The Difference between DTF Textile Printing Ink and DTG Pigment Ink

DTF printing and DTG printing are the most popular fashion printing methods in the market. 

Some customers asked whether DTF ink and DTG ink are water-based inks and whether they can be used universally. 

The answer is definitely no. Next, we’ll talk about the difference between the two.

  1. Ink process is different

The application of DTF textile printing ink is to print the ink on the thermal transfer film through the printer, then sprinkle a layer of hot melt powder on the surface of the thermal transfer film, cure through the oven, and then use the hot press to transfer the pattern to the clothing, you can permanently retain the colorful design on the clothes.


DTG ink applications are printed directly on the fabric. 

In order to obtain better color and color fastness, fabrics often need to use pretreatment fluids during the printing process. 

To improve the ink on the fabric adhesion and color fastness. 

The DTG pigment ink is then sprayed directly onto the textile using a specialized digital printing machine. 

After printing is completed, it is also necessary to carry out post-processing, such as cleaning, drying and color fixing steps to ensure the durability and stability of the pattern.

  1. Feel different

Due to the difference in process, it will inevitably lead to differences in the feel of the two.

DTF textile printing ink needs the help of DTF hot melt powder and DTF film, so there will be a layer of gelatinous feeling when transferred to clothing, although it is very smooth and soft. 

But in most cases, it is still not breathable, and it is easy to sweat when wearing in summer. 

Of course, the current technological development progress, some manufacturers such as Sublistar and can do breathable and comfortable DTF printing.

DTG pigment inks are printed directly on the fabric, so there are generally no hand-feel problems. 

In terms of feel, the application of direct spraying has obvious advantages. 

Breathable and comfortable, bright color, restore the real design.

  1. Different color expression and fastness

DTF textile printing inks perform well in terms of washability and color fastness. 

Due to the use of hot press transfer technology, ink and fabric formed a tight bond, not easy to fall off and fade. 

At the same time, DTF ink also has a certain waterproof performance, so that the printing pattern can still remain clear and bright after washing.

DTG pigment inks also perform well in terms of washability and color fastness. 

After the pretreatment and post-treatment process of the textile, the pigment ink on the surface can form a solid film, with good waterproof and anti-fading properties. 

In addition, DTG pigment inks also have high friction resistance, making the printed pattern less prone to wear in daily use.

  1. Solution costs vary

At present, the cost of DTF printing machines is lower than that of DTG printers, and the prices of consumables such as DTF film, DTF ink and DTF hot melt powder are very moderate and not very expensive. 

At the same time, the nozzle of DTF printer is generally based on Epson I3200 nozzle, and the price is generally acceptable.

DTF ink after Sublistar research, can now achieve no precipitation, no clogging effect. 

This can keep the machine stable and durable printing, but also reduce the probability of nozzle blockage, and extend the service life of the nozzle. 

This in general, reduce the overall cost of production.

DTG printers are generally turned on to clean the nozzle, which will use a lot of waste ink and produce a lot of waste ink, which is actually a high cost consumption. 

And DTG ink is more expensive, especially the price of white ink.


Therefore, overall, the printing cost of DTF is lower than that of DTG. 

DTF printing program has low investment threshold, simple process, easy to input and copy, so it has developed rapidly and become popular in a short time. 

At present, many countries around the world have been officially put into use.

  1. Environmental performance and safety

Both DTF textile printing inks and DTG pigment inks meet relevant standards in terms of environmental performance and safety. 

These two inks are made of environmentally friendly materials and non-toxic formulations, which are harmless to human beings and non-polluting to the environment. 

In the process of production and use, the relevant environmental regulations and safety regulations are strictly complied with.

  1. Application fields and market prospects

DTF textile printing ink is mainly used in personalized customization and mass production of fashion clothing, bags, shoes and hats. 

Because of its advantages such as fast printing speed, low cost and good pattern effect, DTF technology has been widely used and promoted in recent years. 

With the increasing demand of consumers for personalized products, the market prospect of DTF textile printing ink is very broad.

DTG pigment ink is mainly used in the field of pure cotton textile. 

Due to its direct printing on the fabric, DTG technology can achieve more fine and complex pattern design, while also ensuring the durability and stability of the pattern.

 At present, with a few technological breakthroughs, DTG can also print materials other than pure cotton.

The above is the difference between DTF ink and DTG ink, if you have 2 in use, please pay attention, do not mix it up. 

Otherwise, it may have an unpredictable impact on the printer and delay your production schedule.