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DTF and DTG: What are They and When Do You Use Each?

This conversation between Rick and Jay Busselle from Equipment Zone at Impressions Expo Fort Worth provides a comprehensive overview of DTG (Direct-to-Garment) and DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing technologies.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

DTG Printing:

  • Applications: Best suited for high-quality printing on cotton or high cotton content garments.
  • Benefits:
    • Excellent for short runs and on-demand printing.
    • Allows for detailed designs and photo printing.
    • Creates a soft, comfortable hand similar to screen printing.
  • Drawbacks:
    • Limited to printing on specific fabric types (mostly cotton).
    • Requires pre-treatment of garments for optimal results.
    • Slower printing speed compared to DTF for larger quantities.

DTF Printing:

  • Applications: Ideal for printing on a wider range of fabrics, including polyester, nylon and blends, as well as non-traditional materials like hats, bags, and notebooks.
  • Benefits:
    • Faster printing speed, making it suitable for larger volumes.
    • More versatile in terms of compatible materials.
    • Does not require pre-treatment
  • Drawbacks:
    • May not achieve the same level of detail or vibrancy as DTG on cotton garments.
    • Requires an additional heat press step to transfer the design onto the final product.
    • Large DTF images may have a texture that some customers might not prefer.


  • Both DTG and DTF printing have their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • The best choice for you depends on your specific needs and priorities.
  • Consider factors like the type of fabric you want to print on, the desired print quality, production volume, and budget.

Additional points:

  • DTF printers are becoming increasingly popular and offer faster speeds and lower costs for larger quantities.
  • The quality of DTF printing is constantly improving, making it a viable option for a wider range of applications.
  • Both DTG and DTF offer the potential for customization and personalization, allowing you to create unique products for your customers.


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