Embroidery Source
1800 137 670

Please Call To Book A Demo Time



Which Printer is Right For Me? 

There are so many different types of printer and ink - How to choose the right one for your business?

1. Printers for garments and fabric

* Printers designed to print directly onto finished garments (DTG - Direct To Garment printers)

* Printers designed to print ink directly onto fabric from a roll (DTF - Direct To Fabric printers)

* Printers designed to print ink or dye onto a transfer paper (Dye Sublimation Transfer printers)

* Printers designed to print heat transfers for garments and/or fabric and signage / stickers (Print & Cut / DTF - Direct To Film)


2. Vinyl printer & cutter

This machine prints full colour images and logos using liquid ink onto the surface of a white, flexible heat transfer film which is commonly called vinyl.   Nowadays most heat transfer films are made from the more environmentally friendly polyurethane (PU) which last longer and provides better stretch.   

After logos have been printed the machine then reverses the film and cuts around the edges and internal areas of each logo.

The unprinted areas of film are then removed (weeded).    A transfer film is then applied to the surface of the logos after which they can be cut up and heat pressed onto the fabric.

A printer/cutter can be used with:

  • heat transfer films for garments & textiles (regular colours, neon colours & metallic finishes)
  • self-adhesive films for general signage for shop windows, trade vehicles, banners and more.
  • reflective films for safety wear and signage
  • sand blast films and more


3. UV (ultra violet ink) printer / Not suitable for use with garments or fabric

UV printers have surged in popularity because they can be used on such a wide variety of hard surface and some soft surface products. The UV ink is dried / cured almost immediately on contact with the surface of the products and so printed products can be handled as soon as they are finished.

Uses: There are thousands of products that can be printed including:

Glass, Ceramics, Wood, Plastic, Control panel films, equipment panels, Component parts, Glass bottles, Metal bottles, Mobile phone covers and many, many more.    The latest addition to the UV printer range is UV DTF.    This is a roll-feed UV printer that produces stickers and signage that can be used immediately after printing and without the need for contour cutting or weeding.

A unique benefit of UV printers

Because the ink dries so very quickly, a UV printer can print multiple layers thereby creating what is called a 2.5D print. The print suface can have texture just like a braille sign.

There is one further advantage and that is full 3D printing in colour. 3D UV printers are now being used to print 3D objects in full colour. Examples include: Models, Signs, Prototypes, Replicas of human body parts used in anatomy classes and many more.


4. Dye Sublimation printing?

A liquid dye is printed onto a special transfer paper.  When the print is dry it leaves behind a thin layer of dye.

The printed sheet is then placed face-down onto white polyester fabric or onto any dye sublimation receptive surface and is heated to 190 to 200 degrees C for about 60 seconds or more.

The solid particles of dye turn directly from a solid into a gas and is forced into the fibres or polymer film, changing the colour permanently.

Uses: Dye sublimation prints are used widely for polyester work wear, sports wear, cushion covers, coffee mugs, beer glasses and many, many more dye sublimation blank products.

Benefits of dye sublimation

  • Easy process.
  • Equipment is relatively inexpensive.
  • Prints have no detectible feel.
  • Prints are extremely wash-fast.
  • Printed fabric is not sealed and so it can breath

5. DTF heat transfer printers?

DTF printers have become hugely popular since 2020 due to the speed and automation of the process.   DTF printers eliminate most of the manual tasks that are necessary to produce print & cut heat transfers.

  • No cut lines need in the artwork
  • Printing only / no contour cutting required
  • No weeding
  • No need to apply a transfer film

Finished prints from fully automatic DTF systems are heat-press-ready and provide high stretch and excellent wash-fastness.

DTF printer technology was developed in China and still provides excellent value with higher productivity and of course the technology continues to improve.  There are also now some DTF printers from well know Japanese manufacturers including Brother, Mimaki and Roland.     Prices are generally higher but as you might expect, there are some advantages with print equipment from experienced Japanese manufacturers.

Have an enquiry? 
Click here to contact us.
Embroidery Source
Melbourne Embroidery Showroom & Warehouse
205 Fulham Rd, Fairfield, VIC 3078
Melbourne Printing Showroom & Warehouse
37 Steane Street, Fairfield, VIC 3078
Tel: 1800 137 670
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 5:00pm 
© 2024 Embroidery Source Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved.