DTF or Sublimation

(Direct to film)DTF and sublimation printing are the latest techniques in printing industries. And a question:DTF vs Sublimation? DTF means direct to film, it is the newest technique of printing method. There is no need of expensive equipment in printing process. DTF also has digital transfers decorating dark and light shirt on natural fibers like cotton,silk,polyester,leather,nylon and so on. On the contrary,sublimation is a chemical process. In sublimation printing, a solid turns into gas immediately without passing through the liquid stage.


When use DTF printing, it involves the use of transfer film to transfer the image into the fabric or material. In contrast, sublimation printing uses a kind of special paper called sublimation paper. What’s the differences of the two? And what’s the pros and cons of these two printing techniques? We suppose that DTF may get a more high-quality image than sublimation printing. If the polyester content of the fabric is higher, the image quality will be better and more vivid. But for DTF, the designs on the fabric are softer to touch. You may not feel the design for sublimation as the ink is transferred onto the fabric. As we all know, DTF and sublimation use different heat temperatures and times when transferring.

DTF vs sublimation

DTF pros:

1.DTF can use on almost all kinds of fabrics.

2. There is no need to do pre-treatment when compared to DTG

3. The products have a good characteristic when washing.

4. The process of DTF printing is more easy and fast than sublimation.

DTF cons:

1.the touch feeling of printing areas is different from sublimation printing

2.the vibrancy of color is not as high as sublimation printing.

Sublimation pros:

1. It can use on rigid surfaces( bottles, clocks, plates and so on)

2. Sublimation process is simple and easy to learn. So it has a short learning time.

3. Sublimation has a wide range of color to choose. Such as using four-color ink (CMYK) can get thousands of different color combinations.

4. There is no minimum print.

They can finish the order under the same day when use sublimation printing

Sublimation cons:

1.the fabric is made up of 100% polyester, or at least 2/3 polyester .

2.we can just only use special polyester coating for non-textile substrates

3.we may not get the perfect effect on black or dark-colored fabrics, so the items must have a white or light-colored printing area.

4. The color will be got lighter over the months due to the effect of UV rays if it is permanently under the direct sunlight.

In SUBLICOOL ,we supply with high-quality DTF and sublimation inks, DTF films and sublimation papers. They both have good quality and use the latest technology to get bright and vivid colors on your fabrics.

sublimation inkjet printer

Which one is best to you?

So, how to choose the right method for your business? DTF or sublimation? The answers depend on your need and budget. If you need smaller products and on a tight budget, DTF is the best choice for you. But if you need a larger product and have enough budget, sublimation may be the best choice for you.

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