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What Is The Difference In Between DTF Printing And Sublimation Printing

Mar. 10, 2022

Check at our daily life, we will see some attractive and vibrant pictures printed on some clothes or bags. Have you ever before wondered exactly how these patterns are printed on clothes? As a matter of fact, this is a process called heat transfer. Both DTF print and sublimation printing have this process. So, many individuals are really interested in the ink differences between DTF and Sublimation Printing. Let's go through a detail analyze by InkMall.


Commonly speaking, it is made by four-color overlay printing on ready-to-wear as well as high-temperature fabrics to achieve the result of photos, including numbers, landscapes, and so on. The patterns are very realistic and also can accomplish the impact of images. This is the general intro to DTF print.

What Is The Difference In Between DTF Printing And Sublimation Printing



Both DTF printing and also sublimation printing come to belong to heat transfer, that is, the principle of hot stamping is approximately the same, and both are transferred to the fabric by the heating process.



1. Various procedures

DTF printing is divided into 2 parts: transfer film printing and transfer processing. The transfer film printing uses halftone printing. The pattern is printed on the surface of the film in advance, and after that the beautiful pattern on the transfer film is transferred to the surface area of the product, the ink layer is incorporated with the surface area of the item after molding.


The DTF printing is made by four-color overprinting, and also the color effect can reach the picture result (pattern, figures, pictures, etc). It is a type of heat transfer, including spot color heat transfer as well as DTF heat transfer.


The temperature level and the time of hot stamping are various.

PET Film heat transfer temperature is between 130-160 degrees, and the time is about 15-20 secs. Sublimation paper is between 200-230 degrees, and the time is about 15-20 seconds.  

(it reminds me that different factories use different hot melt adhesives. The heat transfer temperature and time may be various, the above is mostly used)


2. Different Features

PET Film transfer: The pattern is clear and realistic that washable and stretchable, can accomplish the impact of the photo.


Sublimation transfer: The pictures are delicate as well as can be completed with common heat press machines and also heat transfer machines. With sublimation transfer ink, there is no demand to color, the pattern is transferred at one time, and no extra color is required. With sublimation transfer paper, you only need to print it out, exquisite printing work, and low cost for production, easy to operate.



The color is various. The DTF transfer can achieve the result of the photo, as long as the clear original file (vector representation) is offered when the heat transfer is made, the effect of the image can be achieved. The effect of hot stamping on sublimation paper is not as clear as film printing. The greater the polyester content of the fabric printed by sublimation paper, the more dazzling the color. Obviously, it is likewise associated with the heat stamping temperature and also time. The greater the heat marking temperature, the longer the moment, the extra dazzling the color.


The washing fastness is various. Normally talking, the washing fastness of sublimation paper is better than the washing fastness of PET film, however, the quality of DTF heat transfer is differentiated by high quality. The difference between the top quality of DTF transfer is mostly based on: elasticity and washing fastness. Sublimation paper does not have this feature.

What Is The Difference In Between DTF Printing And Sublimation Printing

The feeling after hot stamping is various. There is a hot melt adhesive on the back of the DTF transfer, so the hot stamping on the fabric really feels convenient. Sublimation paper is the ink that passes through right into the fabric, so it is called sublimation, which is soft to the touch.


3. Various applications

Sublimation transfer: applied to leather, textile fabrics, plexiglass, steel, plastic, crystal, timber items, copperplate paper, and so on.


DTF printing & transfer application variety: luggage, bags, advertising shirts, cultural T-shirts, children's clothes, women's clothing, headbands, aprons, and so on.


The PET film transfer fabric is various. Capable of printing to shirts, sweaters, hoodies, pullovers, canvas, denim, and more. The sublimation paper can only be ironed on light or white polyester fabrics. The, even more, you need polyester active ingredients, the brighter the color.


The above is the difference between DTF printing and sublimation printing. We intend to help you make choice. If you are interested in DTF printing, you can pay more focus to us. We will certainly upgrade top-quality web content every now and then. Thank you for reading.