Both Direct to film (DTF) and sublimation printing are heat transfer techniques in the design printing industries. DTF is the latest technique of printing service, which has digital transfers decorating dark and light t-shirts on natural fibers like cotton, silk, polyester, blends, leather, nylon, and more without expensive equipment. Sublimation printing uses a chemical process in which a solid turns into a gas immediately without passing through the liquid stage.DTF printing involves the use of transfer paper to transfer the image into the fabric or material. In contrast, sublimation printing makes use of sublimation paper. What are the differences and pros and cons of these two printing techniques? The DTF transfer can achieve photo-quality images and is superior to sublimation. The image quality will be better and more vivid with the higher polyester content of the fabric. For DTF, the design on the fabric feels soft to the touch. You will not feel the design for sublimation as the ink is transferred onto the fabric. DTF and sublimation use different heat temperatures and times to transfer.
1. Almost all types of fabrics can be used for DTF printing
2. Pre-treatment is not required as opposed to DTG
3. The fabric has good wash characteristics.
4. DTF process is less tedious and faster than DTG printing
1. The feel of the printed areas is slightly different when compared with Sublimation printing
2. The color vibrancy is slightly lower than sublimation printing.
1. Can be printed on rigid surfaces (mugs, photo slates, plates, clocks, etc.)
2. It’s pretty simple and has a very short learning curve (can be learned quickly)
3. It has an unlimited range of colors. For example, using four-color ink (CMYK) can achieve thousands of different color combinations.
4. No minimum print run.
5. The orders can be produced on the same day.
1. The fabric must be made of 100% polyester or, at the minimum, about 2/3 of polyester.
2. Only a special polyester coating can be used for non-textile substrates.
3. Items must have a white or light-colored print area. Sublimation cannot work well on black or dark-colored fabrics.
4. Color can be lightened over the months due to the effect of UV rays if it’s permanently exposed to direct sunlight.
At Lotsa Style, we sell both DTF and sublimation inks. They are of high quality and use the latest technology to achieve bright and vivid colors on your fabrics. Thank you so much for supporting our small business.