Is Direct-To-Film printing better than Direct-To-Garment printing?

Is Direct-To-Film printing better than Direct-To-Garment printing?
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  • Post published:Jun 21, 2022
  • Reading time:5 mins read

If you are a business owner in the garment decoration industry, chances are you’ve dabbled in Direct To Garment (DTG) printing. It’s a decoration process that has transformed the industry in a lot of ways. Since it first burst onto the scene in the early 2000s and has had little competition since. That has changed with the emergence of Direct To Film (DTF) printing. DTF printing has picked up a ton of steam over the past couple of years. Is DTF printing better than DTG? Which is less expensive? Which is easier to produce?

These are all major questions that we want to help answer and help you determine whether or not DTF printing is worth your time and money to get started.


Major pros of the Direct To Film printing process

On the surface, DTF printing has a lot of perks in comparison to DTG printing. Arguably the biggest perk is the fabrics and textiles that its transfers can be transferred onto.

When it comes to DTG printing, you are limited to just cotton fabrics. With DTF printing, its transfers can be applied to cotton, polyester, rayon, nylon, silk, leather, light and dark fabrics and more.

direct to film direct to garment screen printing

Direct To Film is a lot more versatile

Even cooler, DTF transfers can be transferred onto luggage, shoes, glass, metal, and wood, just to name a few. That in itself could be enough to make you want to go full force into DTF printing and ditch DTG.

Another major pro to DTF is the ability to print transfers ahead of time and store them away. Unlike DTG printing where you are forced to print your designs directly onto your cotton garment, DTF is the process of printing your designs onto a transfer film.

Those transfer films are then coated in a powder that will adhere to the ink and is then cured either in a heat press or oven. After that, your transfer is complete and can be applied to any of the fabrics or materials listed above at any time.

The speed of printing Direct To Film Transfers

Speed is another major benefit to DTF printing. With the proper DTF equipment, and yes that will cost you a good amount of money upfront, you will have the ability to print hundreds of transfers in minutes. With no pretreating needed with DTF printing, filling large orders to clients with DTF can be a breeze.

DTG printing will not be able to compete with a DTF printer that has the ability to print hundreds or even thousands of custom garments a day. Where DTG printing shines, as you probably already know, is short runs or one-offs. While you can still print one-off transfers with a DTF printer, one-offs make much more sense with DTG printing.

When it comes to a retail environment, that’s where a DTG printer can truly shine.

dtg printing business software production management direct to film

Direct To Garment still produces the better quality image

What about the images themselves? Which ones look the best and feel the best? Look and feel both go to DTG. Printing directly onto a garment gives DTG printing a distinct advantage over DTF printing. From the colors popping to the amazing feel of a DTG printed garment, it’s as good as it gets. 

However, from a durability standpoint, DTF wins out over DTG. You can expect a garment printed using a DTF transfer to last longer. They won’t peel and crack like a DTG printed shirt will over time. 


At the end of the day, however, DTG and DTF each have their own place in the market. A lot of it comes down to which one makes more sense for your business. Click HERE to read if DTF printing is right for your business.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Alessandro

    Hello, we at Essebie who have been using deconetwork since 2015 have developed an internal laboratory with DTF printing by creating a special website to provide a third party service just look at
    We are very happy with the final result and it is an excellent alternative to the digital transfers we made with rolan bn20.
    We own a machine that produces 12 mtl per hour with a great result both in terms of production and in terms of quality.
    As the article says, it is very important to understand your target market.

    A greeting and good luck
    Alessandro Bisesti
    customer deconetwork

  2. Jacquelyn Tippins

    Where can I get a printer retail that can do both DTF and DTG.

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