Direct to Film (DTF) printing is a durable and cost effective method for mass printing designs to clothing and garments.
A Direct to Film (DTF) printer allows businesses to print images and text onto a wide range of garments such as T-shirts, workwear and bags. Unlike alternative Direct to Garment (DTG) systems, DTF machines are capable of printing onto a wide range of materials.
They are coveted because they offer the ultimate in printing versatility and performance, are cost effective and meet the demands of mass printing.
There are many advantages to using a DTF printer. DTG printers are limited to cotton fabric (usually white) due to the method of printing they use. This can require cost-prohibitive A+B papers given their white toner method. However, DTF printers can even personalise black fabrics. That’s right, DTF printers can accommodate white ink designs with ease.
Highly versatile in terms of your textile choice, the DTF models we supply can print your designs onto cotton as well as nylon, polyester, 50/50 blends, spandex, chemical fibres, leather and PVC to name but a few. This has made DTF printing the obvious choice for businesses who want to offer their customers a wider choice of items for customisation.
DTF printers are also more sustainable than traditional garment printers. They use planet-friendly water-based inks and prevent excess ink flow. Many models feature a powder shaker or upgraded suction system, removing excess glue so it can be reused.
New technology has addressed many of the previous disadvantages associated with DTF printers, including clogged white ink, lesser quality prints and wasted adhesive. You may consider the initial outlay as a drawback, but we consider these outstanding machines an investment. However, a minimum level of expertise is required to operate a DTF printer.
After designing an image using software such as PhotoShop or Illustrator, a DTF printer will print this design onto Direct Transfer Film using compatible water-based inks.
Powdered glue is then adhered to the printed ink design, meaning there is no need for any pre-treatment process.
Once fully coated, the Direct Transfer Film bonds your prepared design onto the chosen substrate via a heat press.
Curing can take as little as 15 seconds, permanently bonding your design to the surface.
These bulk print machines are only suitable for experienced printing professionals, need continuous work and should be run all day everyday.
Your printing budget is a key factor driving your decision. We are pleased to report that DTF printers work well for limited and mass orders, with lower costs than screen printers generally.
The size of the required printing area are further considerations. Our DTF printer models vary, from the BF-30E2 which prints a 30mm wide design, to the BF-60E3-K1 and BF-60E4-K1 that both cover a wider 600mm area. The DTF Mini300 ProMax will support an A3 roll of transfer film and is suited for projects with larger printing areas.
You need to consider the wearer of your printed clothing. Will the fabric need to stretch or is cotton sufficient? With DTF printing, the end transfer is stretch-friendly and will not crumble over time. Water-based inks retain the fabric’s softness for an enhanced wearing experience; even when printing onto athletic fabrics.