DTF vs DTG Printing 2024

DTF vs DTG Printing Costs On T-shirts and Sublimation Solutions 2024

Here's our pros and cons of different printing techniques, their associated costs, when specifically comparing Direct To Film (DTF) and Direct to Garment (DTG) printers in 2024.

So, you're also here because you want to research prices for a sublimation printer, sublimation mugs, sublimation t-shirts or sublimation blanks; maybe you're moving towards the next successful of phase your business? Is it time, to explore the financial potential of your new bestselling slogan?

DTF vs DTG Printing On T-shirts Cost Calculations

Let's flip quick calculations based on a fictional scenario of a 50% selling profit margin. First, we need to buy the product blank. We buy 50 t-shirts for £100* and it costs us £200 to print a full colour design, our overall product cost would be £300.

Here is the cost comparison below, prices are accurate on date of publishing (March 2023). Here we have calculated two sets of prices; Direct to Film and Direct to Garment financial outlay printing costs per unit.

  1. Epson SC-F2100 DTG Printer: £1.21/unit
  2. Epson SC-F3000 DTG Printer: £0.39/unit
  3. Roland BN20D DTF Printer: £0.21 + price of film
  4. Xpres Q1T DTF Printer: £0.29 + price of film

Your per-unit cost would be £4 for the t-shirt plus printing: DTG £5.21/unit and as low as DTF £4.21** 

**Remember the DTF priced do not include the outlay of DTF film.

To sell at a 50% margin, you can multiply the overall cost by 2 to determine your unit price. Therefore, the ideal selling price for your t-shirt could be more than £12 (using the max print per unit cost of £1.21 together with £4 for the tshirt). Potentially you can sell at a higher profit more if you are selling a high-quality cotton t-shirt, or an in demand meme of the moment, doesn't this sound splendid?

*Based on our current offer of the Men's Core Tee at the time of writing

It's essential to keep in mind that the pricing should reflect the quality of the tshirt, the cost of production, and the relevance in the market by researching the market to determine a profitable selling price for your products. Here's our pros and cons of different printing techniques, their associated costs, when specifically comparing Direct To Film Printers (DTF) and Direct to Garment printers (DTG).

Cost Per Unit - At-a-glance Printing and Printer Budget

Some of you are here because you are searching online for advice on hardware printing costs plus running costs. We have a lot of trade sales from sole traders and small businesses, it's common for a talented designer to team up with an entrepreneur and together you are both raising investment to start your printing business. That's how we started in the 1980's in the East Midlands of England, that's over 50 years ago.

We understand all of your aspirations, nerves and the desire to do something better than anyone else. We provide ready-made business start-up opportunities as well as the potential for established businesses to expand their range of personalisation and branding services.

Remember to check out our extensive range of apparel clothing, sublimation blanks and the printing technology by which to sublimate them.

But it costs money, investment, moolah, selling something precious, so let's look at your specific ROI (Return On Investment) calculations by using the online tool below:

Free Online ROI Calculator

We also offer a range of marketing support services to help promote your business. One such service is our Download Portal, which features a variety of downloads ready for you to use

Buy DTF and DTG Printers, Ink, Sublimation Mugs, Blanks and Printing Supplies

Xpres is the first choice of digital transfer supplies for a number of reasons, including its wide range of choice, quality and value.

We operate under parent company Charterhouse Holdings plc, which also incorporates clothing brands Kustom Kit and Vanilla. Since 1980, we have powered personalisation by supplying sublimationdirect to garment (DTG) and heat transfer vinyl (HTV) printing solutions, plus much more besides.

Our customers include thousands of businesses operating in a variety of industries, but they share the common goal of increasing income through the personalisation of clothingpromotional productsgiftware and signage.

Sublimation Wholesale UK Supplies

We're passionate about personalisation. Xpres have been sublimation specialists since 1980, supplying everything you need including blanks (such as sublimation clothing and sublimation mugs), sublimation printerssublimation inkssublimation paper and much more besides.

Sublimation technology offers a combination of low set-up and consumable costs with the ability to produce shorter runs of personalised clothing, promotional products and photo gifts quickly and profitably.

Which Type of Printer and Heat Press Should I Buy?

Sublimation printing isn't just for apparel clothing, such as sublimation t shirts, sublimation hoodies etc., you can decorate sublimation blanks too. eg. mugs, coasters, water bottles, keyrings. Some blanks however, require specialist equipment. For example, you would need a mug press for sublimating on mugs and water bottles to provide an even finish on the curved sides.

With DTF and DTG you can print on any range of clothing, with sublimation you can print on mainly white garments that have polyester in them, such as a polyester t shirt. 

