DTG vs. DTF Printing: Find the Perfect Printing Method

When it comes to printing custom apparel, there are two popular options: Direct-to-Garment (DTG) and Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing methods. Each method has its unique advantages and considerations that can impact the texture, fabric options, and color range of your prints.

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What is DTF Printing?

Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing uses a heat transfer process to apply your design onto the apparel. Your design is first printed using water-based inks onto a sheet of transfer paper and then pressed onto the garment, delivering full-color, photo-quality prints.

  • Versatility: DTF works on almost any fabric type.
  • Quick Process: DTF printing is relatively fast and doesn't require pretreatment or drying.
  • Durability: DTF prints are less likely to crack or fade over time.
  • Lower Quality: DTF prints may not be as sharp as DTG prints due to the ink sitting on top of the fabric.

What Is DTG Printing?

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing applies your design directly onto the fabric using inkjet technology, similar to printing on paper. DTG printers can produce full-color and high-quality prints within minutes, making them ideal for on-demand printing.

  • Pre-treatment: Pre-treatment ensures ink bonding with fabric.
  • High-Quality Prints: DTG produces sharp, vibrant, and realistic prints.
  • Ideal for Dark Fabrics: DTG works best with dark-colored garments without any show-through.
  • Potential Cracking: DTG printed designs may crack or peel over time if not properly cared for.
  • Not Always Suitable for Knit or Stretchy Fabrics: DTG doesn't work well with certain materials.
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DTF and DTG at Awkward Styles

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We at Awkward Styles offer both DTF and DTG printing to ensure your designs are printed with the best quality. You can start selling online right now with no minimum order quantities, no inventory storage requirements, and our smooth integration with Etsy, Shopify & WooCommerce.

Join us today to bring your creative designs to life and amaze your customers with expertly  printed products.

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Differences Between


Fabric Types

DTF printing works on both natural and synthetic fabrics, while DTG is limited to natural fibers such as cotton and linen.


Texture of the Prints

DTF prints tend to be thinner and flatter, while DTG prints have a slight 3D-like effect due to the ink being directly transferred onto the fabric. DTF prints also offer a softer feel in general.


Range of Colors

DTG printers can utilize CMYK + white ink, resulting in more vibrant and realistic prints. DTF printing is limited to CMYK colors, which can sometimes affect the final print quality with a lot of white.

For more information please visit our blog page.

Explore Our Products and Choose Your Printing Options Now

Your designs can be brought to life with DTF and DTG printing excellence of Awkward Styles. Visit our catalogue and discover the wide range of garments and accessories available for DTF and DTG printing. From stylish t-shirts to hoodies, our selection caters to everyone. Let your designs shine on our premium products and delight your customers with the finest custom apparel.

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Frequently asked questions about DTF - DTG Printing!

Need answers to your DTF - DTG Printing Questions?
We've got the answers!

Please consider DTF and DTG printing's advantages, differences, and suitability for products and designs as both methods offer exciting benefits. You can always experiment with both techniques on different products to stand out and unleash creativity. Awkward Styles provides top-notch services for both methods to deliver captivating products to your customers. if you're looking to print simple designs in larger quantities and want to save costs, DTF might be a good option. On the other hand, if you need to print detailed, complex, or multicolored designs in smaller quantities, DTG is likely the better choice.

In both DTF and DTG, the key to ensuring durability lies in using high-quality inks, maintaining proper curing or setting processes, and following recommended care instructions for the printed garments. Additionally, some fabrics might be more suitable for one method over the other in terms of achieving better durability.

The cost-effectiveness of each method depends on your specific printing needs. If you're looking to print a larger volume of simple designs, DTF might be more cost-effective. If you're focused on detailed designs with complex color schemes but in smaller quantities, DTG might be a better choice despite the potentially higher cost per unit.

DTF prints are known for their long-lasting quality. They resist fading, cracking, or peeling, even after multiple washes. To ensure your DTF prints maintain their brilliance, follow these simple care tips:

  • Adhere to the garment's care instructions.
  • Wash and iron the printed garments inside out.
  • Avoid washing the garments in very hot water, as excessive heat may cause small cracks in the design.

Generally, DTG printing is faster than DTF printing, especially for printing individual garments. DTG printers can produce a print in a matter of minutes, while DTF printing may require additional steps such as cutting and weeding the film, adding to the overall printing time.

Both DTF and DTG printing can be considered relatively eco-friendly compared to traditional screen printing methods. DTG printing generally consumes less ink and water than screen printing. DTF printing uses a film that needs to be disposed of after use, while DTG printing produces less waste as the ink is directly applied to the garment.

Yes, both DTF and DTG printing can handle complex designs and intricate patterns. However, the level of detail achieved may vary depending on the specific printing equipment and expertise of the printer.

Yes, both DTF and DTG printing can be used on various promotional items. DTG can be applied to fabrics other than apparel, such as tote bags and hats.

Yes, both DTF and DTG printing can effectively reproduce photographs and gradients. DTG printing can handle detailed photographic prints, while DTF printing can achieve smooth gradients with the right settings and film quality.