DTF VS DTG printing

DTF VS DTG Printing, Which Printing Solution Should You Consider?

Which One Is Better?

Which one is better? The printing industry has evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, and various inventions have created headlines. DTF VS DTG printing? Some feel that due of DTF printer’s incredible versatility on a wide range of fabrics, this spells the end of the popular DTG printing method; others take issue with this idea.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about DTF and DTG printing technologies for your shop’s future service expansion. You’ve been screen printing for a while but want to branch out and reach a new audience. You’ve heard a lot about both, and you’re wondering if either can help your business develop.

Making a decision is not always simple. What percentage of your budget can you commit to? Which strategy works best for acquiring new customers? You’d also have to cope with conflicting data regarding which is best. How do you know what is best for your company? Don’t worry; this article will help you decide if DTG or DTF is the best solution for your business.

What Exactly Is DTG Printer?

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is the method of digitally printing a garment in the same manner that a document would be printed on a desktop A3 DTG printer. After entering a design into the system, raster image processor (RIP) software turns it into a set of instructions that the printer may use to print it.

When the shirt is finished, place it on the printer’s platen, making sure it is properly positioned for printing. The design will be created by the printer using carefully controlled print heads to apply ink to the surface of the garment. After printing, heat press it once more, and your garment is finished!

The ability to create detailed images with several colors at reasonable printing speeds is the main selling point of DTG printing. It is most suited for reaching out to small-time clientele who require one-of-a-kind customised prints on fewer than 30 shirts per order, which screen printing cannot handle efficiently.


How about DTF Printing?

DTF printing, on the other hand, uses a special transfer film to print designs. Before being covered with hotmelt powder, the artwork will be printed on the back side of the film. When the design is put to the chosen apparel using a heat press, the powder serves as an adhesive, assisting the inks to adhere to the garment.

The main benefit of DTF printing is its low cost. Printer inks, transfer films, and hotmelt powder are all cheaply priced, allowing you to keep costs down while improving earnings from your prints. Because you’re printing on sheets or rolls of film, you may easily print multiple patterns on a single sheet or length of film.

DTF printing is also a very versatile printing technology. You may heat press your prints not only into clothing, but also onto a number of other substrates. Polyesters, glass, ceramics, and even metals provide excellent surfaces. You can even keep extra prints for future use or sell them as-is to anyone who wants to do it themselves!

Startup Costs for DTF VS DTG Printing

Cost is undoubtedly the most crucial factor to consider when making your next investment decision. DTG is far and away the more expensive of the two options. A basic DTG printer can easily cost between $13,000 and $25,000 – if not more! Your bill will rise if you incorporate pre-treatment equipment, pre-treatment solution, a heat press, and RIP software.

Even if you buy a low-cost entry-level printer (such as a Texjet shortee2 for at least $8k), the total investment in supplies and equipment can exceed $12,000 or more!

All you’ll need for DTF equipment is a DTF printer, inks, transfer films, and a heat press. You can easily purchase an inexpensive converted desktop printer, a heat press, and other necessary components on a tight budget. Most importantly, you will not need a pre-treatment machine or solution, which will significantly reduce your costs.

A converted printer is a digital inkjet printer that has been repurposed for paper printing. The printer has been modified to print on DTF transfer films rather than paper. DTG-converted printers were originally popular as a low-cost option to get started with DTG printing, but DTF-converted printers have now superseded them.

Startup Costs for DTF VS DTG Printing

DTG ink, particularly white ink, is prohibitively expensive. White ink serves as the underbase when printing on black clothing, and DTG printers can use twice as much white ink as color ink! Brother DTG printer ink authorized resellers may charge $89 or more for a single 1L bottle of compatible Brother ink. Genuine ink cartridges and bags are much more expensive!

It is recommended that you buy less expensive compatible inks to reduce your overall costs, but this has certain drawbacks, such as the requirement to adjust your ICC profile to match the colors you need to print. Even so, with good management and testing, it’s superior than spending twice as much on original inks.


DTF inks, on the other hand, as well as transfer films and hotmelt powder, are less expensive. Furthermore, DTF uses significantly less ink, particularly white ink, than DTG.

Because the hotmelt powder adheres the inks to the garment, you won’t need as much white ink as you would for an underbase.
You’ll be able to increase order volumes as needed without dramatically increasing business costs. 500ml bottles of DTF CMYK ink, on the other hand, can cost up to $12 per unit. Some retailers even offer discounts for larger purchases. Larger quantities of 500ml or more can cost $50 or more. The cost difference between DTG and DTF inks is substantial!

Which Option Should You Take?

Depending on your current situation, DTF VS DTG printing will provide you with flexibility in a variety of ways.

DTG printing is the way to go if you’re willing to take small orders of customised shirts with detailed patterns and a wide color range quickly. The first entry fees may be daunting, but if you can justify them, the return on investment – and the potential for rapid expansion of your clientele – is well worth it.

DTF is a suitable choice if you need to meet medium-to-large orders for a variety of materials. DTF printing is a simple approach to increase your market share because you can simply print designs for a wide range of material types that appeal to a diverse audience. Furthermore, because DTF printing uses less ink than DTG, it is more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

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