Sublimation is separate to DTF and DTG, it's a different type of commercial method for decorating clothing.

UV printing is also an option for some companies and Xpres stock a varuiety of UV printers to suit a range of setups and budgets.

DTF Direct to Film Printing with Heat Press

Taking the printing industry by storm, DTF (Direct to Film Printing) is a relatively new printing technology that allows you to print high-quality images and designs directly onto the film. The method involves transferring the design onto the film using a special adhesive ink and then heat pressing the design onto the garment. Don't forget to protect your garment using a teflon sheet!

Xpres have an exclusive DTF Printing bundle, with DTF Hot Melt Powder 1kg Bag (White) and 100 sheets of Kodak DTF film this is our ready-to-go doorstep delivery of all the printing supplies you need to print your first items. Learn How To DTF Print with our online step by step helpful guide. We also offer the UK's widest choice of heat presses with FREE UK delivery on all orders of £100.

This printing method is ideal for printing on dark and coloured garments and is able to produce sharp, vibrant images, especially effective if you are producing your own exclusive designs. The most popular items that are printed using DTF Direct to Film Printing include t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, cotton tote bags and cooking aprons.

DTG Direct to Garment - No Heat Press Required

There's also a huge demand for the DTG (Direct to Garment) printing method that involves printing directly onto the garment using a different type of inkjet printer and ink. This popular printing method can be used for both dark and light-coloured garments; ideal for printing high-quality, detailed designs that you are planning to market. Common garments and apparel printed using DTG printing include t-shirts, polo shirts and tote bags.

Sublimation Printing - Sports Clothing and Tshirts

Sublimation Printing is a printing method that involves transferring a design onto the garment using heat and pressure, while protecting your design using a teflon sheet. This printing method is ideal for printing high-quality, vibrant images onto light-coloured polyester garments. Common items that are printed using sublimation printing include sublimation t shirts, sublimation hoodies, jerseys, leggings and other athletic apparel.

Sublimation printing is also used for mugs and a huge range of sublimation blank gifts - from photo frames, hardboard coasters and placemats, aluminium and steel water bottles, enamel sublimation cups, cork backed coasters, fridge magnets, glass cutting boards, rubber bar runners, cushion covers, keyrings and luggage tags.

View our range of and eco friendly sublimation blanks from sustainable products to recyclable cardboard presentation boxes (inlcuing our smashproof mug boxes) to print your logo or brand name for promotional marketing. There's also a range of pet collars, scarves and bandanas, plus compact mirrors, hanging signs and penants, plastic lunch boxes, metal bottle openers and wall plaques. If you don't see a product you have in mind, get in touch today.

HTV - Heat Transfer Vinyl Single Colour with Cut Outs

This heat pressing printing method using heat transfer film and is ideal for printing irregular, small, detailed designs and can be used on a wide range of fabric types. All you need is a vinyl printer and cutter. We have a number of print and cut options to suit every budget.

Single-colour heat transfer vinyl is a type of vinyl material that is used to create custom designs on fabrics using a heat press machine. It is a vinyl that is cut into designs or letters and then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure. The vinyl comes in a variety of colours, and only one colour can be used in a single transfer.

To begin the process, the design is first created using software or by hand, and then cut out using a vinyl cutter (or vinyl printer and cutter if you have a mchine that can do both). The excess vinyl is then weeded away, leaving only the design on the backing paper. The design is then placed onto the fabric, and heat is applied using a heat press machine, which melts the adhesive on the vinyl and bonds it to the fabric.

Single-colour HTV is often used for creating custom t-shirts, sports jerseys, and other garments. It is a popular choice for small businesses and individuals who want to create custom designs without the need for screen printing or embroidery equipment.

So, if you are looking to produce out odd shaped designs and cut-out logos in a circle, hexagon or a star shape, this is a great choice to sell commercially.

Printable Vinyl - Heat Press Method

Using a specialised inkjet printer, printable vinyl is a method that involves printing a design onto a vinyl material . The vinyl is then cut to the desired shape and size and heat pressed onto the garment. This printing method is ideal for printing small, intricate designs and can be used on a wide range of fabric types from cotton to recycled material and cotton blend items.

DTG Direct to Garment Printing vs DTF Direct To Film

Direct to garment application is a process of printing using specialised technology.
Xpres cover every aspect of DTG production, from pre-treatment to finishing. There are a number of DTG printers available for both light and dark garment printing from industry leading manufacturers such as Epson and aeoon.

