DTF Direct To Film vs DTG Direct to Garment Printing

DTF (Direct to Film) vs DTG (Direct To Garment) Printing: Which one is right for you?

There seems to be a lot of options when it comes to garment printing, and these two are the most popular! Both have their advantages, but which one is best for you?

Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between DTF and DTG printing:

So, what is DTF printing?  DTF printing is a transfer-based process. First, the design is printed onto a special DTF film using a dedicated DTF printer. This film is then coated with a heat-activated adhesive. To transfer the design, the film is placed face-down on the garment and heat is applied, bonding the design to the fabric.

Pros of DTF Printing:

  • Vibrant, high-quality prints
  • Cost-effective for short to medium runs
  • Can print on a variety of fabrics, including dark or difficult materials
  • Minimal setup time

Cons of DTF Printing:

  • Requires additional equipment like a heat press
  • Slightly stiffer hand feel compared to DTG
  • Registration can be tricky, especially on larger designs

And what is DTG Printing? DTG printing is a direct-to-garment process where the design is printed directly onto the fabric using a specialized DTG printer. The ink is absorbed into the fibers of the fabric, creating a soft, natural feel.

Pros of DTG Printing:

  • Soft, natural hand feel
  • No extra equipment needed beyond the printer
  • Easy to produce single units or small orders
  • Ideal for photo-realistic or gradient designs

Cons of DTG Printing:

  • Higher cost per print, especially for small runs
  • Limited to lighter colored fabrics (white or light gray work best)
  • Longer setup and print times
  • Ink can be susceptible to fading or cracking over time

At The CO Spot we're dedicated to DTF Printing because we know it's the best choice in terms of colors and effectiveness! Learn how you can make your own custom shirts or gangsheets with us! 

Order Your Gang Sheet! 

Or Create Your Custom T-Shirt!

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