DTF Printing (Direct To Film) vs HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl)

When it comes to customising clothing and apparel, there are a variety of techniques available, two popular methods are DTF Printing vs. HTV. While both of these methods can produce high-quality results, they differ in several key ways. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between DTF and HTV, and help you determine which method is right for your needs.


DTF Printing

DTF printing involves printing designs directly onto the fabric of the garment using specialised inkjet printers. The design is first printed onto a transfer film, which is then heat-pressed onto the fabric. The result is a full-colour design that is durable, long-lasting, and resistant to fading or cracking.


One of the main advantages of DTF printing is that it can produce detailed, high-resolution designs with intricate patterns or images. It’s also suitable for printing on a wide range of materials, including cotton, polyester, and blended fabrics. Plus, because the design is embedded directly into the fabric, there’s no added layer of vinyl or transfer paper, which can make the finished product feel more comfortable to wear.



Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is a method of applying vinyl designs onto fabric using a heat press. A vinyl cutter is used to cut the design out of a sheet of vinyl, which is then placed onto the fabric and heat-pressed. The result is a durable, long-lasting design that can be cut into a variety of shapes and colours.


One of the main advantages of HTV is its versatility. It can be used to create a wide range of designs, from simple text and logos to more intricate patterns or images. Plus, because it comes in a variety of colours and finishes, including glitter and holographic, it can be used to create eye-catching designs that stand out.


However, HTV does have some limitations. It’s not suitable for printing on certain materials, such as nylon or silk, and it can be more prone to peeling or fading over time, especially if the after care instructions are not followed. Because the vinyl is an additional layer on top of the fabric, it can make the finished product feel heavier or less breathable.


Which Method Is Right For You?

When deciding between DTF and HTV, it’s important to consider the specifics of your project. DTF is a great option for printing detailed, full-colour designs onto a wide range of fabrics, while HTV is best for simple designs or designs with fewer colours.


If you’re looking for a method that produces a high-quality, long-lasting design, DTF is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for something more eye-catching (ie using a glitter vinyl), HTV may be the better choice.


Ultimately, the choice between DTF and HTV comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Whatever method you choose, both can produce beautiful, customised apparel that is sure to impress.


Contact us for more help or advice.


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