would be its more efficient and streamlined production process. Without the need for weeding, time and personnel may be used more effectively and efficiently for other tasks.