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[Updated] DTF Printing VS White Toner Printing, Which is Better

Nowadays, DTF printing is gaining more and more popularity at the market. Since DTF printing is cost-effective and breaks the limitations of color and fabrics, many businessmen choose DTF printer to start or expand their printing business. However, there are still some people choosing white toner printing which uses laser printer in printing business. So, which is better? This passage will give a comprehensive comparison between DTF printing and white tone printing.

Definition of DTF Printing and White Toner Printing

As the name shows, DTF(Direct-to-film) printing is a technique that utilizes DTF printer to print patterns on the film firstly and then transfers the film to fabrics afterwards. It can print on any color and fabrics. While white toner printing mainly uses laser printer to print the film. During the process, it will uses special whiter toner, which is opaque and vibrant. These characteristics make white prints on dark-colored, colored or transparent substrates possible and printed film transferred to different garments and materials.

Similarities Between DTF Printing and White Toner Printing

  1. Both need to print on PET film first of all and then transfer to the garments.
  2. Both use white color as a base for CMY or CMYK color.
  3. Both the film have adhesion coating.
  4. Printed results are both vibrant and restore the original details well.
  5. Heat press machine is necessary in the both printing process.

Differences Between DTF Printing and White Toner Printing

DTF printing differs from white toner printing mainly from working process, durability maintenance, application, touch feeling and cost

Working Process

Before starting printing, DTF printing needs to use RIP software to handle the pictures and run the special ink. Although there are great RIP software in the market, you may still need to learn and operate the software on your own. For the reason that software for white toner printing has developed for more than 5 years and is very mature now, people can drive the software freely.

Also during the process, DTF printing utilizes DTF printer while white toner printing uses laser printer.


DTF printing uses special textile ink, which is anti-elasticity and anti-stretch. Hence, patterns of DTF printing are of greater durability. As for white toner printing, printed patterns have poor washing ability and durability. They may break easily as the time flows.


DTF printer requires regular maintenance in case of possible damages. Whats more, regular maintenance can prolong the lifespan of DTF printer. For more about maintaining DTF printer, this article Everything You Must Know about Maintaining DTF Printers tells a lot. As for white toner laser printer, it almost requires no maintenance, which will not influence the use of printer.


DTF printing mainly focuses on textile production, like shirts, blouses, coats, jeans, hoodies and more. White tone printing has a wide range of applications not limited to garments, for example, producing magnets,banners, window cling and labels.

Touch feeling

When touching patterns printed by DTF printing, you will feel soft and even without rasterization.However, touching patterns by white toner printing feels like touching paper and could feel the thickness on graphics.


In terms of cost, DTF printer costs less than white toner laser printer. DTF printer is a more cost-effective choice.

Pros and Cons of DTF Printing


  1. Not limited by color or fabrics.
  2. Excellent durability and wash ability
  3. Cost-effective and Anti-stretch
  4. Printing of high resolution and vibrant color


  1. More complicated maintenance process than white toner printing
  2. Feel a little plastic

Pros and Cons of White Toner Printing


  1. No need of strict daily maintenance
  2. Wide range of application substrates
  3. Fast printing speed


  1. Higher cost of machine and consumables
  2. Poor durability and wash ability
  3. Thick feeling of patterns

DTF printing and White Tone Printing, which is better?

Objectively speaking, DTF printing and white toner printing both have advantages and disadvantages. If you want to enter garment printing industry or take your garment business to next level, DTF printing is a better choice.  It will allow you to print on 100% cotton and black garments, it will have great feel and washability. You will be able to print on demand quickly and conveniently, without having to worry about sitting idle for a few days.

For more tips, refer to Sublistar’s experts for professional advice.


Can DTF printers print white?

DTF printer can print white. It can print any colors.

With white toner, you can produce many items like T-shirts, workwear, bottles, labels, signs and more.

DTF powder has both black and white. Black works best on black or dark colored fabrics while white works best on white or light colored fabrics.

DTF printer uses special ink, which will not fade easily. 

DTF printing can print on polyester. It can work on all types of fabrics.

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