Ask DTGMerch #11 – DTF vs DTG What’s the Difference?

1 – You asked, we will answer! A brief overview of DTG vs DTF.

A subscriber sent us an email with the following question:

“ Everyone is talking about DTF. I want to start my business and wanted to choose DTG. But now I am not sure which one to choose. What is the difference between DTG vs DTF?”

You asked, we will answer! In this article, we will give a brief overview of DTG vs DTF. This and more you can find in DTGMerch’s YouTube channel.

2 – This is DTG vs DTF 

DTF, also known as direct-to-film printing, is a newer process, and many wonder how it compares to DTG printing.


Although the two printing processes may seem similar, they are quite different.

The obvious difference is that DTG printing prints directly onto the fabric. In the DTF process, printing is first done on a film and then the image is later transferred to the fabric.

3 – The printing process

Both processes use white ink so that dark fabrics can also be printed. The big advantage is that with the DTF process, no pre-treatment is required and the motif can be transferred directly to the T-shirt. But before you get excited about having one less step in the printing process from now on, you should keep in mind that after printing your motif, you have to apply a powder to the film. This powder then needs to be cured with heat, and later serves as a binder that “binds” the design to the fibers when you transfer it to the t-shirt. So you can not really say it’s faster or easier than DTG printing, because again, there are a few steps involved.

One advantage of DTF printing is that it offers more flexibility in fabric choices because it’s compatible with more types of materials.

4 – Which is the best method for you?

Think about your use cases, ask for samples, and watch them being made if you can. Ask for samples in different materials. In different colors. With different compositions. Use your own designs.

And as always, do a wash test. If you are not sure how to do such a test, we explain it in great detail in our online DTG printing course. The procedure for a wash test is the same whether you use a DTG or DTF printer.

5 – Want to learn more?

Check out this online course that might help you: How to Put Your Art on a t-shirt. In this online course, we will talk about which file formats are suitable for the different t-shirt printing methods.

Also have a look at our DTG printing online course for more info on DTG printing business and t-shirt design.

6 – Do you have a question too?

If you have any other questions, we’d love to hear from you. Please send them to

Until next time, all the best, take care and be good!

The DTGMerch Team