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Can’t decide which printing method is right for your business? Then join us as we compare Direct-to-Garment (DTG) and Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing. We will take you step-by-step through how to decorate a garment using each method, as well as explain the pros and cons so that you can decide which one best suits your needs.

Watch an in-depth tutorial of the DTG process: https://youtu.be/RvU_lS8mFxA

Find out how to do the DTF process on a DTG printer: https://youtu.be/NS940n6Wjt8

Learn more about the RICOH Ri 1000 and Ri 2000 DTG Printers: https://youtu.be/ycC5ZMXwWVk

Check out this video to learn more about pricing your printing services: https://youtu.be/YXmei9bM73g

Learn more about our DTG printer packages: https://hubs.ly/H0Y4hQB0

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01:34 – DTG Printing Process
02:32 – DTF Printing Process
03:49 – DTG Printing Pros and Cons
06:27 – DTF Printing Pros and Cons
09:24 – Profitability of DTG and DTF Printing

First, we’ll look at DTG printing. DTG printing is the process by which a custom design is printed directly onto a garment without the use of a special transfer sheet.

Start by coating your garment with pretreat liquid. Next, press your garment with a heat press to dissolve the pretreat and flatten your garment. Then, insert your garment into your DTG machine and press print. Finally, cure your design with a heat press to make sure the ink binds to your fabric.

Now that you have an understanding of DTG printing, let’s look at DTF printing. The DTF process is similar to DTG. However, instead of printing directly onto your garment, you actually print your design onto a special film.

First, print your design onto your film. Next, apply DTF adhesive powder to your design. Melt your adhesive powder using your heat press. Apply your printing film to your substrate and secure it in place. Heat press your design onto your garment and peel off the printing film. Finally, if you would like, you can also press your design one additional time to cure your ink and make sure it binds to your garment. This will increase the life and durability of your design; however, it may cause you to lose some of your color saturation.

Now let’s examine the pros and cons each method offers.

DTG printing gives you the freedom to print garments without the need for special transfer film. Not only does this save you in time and material costs, but it also allows you to print larger or awkwardly shaped designs. Since the ink also binds directly to your fabric, DTG printed designs have a much smoother finish and will last much longer than designs that are heat transferred. Lastly, DTG printing’s speed and efficiency make it an ideal choice for completing large bulk orders.

While DTG printing doesn’t require transfer sheets, it does require you to pretreat your garment before printing your design. While this process is cumbersome, it is essential to the DTG process and it is easy to learn. DTG printing also can only be done on a flat surface that fits inside your DTG printer. This means that DTG can’t be used to customize materials like ceramic tiles or mugs.

DTF printing, on the other hand, doesn’t require you to pretreat your garment before customizing. Also, since you are printing your design onto a piece of transfer film instead of directly onto your substrate, DTF printing gives you the freedom to customize a wider array of materials and substrates. Finally, DTF printing allows you to stock up in bulk on pre-printed designs.

However, DTF printing requires more materials than DTG printing. And since DTF film is not reusable once a project is complete, DTF produces a lot more waste than DTG does. Compared to DTG, DTF also takes a little bit longer to customize a garment and requires a little bit more hands-on labor, making it not as conducive for bulk orders.

In terms of profitability, both DTG and DTF printing offers high-profit margins due to the relatively low material costs. While the upfront costs for a DTG printer are high, the costs to customize a t-shirt using DTG will be around $4.00 – $7.00. And because of the high demand for quality printed T–shirts, you can easily sell your t-shirts for anywhere from $25 – $40.

For DTF, the upfront cost is going to be lower than DTG. However, the cost per print is going to be relatively the same. You can also reasonably expect to charge around the same amount for a DTF printed t-shirt as a DTG printed t-shirt. However, because DTG produces a smoother finish, DTG printing might allow you to charge a bit more of a premium price than DTF.


