DTF stands for direct-to-film printing and is a highly used printing method in the print-on-demand industry. With a bit of heat, patience, and precision, you can have your designs pressed into the fabric in a unique and long-lasting way.
What is DTF Printing and How it Works
DTF is a heat-press mechanism that transfers your designs onto the product using film and powder. Here’s how it works.
Your design is printed on a special PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) film.
The design is then evenly coated with an adhesive hot-melt powder while the ink is wet.
Melting the Powder
The film is then put into a heating press or oven to melt the powder into your design.
The film is placed on the product surface and heat-pressed to transfer the design onto the product. After this step, the film is fully attached to the fabric.
Once the film and fabric have cooled down, the film is slowly peeled off, leaving the design firmly printed on the product.
The product can be heat-pressed one last time for a couple of seconds to ensure long-lasting effects against daily wear and tear.
DTF Pros and Cons
DTF vs. DTG
While the print comes out similar, the whole process differs between these two printing methods. And some significant distinctions can be spotted in the final product.
Main Differences Between DTG and DTF
- DTF ensures crisp text and line designs without issues
- DTG prints are one with the fabric – smooth and blended
- DTF is less integrated with the fabric – may appear shiny and plastic
- DTG ensures better smoke or flame effects for prints
- DTF has better intensity since colors don’t mix with the fabric
- DTG uses 75% more ink than DTF
When to Choose DTF Over Other Printing Methods
The direct-to-film printing method is ideal for anyone looking to utilize textile personalization to the fullest. While other printing methods limit your fabric choices, DTF provides freedom and lifts all restrictions, allowing you to print your designs on almost every fabric.
With no requirements for pre-treatment, the DTF method allows you to print merchandise economically, reducing overall printing costs and leaving you more room for profit.