DTF Printing Vs. DTG Printing: What’s The Difference?

You’ve probably heard of DTG (direct-to-garment) printing, but how about DTF printing? No worries if this is your first time encountering these two words, as we’ll give the lowdown on this latest printing method. DTF printing stands for direct-to-film printing, and, as the name suggests, is a technique that prints your desired design onto a film before transferring it to the t-shirt of your choice. Since DTG printing and DTF printing sound pretty similar, it’s common for people to mistake the two as being the same thing, which is not true. Therefore, in order to clear up any misconceptions, we’ve provided a comparison between the two for you to analyse their differences. 

Pre-treatment process

DTG printing and DTF printing differ right from the start when it comes to their pre-treatment processes. If you are going for DTG printing, the garments have to be pre-treated, whereas this step is unnecessary for DTF printing. This is because, for DTG printing, the designs are printed directly onto the fabric, and by pre-treating it, the ink can settle well and the risk of transfer is reduced. This treatment is activated by heating the garment.

Fabric and colour options

In terms of fabric options, DTF printing outshines DTG printing. Unlike DTG printing which can only produce designs on garments made from at least 50% cotton, DTF printing is compatible with just about any other fabrics, such as polyester, genuine leather, silk, to name a few. This makes DTF printing highly versatile, especially with its capability to transfer high-quality colours even onto dark-coloured fabrics. Of course, this does not mean that DTG printing is unable to work with dark-coloured materials. The only downside is that the printed colours may be slightly dull compared to those generated through DTF printing.

Volume of production

One of the most significant benefits of DTG printing is that DTG printers are incredibly efficient, allowing large bulk of clothing to be printed quickly. Hence, DTG printing is a suitable printing method for those looking to produce huge volumes of clothing pieces simultaneously.

At Direct T Shirt, we have on sale a DTG printer in Singapore, which may come in handy for businesses that have to print out customised t-shirts or uniforms on a regular basis.

Appearance and feel

At the end of the day, what’s important is the ultimate appearance and feel of the garments and their designs. With DTG printing, the clothing piece tends to have a coarser texture as the designs and inks are incorporated into the fabric. On the other hand, DTF printing uses an adhesive power to enable the designs to stick onto the garment, giving off a shinier and almost plastic-like appearance. None is better than the other, so it ultimately depends on what you prefer and what result you’re going for.


Considering that DTF printing does not require a pre-treatment process, the overall cost is less than that of DTG printing. Furthermore, DTF printing features less white ink consumption, requiring 60% colour ink and 40% white ink. White ink is expensive and accounts for most of the printing cost. In comparison, DTG printing needs 200% white ink.


DTG printing comes with its own benefits, though there’s no denying that DTF printing is gaining ground. At Direct T Shirt, we are one of the few online t-shirt printing providers in Singapore to offer both DTG printing and DTF printing in our t-shirt printing services. If you’re unsure which printing method to go with, do not hesitate to contact us by calling 9457 7551 or emailing directtshirt@gmail.com. As there are no minimum orders, we can accommodate both small-scale and large-scale orders.

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