Why DTF Transfers?
Direct to film (DTF) printing is a versatile technique that involves printing designs onto special films (cold, hot, or cold/hot peels) for transfer onto garments. Its heat transfer process allows similar durability to traditional silkscreen prints.
How does DTF work?
DTF works by printing transfers onto a film that is then heat pressed to various garments including 100% cotton, 100% polyester, 50/50 blends, tri-blends, and more. While DTG (direct to garment) you must buy inks that are either compatible with 100% cotton material or inks that are compatible with both 100% cotton and 100% polyester material, with DTF printing you only need to purchase one type of ink and it works on a variety of garment types.
Production producing DTF printers are just as expensive as DTG or screen printing technologies, however there are several converted models that prove to be more cost friendly. DTF powder, printable two-sided cold peel PET film (for printing transfer film), and high-quality DTF ink are required for best results.
Why is DTF growing in popularity?
DTF printing offers greater versatility than other printing technologies. DTF enables printing on various fabrics, including cotton, nylon, rayon, polyester, leather, silk, and more.
DTF printing has revolutionized the textile industry and updated textile creation for the digital era. The process is straightforward: digital artwork is created, printed on the film, then transferred onto the fabric.
More advantages of DTF printing:
- It’s easy to learn
- Pretreatment of fabric isn’t required
- The process uses about 75% less ink
- Amazing print quality
- Compatible with many types of material
- Unmatched quality and high productivity
- Sometimes require less space than other technologies
- Transfers can be printed in advanced and pressed on garments at a later time
- Less alignment errors when printed and pressed
DTF Printing is Ideal for Small and Medium Businesses
The DTF process enables creators to get started more quickly than DTG or screen printing technologies.
From there, the easy DTF four-step process results in fabrics that feel softer and offer greater washability:
Step 1: Insert the PET film in the printer trays and print.
Step 2: Spread the hot-melt powder on the film with the printed image.
Step 3: Melt the powder.
Step 4: Pre-pressing the fabric.
Designing a DTF printing pattern is as easy as designing on paper: your design is sent from the computer to the DTF machine, and the rest of the work is done by the printer. While DTF printers look different from traditional paper printers, they function much like other inkjet printers.
In contrast, screen printing involves dozens of steps, which means that it’s typically only cost-effective for the simplest designs or for printing a large number of items.
Although screen printing still has a place in the clothing industry, DTF printing is more affordable for small businesses or textile agencies that want to make smaller orders.
DTF Printing Offers More Design Options
It isn’t feasible to Screenprint complex patterns because of the amount of work involved. With DTF technology, printing complex and multi-colored graphics is different from printing a simple design and this is where it outshines Screenprinting and matches DTG quality. Also, depending on the type of printer, DTF also makes it possible for creators to make DIY hats, handbags, and other items.
DTF Printing is More Sustainable and Less Expensive Than Other Methods
With the fashion industry’s increasing interest in sustainability, another advantage of DTF printing over traditional printing is its highly sustainable technology.
DTF printing helps prevent overproduction, a common problem in the textile industry. Additionally, the ink used in the digital direct injection printer is water-based and environmentally friendly. This is truly important when considering printing apparel for infants, toddlers, and kids.
DTF printing can realize one-off designs and eliminate the waste of unsold inventory by being able to store the transfers until they are ready to be used.
Compared with screen printing and DTG, DTF printing can be less expensive if using converted models. For small batch orders, the unit printing cost of DTF printing is lower than the traditional screen printing process and on-par with the DTG printing process.