STEP #1: ARTWORK PREPARTION: Once artwork has been submitted, it’s checked to identify and correct any issues that may negatively impact the printed result. This includes a check for compression artifacts, color profiling, and color correction to ensure that it pairs well with the selected garment color.
STEP #2: PRINTING: The design is printed onto the transfer film using an inkjet printer that has been specifically designed for DTF printing. Specialized inks created for fabrics are used and produce high-quality prints in a wide range of colors.
STEP #3: POWDERING & CURING: After the design has been printed, the transfer must be powdered to set the ink and then cured make it permanent. For printers with rolls this is typically done with a DTF heater which prints, powders, and cures the transfers in one sequency. For individual sheets they may need to be manually powdered and cured.
STEP #4: HEAT PRESSING: You will need to invest in a heat press in order to print the designs onto the fabric. Set the product in place and make sure the transfer paper is facing upwards on the exact location on your product. Press the transfers with a heatpress and then remove the film once the item has been completely pressed.
BENEFITS OF DIRECT-TO-FILM-PRINTING
APPLY TO A VARIETY OF MATERIALS: While direct to garment printing works best on 100% cotton, DTF works on many different garment materials: cotton, nylon, treated leather, polyester, 50/50 blends, and both light and dark fabrics. The transfers can even be applied to different types of surfaces like luggage, shoes, and even glass, wood, and metal! You can expand your inventory by applying your designs to a whole variety of merchandise with DTF.
NO NEED FOR PRETREATMENT: If you already own a DTG printer, you are probably quite familiar with the pretreatment process (not to mention the drying time). The hot melt power that is applied to the DTF transfers bonds the print directly to the material, meaning no pretreatment is necessary!
USE LESS WHITE INK: DTF requires less white ink – about 40% white versus 200% white for DTG printing. White ink tends to be the most expensive since more of it is used, so reducing the amount of white ink used for your prints can be quite a money saver.
EASY APPLICATION: Printing onto a film transfer means you can place your design on hard-to-reach or awkward surfaces. If the area can be heated, you can can apply a DTF design to it! Because all it takes is heat to adhere the design, you can even sell your printed transfers directly to your customers and allow them to allay the design to whatever surface or item they choose with no special equipment!
FAST PRODUCTION PROCESS: Since you can eliminate the step of pretreating and drying your garment, you can cut down on production time significantly. That’s great news for one-off or small-volume orders that traditionally wouldn’t be profitable.
VERSATILE INVENTORY: While it might not be feasibly to print a stockpile of of your most popular designs onto every size or color garment, with DTF printing you can print popular designs in advance and store them using very little space. Then you can have your best-sellers always ready to apply to any garment as needed!