Direct to film (DTF) printing is a similar process to DTG printing. The key difference is that, rather than printing directly onto garmentsDTF printing uses water-based ink to print a film transfer. At Xpres we have everything you need to take advantage of this exciting new technology. From printers to inks and consumables, we have you covered.

What are the advantages of choosing Xpres for your digital transfer solutions?

  • Our website offers a fast and convenient way to shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • We provide the widest range of support products including garment filmssign vinyl and transfer paper so that you can satisfy all of your customer requests, no matter how diverse they might be.
  • Our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team is ready to take your call Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm.
  • Subscribe to our e-newsletter and receive exclusive offers, promotions and more.
  • All Xpres products are rigorously tested to ensure consistent high-quality results.
  • We offer installation, training and warranty with all of our transfer systems.
  • Customers purchasing equipment from Xpres benefit from unlimited technical support via our dedicated website xprestechnical.com.
  • Our modern corporate headquarters and distribution centre allow us to provide our customers with the very highest levels of service and support.
  • Our state-of-the-art showrooms cover 6,500 sq ft and feature the full range of systems we have to offer with every piece of equipment on display and ready for demonstration.

Our product range includes a wide variety of sublimation materials, including Heat Transfer Vinyl, General Purpose, Flock, Reflective, Nylon, Sports, Special Effects, Heat Applied Numbers, Printable Media,Translucent Materials, Materials for Nylon, Block-Out Materials, Latex Compatible, and Textile Application tape. Our commitment to excellence ensures that we provide only the best materials that allow our customers to achieve superior results and create personalised, high-quality products.

To learn more about the ways we can help your business grow, contact Xpres at 01332 85 50 85 or email your questions online.

DTF Printers for sale, inkjets and ink

"Direct to film" (DTF) printing is a digital printing technique that allows images to be printed directly onto fabrics using specialised inkjet printers. Items that you want printed; "blank items" or "blank products" that are used as a canvas for customising with your unique message or logo are commonly referred to as Sublimation Blanks as an overall generic term.

DTF printing in 2024 is generally considered to be a relatively new printing technology that has been gaining traction in recent years. The technique allows for high-quality, detailed prints on a variety of fabrics and is often used for personalised products such as t-shirts, bags, and other fabric items used for business promotion or at an event.

Small Business Printing - Starting up your own local company

Direct to film printing, is one of the best methods of printing t-shirts and other fabric garments using a DTF printer. The printer directly prints the design onto the heat activated transfer, producing a superior quality image that is long-lasting and resistant to fading. This printing technique is ideal for small runs of t-shirts, as it does not require the creation of a screen for each design, making it a cost-effective option for new businesses.

As we have covered, sublimation printing is the generic term for the process of printing designs onto special transfer paper (film) and sublimation printers use special sublimation ink.

The ink is then transferred onto the fabric or the polyester rich surface of a sublimation blank using a heat press, or a mug press if printing onto a sublimation mug or sublimation water bottle. 

Sublimation printing is also ideal for creating high-quality designs with vibrant colours, creating a fade-resistant image holding its colours for many years. This printing technique is commonly used for mugs, and eye-catching products including t-shirts, aprons, and tote bags.

Online Sales - Local Tshirt Printing, Mugs, Hoodies and Promotional Products

There are many different ways to market your products to your ideal customer base online. You've probably already created a Facebook business page, verified your company address on Google Maps and designed flyers, business cards and branded carrier bags. Do you own a domain? If so, the next step is to hire a developer to build an eCommerce website allowing you to generate revenue via a webshop.

Welcome to the next stage of selling online, as there are several website building platforms available which require zero to little HTML coding, design or development skills. Drag and drop websites are used primarily by individuals with no regular marketing money to spend, thus saving money on hiring a website designer.

The quickest and easiest platform is WIX for small businesses and sole traders with a scant marketing budget, the downside is that your online catchment area relies entirely on writing website content that search engines will rank. To ensure that search engines will indeed index, crawl and serve your live domain in the online search results completely relies on the written word.

TL;DR: You need to write words for every page of your website to rank your online store.

Avoid skipping this important step and write down descriptive text correlated to each important landing page of your website - Obviously your homepage, about us, what you sell, product categories and detailed individual descriptions to sell your designs.

Shopify eCommerce stores perform exceptionally well online to rank high in the online results pages, together with the popular platform Wordpress and WooCommerce. Remember, to rank your homepage you'll need to write textual content and take advice from a Digital Marketing individual that's ideally based in your town or city. When you're looking to hire an SEO you're learning new skills, let's recap where your journey has bought you so far and how many hats you'll require.

