Recently, you may have encountered a discussion about direct transfer (DTF) printing versus DTG printing and wondered about the advantages of DTF technology. While DTG printing produces high-quality full-size prints with vibrant colors and a very soft hand, DTF printing definitely has some advantages that make it the perfect complement to your apparel printing for small business. Let’s get into the details!
Direct film printing involves printing the design onto a special film, applying and fusing a powder adhesive onto the printed film, and then pressing the design onto the garment or merchandise. You will need transfer film and hot melt powder, as well as software to create your prints – no other special equipment required! Below, we discuss several advantages of this new technology.
1. Suitable for a variety of materials
While direct-to-garment printing works best on 100% cotton, DTF is suitable for many different garment materials: cotton, nylon, treated leather, polyester, 50/50 blends, and light and dark fabrics. The transfer can even be applied to different types of surfaces like luggage, shoes and even glass, wood and metal! You can expand your inventory by using DTF to apply your designs to a variety of items.
2. No preprocessing required
If you already own a DTG printer, you’re probably very familiar with the preprocessing process (not to mention drying times). The hot melt capability applied to the DTF bonds the print directly to the material, which means no pre-processing required!
3. Use less white ink
DTF requires less white ink – about 40% white, while DTG printing requires 200% white. White ink tends to be the most expensive because it’s used more, so reducing the amount of white ink used for printing can save a lot of money.
4. More durable than DTG printing
There is no denying that DTG prints have a soft, almost non-touch feel as the ink is applied directly to the garment. While DTF printing doesn’t have the soft feel that DTG boasts, the transfer is more durable. Transfer directly to the film for good cleaning and flexible – meaning they won’t crack or peel, making them great for heavily used items.
5. Easy to apply
Printing onto film transfers means you can place your designs on hard-to-reach or awkward surfaces. If the area can be heated, you can apply a DTF design to it! Because only heat is required to adhere the design, you can even sell your prints directly to your clients and allow them to ease the design onto any surface or item of their choice, no special equipment required!
6. Faster production process
Since you can eliminate the steps of pre-treating and drying your garments, you can significantly reduce production time. That’s good news for one-off or low-volume orders that have traditionally been unprofitable.
7. Help Diversify Your Inventory
While it may not be feasible to print a bunch of your most popular designs on every size or color garment, with DTF printing you can print popular designs ahead of time and use very little space for storage. Then you can always have your bestsellers ready to work on any outfit as needed!