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Comments (36)

  • Abdellah Birig Reply

    may i know what work best for kinda grunge tshirt designs . DTF or DTG? and thanks

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Damion Fragoso Reply

    Can both be done on cotton?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Joe Brett Reply

    Hello, thank you for the video it’s much appreciated. I bought a black hoodie with a screen printed design and within the first week or so where I can start to see the black hoodie embedding into the white logo. I’m wondering what method you would suggest for something that stays standing out on the front of a hoodie without it fading quickly? I hope that makes sense

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Esmateo Reply

    Wow I’m amazed of this video all bases covered thank you so much

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Craig T Reply

    Thanks, very informative 👍

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Jules Reply

    Thank you for the information. It is helpful

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Googleyed Goon Reply

    Thanks, this was helpful but I was looking for a more direct comparison in regards to durability. You said that DTG printing will last better in the wash, but how much better and at what temperature vs DTF? I want to offer a high quality product that can be washed as many times as possible on high heat (because lets face it, when it comes to graphic tees almost no one reads the washing instructions). I'd also like a more detailed comparison of color accuracy and vibrancy. Also since I'm just starting out, I plan to outsource the printing process for now. Does durability and quality vary a lot between businesses who use the same printing method?

    Edit: Before people start telling me to use screen printing, my designs are complex with a lot of colors and I will be ordering small quantities at a time, so screen printing isn't ideal for my needs.

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • KKC Reply

    pretreatment video please

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Jairo Santos Reply

    What kind of machine do I need to transfer a dtf design onto a coffee cup?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Kyros Reply

    this is great educational video thanks bro

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Adedayo Anjorin Reply

    Great teachings and information. Pls what liquid did you use to wet the T Shirt before printing on it ? Tnx

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Patricia Womack Reply

    how do i fix the lines in my printing

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Richard Vex Reply

    Can you print on neck area with DTG printing? I know with dtf you can just cut the sheet and place it on the neck area where the label goes and press it but can you set up the DTG printer to print on small areas like that? Please advise

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Dipped In Ink Reply

    Thank you for this info. Appreciate it.

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Ellis Samuel Reply

    What's the case of the machine

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • I dream Organic Reply

    I have a question please. Does DTF work for rub on transfer paper for furniture???? Wood????

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Useruxi Lano Reply November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • ChrisTowerzTV Reply

    Very informative video, thanks!

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • sreejith mrm Reply

    message from india

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Vũ Đoàn Reply

    Can you ship to Viet Nam?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • terme toranj Reply

    Great Work! Well Done 😍😍

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Gol_D_Beard Reply

    Which print lasts longer on cotton fabric? DTG or DTF

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • hello VN Reply

    Very useful information🙂🙂

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • SRNDR Records Reply

    I appreciate the comparison, though a bit disappointed that it primarily focuses on the operational differences. Would have appreciated some information about the differences in quality (colour reproduction, lifespan, etc.) as well. Thanks nonetheless!

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Abigail Sumaya Reply

    Thank you for this video! This was very informative and thorough. New subscriber!

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Rexx Wairok Reply

    Wat is the DTF printer name n wat paper is used?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • jorge vogia Reply

    you literally could not explained that more perfectly! thank you!!!

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Teferi Kebure Reply

    How can I get the machine? Thanks.

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Mazikeen Of Lilim Reply

    I'm living under the rock

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Mario Ventura Reply

    I have an Epson Eco tank 2800 and want to convert it to Sublimation Ink. Do you have any advice on how to clean the ink containers after filling with the epson ink?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Mauno Ambambi Reply

    Where can I buy pre treated T-shirts or what you call them?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Dynamic Design LTD Reply

    What ink between dtf to dtg

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Vince R Reply

    If I want designs located not just on the front center but say a small name on the right side of chest or on the lower back is the DTG still recommended? Or with me physically putting the design on the location I want as i would with DTF method work better?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Aarón Trainspotting Reply

    – DTG 💪🏻😃

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Andi Darmika Reply

    This is very informative, thank you ❤

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm
  • Jason Tan Reply

    with total no knowledge on such printing business, how long would it take to start?

    November 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm

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