There are pros and cons to both types of printers. Direct-to-fabric printers do not need the use of transfer paper and typically need coated-polyester fabrics. This type of material usually costs more than uncoated fabrics. Most direct-to-fabric printers are for home decor, flags, or other applications that require more substantial ink saturation.
Transfer dye-sublimation is where the designs are first printed onto transfer paper, and then the inks need to be transferred onto the fabrics or rigid substrates at the heat press. This method of dye-sublimation printing gives you more flexibility in the types of products you can make. Regardless of which direction you go, you still need a heat press.