Small Business Market Research, Setup, Product Blanks, Printers, Ink and Website Sales

Congratulations on reaching this far in your research, there are maybe a dozen hats you'll need to wear, we are referring to metaphorical headwear of course: Are you familiar with the slang term 'wearing many hats' when starting a new business?

Specifically it refers to the fact that when you start a new business, you are often required to perform multiple roles or functions that would normally be handled by different individuals in a larger, more established company. For example, a small business owner may need to take on the roles of accountant, marketer, website developer, customer service representative, digital marketer plus more every single day.

Choosing the right location for your t-shirt printing business is important. You need to consider factors such as footfall, accessibility, and competition when selecting a location for your store. How many other printing companies are already established in your catchment area? Have you researched online? What's your refund policy? Who will you ask for legal advice or printing hardware advice?

Wearing many hats can be challenging, but it is often necessary for the success of a new business - what's your primary skill set? How many years' experience can you offer? Maybe you want to rent a stall in an indoor market, or sell at weekends at markets and car boot sales?

Print Marketing and How To Attract Repeat Business

Identifying a niche for your t-shirt printing business can help you stand out in a crowded market. Consider using your design a specific type customer, such as sports or vintage-inspired designs or 2024 meme culture to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Ultimately, the choice of t-shirt material and thickness will depend on the wearer's personal preferences and the intended use of the garment. Identify the core reason why anyone would have the need and desire for a printing company like yours, what would your Mastermind specialist subject be?

Personalised Mugs and Slogan Clothing: Individually designed t-shirts or mugs printed with unique designs, slogans, and graphics.
Social Awareness: T-shirts and fabric banners with social and political messages to raise awareness for social issues.
Pop Culture References: Clothing featuring pop culture references, such as quotes, characters, and symbols from movies, TV shows, and games.
Funny T-Shirts: Apparel and tees with humorous graphics, quotes, and jokes to provide a fun and light-hearted touch.
Corporate and Team Wear: Customised t-shirts for teams, sports clubs, corporate events, and promotional campaigns. Evergreen items have a larger requirement for repeat orders.
Events and Single Use Cheap T-shirts: T-shirts for special occasions such as weddings, stag and hen parties, birthdays, and music festivals with dates on (not evergreen) these customers are not too fussed about quality as they will only be relevant for one date. Always provide a cost choice:

Cheap Printable T-shirts vs High Quality Cotton and Cost Comparison

When it comes to buying t-shirts, one of the biggest considerations is the material. 100% cotton t-shirts are often considered to be of higher quality compared to those made from cheap materials or cotton blends. This is because cotton has a number of desirable properties that make it ideal for use in t-shirt manufacturing.

Firstly, cotton is a natural material that is breathable and allows air to circulate around the body, making it comfortable to wear in warmer weather. This is in contrast to synthetic materials like polyester, which can trap heat and moisture, making the wearer feel hot and uncomfortable.

Cotton is also a strong and durable material that can withstand repeated washings without losing its shape or colour. This makes it a good choice for t-shirts, which are often subject to a lot of wear and tear.

However, not all cotton t-shirts are created equal. There are a number of different manufacturing processes that can be used to produce cotton t-shirts, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

One of the most popular methods of manufacturing cotton t-shirts is ring-spun cotton. This involves taking long, thin cotton fibres and twisting them together into a yarn, which is then woven into fabric. Ring-spun cotton t-shirts are known for their softness and durability. They are often more expensive than t-shirts made from cheaper materials or cotton blends.

Another method of manufacturing cotton t-shirts is combed cotton. This involves using a special machine to remove the shorter fibres from the cotton, leaving only the longer, more durable fibres. Combed cotton t-shirts are known for their softness and smooth texture. They are often used in high-end fashion and sportswear.

Cheaper cotton blends, on the other hand, are made by mixing cotton with other materials, such as polyester or rayon. This can help to reduce the cost of manufacturing t-shirts, as well as give them other desirable properties, such as stretch or moisture-wicking. However, cotton blends are often less durable than 100% cotton t-shirts and may be less comfortable to wear in warm weather.

In terms of thickness, cotton t-shirts can range from very thin and lightweight to thick and heavy. This is often referred to as the t-shirt's "weight", which is measured in ounces per square yard (oz/yd2). A t-shirt with a weight of around 4-5 oz/yd2 is considered to be lightweight, while a t-shirt with a weight of 6-7 oz/yd2 is considered to be medium-weight. Heavyweight t-shirts can weigh as much as 10 oz/yd2 or more and are often used for workwear or outdoor clothing.

In conclusion, when it comes to buying t-shirts, separate the one-time cheaper price clients from high volume repeat business with corporate, company branded heavyweight fabrics.

It is important to consider the material and manufacturing process used to produce the t-shirt and match them to the customer intended use. 100% cotton t-shirts are often considered to be of higher quality compared to those made from cheap materials or cotton blends, due to their natural breathability and durability.

Print on Demand tShirts and DTG Garment Printing

Remember that you don't have to stay local to your postcode area to sell online. With an ecommerce website that allows you to sell your t-shirts to a global audience, it's a cost-effective way to reach customers outside your local footfall capture.

Operating a print-on-demand t-shirt printing service online can be a lucrative and rewarding venture. With a well-designed website, quality t-shirt printing partners, effective marketing strategies, unique t-shirt designs, and excellent customer service, a print-on-demand t-shirt business can succeed and thrive in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

When considering a print-on-demand t-shirt printing service online, you'll feel that maybe this is an exciting and profitable venture that can be set up with relatively low start-up costs. The process involves creating an online presence and website that offers custom-designed t-shirts to customers, with no inventory or overheads. This type of business model is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for a low-risk venture or an additional income stream.

The first step to starting a print-on-demand t-shirt business is to create a website that customers can access to place orders. The website should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually appealing to attract and retain customers. The website should also have a simple checkout process with secure payment gateways for customers to purchase their t-shirts.

Once the website is up and running, you now have a means to sell your printed products direct to customers without paying commission from affiliates or only marketplaces. Do remember that, not all cotton t-shirts are created equal, and different manufacturing processes can produce t-shirts with different properties and price points. Expensive, high-quality products may well have a significant profit margin, enabling you to sell to a third party or a wholesale company.

eCommerce Selling Online and Website Promotion for Search Engines

To attract customers to any website, it is essential to promote the business through various marketing strategies. This can include social media marketing, email marketing, SEO and paid advertising for larger orders of 3 figures and more. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also powerful marketing tools that can be used to reach a large audience.

When designing the t-shirts, it is important to consider the latest fashion trends and popular themes to attract customers. The designs should be unique and visually appealing to stand out from the competition. You can create your own designs, or they can be created in-house or outsourced to a freelance graphic designer or design agency.

It is also important to monitor the business' performance regularly and make necessary future marketing choices. This can include digesting customer feedback, speaking to past clients, reviewing your website analytics, plus tracking sales and eCommerce data. Use what you learn to continually optimise the website, write blogs on your latest new design, review social media marketing and how many hours you spend on Facebook versus the sales you take as a result. Be smart, if you find your social audience aren't buying online, reduce the man hours you are investing on your posts. Use your time wisely, create and research new t-shirt designs, slogans and emerging trends to improve new sales and customer satisfaction.

Shout out to a larger company, as these roles would be handled by different people as staff members, either working remotely like an SEO or logo designer, or even a website content writer or slogan designer. It's common practice for SMEs to hire a 'one stop IT' employee to be a reliable and multi-talented individual who has the ability to make small changes to an existing website, upload new products and write their descriptions, update social media with the visual aid of creatives.

Printing Direct to Film or Direct to Garment - How To Track Your Online Customer Journey

With the right ecommerce platform, you may not need a bricks and mortar presence on your high street. It's absolutely normal to manage your online store, process payments, and track your sales from your home office or converted garage.

Using free visitor tracking software such as installing Google Analytics and its sister Search Console, data is presented at a glance allowing you to make marketing decisions based on visitor engagement statistics reported over a short period of time.

If commercial renting for your local printing business isn't financially feasible, an alternative could be drop-shipping. It's an uncomplicated and cost-effective method that you can operate from anywhere globally. However, there is a significant challenge in that many websites have attempted this approach but have failed, as investing in website optimisation to rank higher in search engines requires time, and you're always competing against older domains with an established online presence.

As covered by website platform choices above, we have learned that at some stage, investment is most likely required to pay someone else to complete tasks that are beyond the hours available to you in a working week, or the simple bottom line of no floating cash to pay an expert.

Another crucial aspect of operating a print-on-demand t-shirt printing service is providing excellent customer service. Customers should be able to contact the business easily, and their queries should be resolved promptly to keep returning customers coming back for many years.

Xpres Personalised Printing Supplies UK - Sublimation Blanks, Products and Business Support

We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, offering ongoing support. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing our customers with bespoke solutions that cater to their unique needs, regardless of the size or scope of their business.

At our company, we are committed to providing our customers with superior products, unmatched service, and competitive prices. We are confident that our sublimation products will exceed your expectations, and we look forward to building long-lasting business relationships with our valued customers.

We carry the UK's largest selection of heat presses, which use pressure to apply transfers to sublimation clothing, sublimation blanks and giftware.