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Difference Between DTG and DTF

Difference Between DTG and DTF - Ready2Transfer

Summary of DTF vs DTG:

  • For custom clothing and accessories, direct-to-garment (DTG) and direct-to-film (DTF) printing are common printing techniques.
  • Using modified inkjet technology, DTG printing equipment prints water-based inks directly onto clothing.
  • Using a heat press, DTF printing equipment applies ink to a unique transfer film, which is subsequently pressed onto a garment.
  • When compared the widely used DTG and DTF methods, fabric restrictions, print quality, and print durability should all be taken into account.

What is DTG printing?

DTG printing is a method that directly applies water-based inks onto garments using inkjet technology, similar to a standard computer printer, distinguishing itself by utilizing aqueous inks instead of oil-based inks.
  1. Printing Process:

    • Digital art file is sent to the DTG printer for the apparel design.
    • Aqueous inks are used instead of oil-based inks.
  2. Pre-Treatment Stage:

    • Application of a pre-treatment solution to the entire garment.
    • Prevents white ink from soaking into the fabric or mixing with other inks.
  3. Curing the Pre-Treatment:

    • The pre-treatment solution is cured using an air dryer or heat press.
    • This process flattens the printing surface for a smoother finish.
  4. Platen and Printing:

    • Garment is placed on a flat platform called a platen.
    • Platen is fed through the DTG machine, similar to paper through a printer.
  5. Ink Application:

    • The DTG machine applies aqueous ink onto the garment.
  6. Final Curing:

    • The printed garment is cured again with an air dryer or heat press.
    • This step locks in the design onto the fabric.

What is DTF printing?

DTF printing stands for Direct-to-film printing, which is a modern technique that involves sending a digital art file to an inkjet printer, similar to DTG printing. However, DTF printing diverges as it does not directly print on garments. Instead, it applies aqueous ink to a specialized transfer film, distinguishing it from the DTG process.

  1. Difference Between DTF and DTG:

    • Unlike DTG, DTF does not print directly on garments.
    • Instead, it applies aqueous ink to a special transfer film.
  2. Transfer Film Treatment:

    • Fixing powder is applied to the transfer film.
    • This makes the film adhesive, enabling proper placement of the DTF ink design on the garment.
  3. Garment Bonding:

    • The print supplier uses a heat press to bond the design to the garment.
    • This step cures the ink, making the garment ready to wear or sell online.

 If you are interested with our DTF Transfers, which are the easier, faster way of apparel creation, you can simply browse our ready to press dtf transfer collections, custom dtf transfers or dtf gang sheets for your bulk orders.