What’s The Difference Between DTF Printing And Sublimation Printing?

In our daily life, we will see some beautiful and vivid pictures printed on some clothes or handbags. Have you ever wondered how these patterns are printed on clothes? In fact, this is a process called heat transfer. Some are achieved through DTF print and sublimation printing. So, many people are very curious about the connection between DTF and Sublimation Printing. What is the difference between the two before? Let’s analyze it for you by Sublistar.

Popularly speaking, it is made by four-color overlay printing on ready-to-wear and high-temperature fabrics to achieve the effect of photos, including figures, landscapes, etc. The patterns are very realistic and can achieve the effect of photos. This is the general introduction of DTF print.

1. Similarities

Both DTF printing and sublimation printing belong to heat transfer, that is, the principle of hot stamping is roughly the same, and both are transferred to the fabric by heating.

2. Difference

1. Different processes

DTF printing is divided into two parts: transfer film printing and transfer processing. The transfer film printing uses halftone printing. The pattern is printed on the surface of the film in advance, and then the exquisite pattern on the transfer film is transferred to the surface of the product, the ink layer is integrated with the surface of the product after molding.

The DTF printing is made by four-color overprinting, and the color effect can reach the photo effect (persons, landscape pictures, etc.). It is a kind of heat transfer, including spot color heat transfer and DTF heat transfer.

The temperature and time of hot stamping are different. Generally speaking, the hot stamping temperature is between 130-150 degrees, and the time is about 6-10 seconds. (Of course, different manufacturers use different hot melt adhesives. The hot stamping temperature and time may be different, but This is mostly the case), and the temperature of the sublimation paper is between 200-230 degrees, and the time is about 15-20 seconds.

2. Different features

Sublimation transfer: The pictures are exquisite and can be completed with ordinary hot stamping machines and heat transfer machines. With sublimation transfer ink, there is no need to color, the pattern is formed at one time, and no color is required. With sublimation transfer paper, you only need to print it out, simple operation, exquisite printing work, and low production cost.

Film transfer: The pattern is clear and lifelike, can achieve the effect of the photo, the color is washable and stretchable.

The color is different. The DTF transfer can achieve the effect of the photo, as long as the clear original file (vector diagram) is provided when the heat transfer is made, the effect of the photo can be achieved. The effect of hot stamping on sublimation paper is not as clear as film printing. The higher the polyester content of the fabric printed by sublimation paper, the more vivid the color. Of course, it is also related to the hot stamping temperature and time. The higher the hot stamping temperature, the longer the time, the more vivid the color.

The washing fastness is different. Generally speaking, the washing fastness of sublimation paper is better than the washing fastness of PET film, but the quality of DTF heat transfer is distinguished by quality. The difference between the quality of DTF transfer is mainly based on: elasticity and washing fastness. Sublimation paper does not have this feature.

The feel after hot stamping is different. There is hot melt glue on the back of the DTF transfer, so the hot stamping on the fabric feels handy, as if something is attached to the surface of the fabric and it feels hard. Sublimation paper is the ink that penetrates into the fabric, so it is called sublimation, which is soft to the touch.

DTF printing VS sublimation printing

3. Different applications

Sublimation transfer: applied to leather, textile fabrics, plexiglass, metal, plastic, crystal, wood products, copperplate paper, etc.

DTF printing & transfer application range: luggage, handbags, advertising shirts, cultural shirts, children’s clothing, women’s clothing, headbands, aprons, etc.

The PET film transfer fabric is different. PET film can be hot stamped on all fabrics such as knitting, textile, nylon, non-woven fabric, Oxford cloth, etc. The sublimation paper can only be ironed on light-colored or white polyester fabrics. The more you need polyester ingredients, the brighter the color.

The above is the difference between DTF printing and sublimation printing. I hope to help you make a choice that suits you. If you have a strong interest in DTF printing, you can pay more attention to us. We will update quality content from time to time. Thank you for reading.

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