DTF vs Screen Print Transfer Showdown

A frequently asked question,  is what type of transfer should I use? If you have a t-shirt business, you will use both DTF (UltraColor® Max) and screen printed (Goof Proof®) transfers.



What is a DTF transfer?

A DTF or Direct to Film transfer is a digitally printed transfer printed in CMYK format.

Our DTF transfer, UltraColor Max, is sold by the square inch, so gang sheeting has no advantage, and is shipped on a roll. There is no minimum order, you can order just 1, making UltraColor Max your perfect solution for small quantity orders.

Apply to cotton, polyester and poly/cotton materials but also Lycra and Spandex.



What is a Screen-Printed transfer?

Screen printed transfers are plastisol ink pushed through a screen.

Our screen-printed transfer, Goof Proof, is sold by the sheet. Since you are buying Goof Proof by the sheet, filling the gang sheet is advantageous.

Goof Proof transfers are spot color, each printed color requires a separate screen. But Goof Proof multi-color transfers will have all colors on the same sheet ready to apply.

Apply to cotton, polyester and poly/cotton blends. Goof Proof transfers have a 6-sheet minimum with multiple quantity price breaks.



How are DTF and Screen-Printed transfers similar?

Both UltraColor Max and Goof Proof require a heat press for application.

Both one hit wonders apply in one application. Application is a hot peel, the carrier lifts immediately.

As noted above, you can set up a gang sheet for both types of transfers. Goof Proof has sheet sizes of 11.25″ x 14″ and the jumbo sheet of 12.5″ x 17.5″. If desired, you can build an UltraColor Max gang sheet up to a maximum of 22″ x 22″, just keep in mind if setting up a gang sheet with UltraColor Max you will be paying for the empty space between images since it is sold using square inch pricing.

Both transfer types offer free standing text with no outlines, and a matte finish, with Goof Proof slightly less matte.

Both UltraColor Max and 1 color Goof Proof ship the next business day when ordered by their cut-off times.


How are DTF and Screen-Printed transfer different?

The biggest difference between the two transfer types is minimum order. Goof Proof has a 6-sheet minimum and UltraColor Max has no minimum order.

Another big difference between UltraColor Max DTF and Goof Proof is price breaks. Our DTF transfer has no price breaks. Goof Proof has price breaks at 12, 18, 24, 36 and on up.

Application temperature and time are also different. UltraColor Max applies at 290°F for 12 seconds, while Goof Proof applies at 365°F in just 4 seconds.


Specialty Inks

Our screen-printed transfer line also offers specialty inks. These include Puff, Glow-in-the-Dark, Reflective and Elasti prints for screen printed transfers on heat sensitive polyester.


What To Use When

You will use both types of transfers. The best choice is based on how many you need, how many colors, and the application material.

Although size does come into play, this easy-to-use chart will help you make the best choice. In addition, with your art in Easy View, the online design center, you can quickly compare pricing on screen.





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Can I send my mock-ups and imprint area sizes and you recommend the best solutions for me?

Dealer Services

We are happy to help with any questions you have about sizes. This chart will also help and is what we use to answer your questions https://assets-us-01.kc-usercontent.com/267afb21-f6b9-006a-3e77-21a9fe1f2ad9/614fcf90-da1a-4d07-a82c-92ffc8d8b942/TransferExpress-Image-Sizes.pdf


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