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About DTF Printing

What is Direct to Film Process?

Direct to Film or DTF is a process that transfers prints onto fabric or other substrates using a heat-press mechanism.  Unlike the DTG method, which only works on cotton fabrics, the Printer DTF method can work on cotton and poly blends and much more.

What is a Printer DTF?

As the name suggests, a direct-to-film printer allows you to print a design on a film and transfer it directly to the intended surface, such as fabric. The key reason why the printer DTF is gaining prominence is the freedom it gives you to choose almost any surface for printing.

The DTF printer technology can allow you to print easily on cotton, polyester, synthetic, or silk without any trouble. Plus, DTF printers can work on both dark and white fabric without any need to press on expensive A & B paper.

DTF Components


The Direct to Film Printer Films

A DTF printer uses PET films as these are different from the ones used in screen printing. PET films have a thickness of approximately 0.75mm, making them better-transferring characteristics. These films are also known as DTF Transfer Films in the market.

There are two classifications of PET Films based on temperature. These are cold-peel type films and hot-peel type films.

Software for DTF Printer

Software is an integral part of DTF printers. This is because software influences the color performance, print characteristics of the inks, and final print performance. For DTF printing, you will require specialized RIP software to handle your white and CMYK colors.

It is essential because software governs the color profiling, drop sizes, ink levels, and several critical factors contributing to print quality.

Hot-Melt Adhesive Powder

The Direct to Film printing powder is a white granular product and works as an adhesive material. This helps bind the colored pigments in your printer to the surface you are printing on. However, there are several grades of this STF hot-melt specified in microns.

DTF Printer Inks

The inks used in Printer DTF are unique pigments designed in Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, White and Black colors. The white ink forms the foundation of your print, while the colored pigment prints the design on the film.

Curing Oven

This is a small industrial oven to melt the printer’s hot melt powder, which then goes on the transfer film. 

Heat Press Machine

This piece of equipment helps transfer the printed images on your film onto the desired surface or fabric.  You can also use this machine to melt powder on your DTF film.

Pros of using DTF Prints