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Direct-to-Film (DTF) Printing - What are the Pros and Cons?

Direct-to-Film (DTF) Printing - What are the Pros and Cons

Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing is a way of adding designs to clothes that's becoming really popular these days. It's great for creating colorful, detailed designs on all kinds of materials.

But like everything, DTF printing has its good points and its bad points. We'll explore them all in this article.



1. Hassle Free Vibrant High Quality Prints

Sharp detail, vibrant color gamut. Any art format or file can be drag and drop printed without requiring rasterization, separation, or other complicated preparation steps.

2. Versatility

Works on most substrates, light, and dark materials. Print a transfer and press a shirt for your own production. Stock up on transfers for your business to flatten out your production between busy and slow days. Become a transfer company and supply smaller printers.

3. Durability

Rubberized inks and stretchy durable adhesives ensure wash fastness and quality over time.
Refine your DTF transfer application process with this in-depth guide.

4. Fast and Simple Graphics Preparation

Minimal hassle or art preparation is required allowing you to just send a job to print without worry that it will break down. Easily handles CMYK and RGB.

5. Low Production Costs

Inexpensive materials and inks allows you to compete with the big guys. Cheap enough to beat screen printers and DTG shops under 100 pieces.

6. Easy to Learn

DTF is very simple to learn, print, shake, bake, press. Room to gain mastery over the process. No pre-treating or garment preparation is necessary like in DTF. While operation is easy, maintenance is the biggest learning curve and can't be overlooked.

5. Lower Production Costs

DTF printing can be cheaper than some other printing methods. It doesn't require fabrics to be pre-treated or different screens for different colors, which can save businesses a lot of money, especially when printing multi-colored designs.


Equip your business with our top-tier DTF printers



1. Speed

Ink based processes are inherently slower than similarly priced White Toner Printers. Quicker than most DTG's, still far slower than White Toner, Screen Printing, and Sublimation. The fix is more printers or larger printers to scale.

2. Maintenance

Be prepared to maintain the printer every day. Long weekends are a no go without preparation.

3. Fumes & Ventilation Requirements

Polymer fumes require powerful air filtration using either a specialized fume extractor or ventilation to the outside - usually both. Can't be overlooked, makes printing in an enclosed space a concern.

4. Equipment costs

With the limitation on speed, the upfront equipment cost in terms of prints per hour, along with the cost of replacement parts and down time can be a concern for new and small businesses.


DTF Printing Pros and Cons - Infographics


If you're struggling with DTF printing issues, check out this comprehensive guide on solving them.



DTF printing has its upsides and downsides. On the positive side, it offers vibrant and high-quality prints with minimal preparation. It is versatile, working on various materials and allowing for cost-effective production. The durability of the prints and the low production costs are additional advantages. 

However, there are drawbacks to consider. DTF printing can be slower than other methods, requires regular maintenance, and necessitates proper ventilation due to fumes. Equipment costs can also be a concern. Businesses should carefully weigh these factors before deciding if DTF printing is the right choice for them.