All About MX Press

What is Direct To Film (DTF) Transfers

Jun 14

Whether you’re an experienced screen printer or brand new to garment decorating, DTF Transfers is an exciting alternative. With faster production times, higher color ranges, and more creative designs than ever before, this technology is a game changer for any business that offers apparel printing.

DTF stands for Direct to Film and is a digital printing process that uses heat and pressure to transfer designs onto a wide variety of fabrics without the need for a stencil and screen. The process is similar to screen printing, but it allows for shorter run sizes and more color options, all at a fraction of the cost.

DFT is ideal for both small and large volume orders, making it a great choice for everything from one-off custom t-shirts to bulk wholesale orders. It eliminates the need for expensive weeding and cutting steps, which saves you time and effort and helps you meet your customers’ turnaround times. In addition, DTF can be used on dark garments, allowing you to offer more creative and unique designs.

The DTF printing process involves three components: the specialized water-based pigment ink, PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) film, and hot melt adhesive powder. The ink is printed directly on the PET film, and then a layer of hot-melt adhesive is added to bind the ink to the transfer. This is what makes the designs stick to the fabric and withstand the heat and pressure of the heat press machine or tunnel.

Once the adhesive is applied, a DTF transfer sheet is loaded into the heat press or tunnel and heated to the appropriate temperature and pressure settings as specified by the manufacturer of the machine. Once the required time is up, the heat press or tunnel is shut off and the transfer sheet is removed to reveal the finished product – a beautiful, vibrant design that’s ready for application on your apparel.

Can I layer DTF transfers when pressing?

While it is technically possible to apply DTF transfers on top of each other when pressing, we recommend that you only use one transfer per garment. This is because the backing adhesive on DTF transfers is meant to adhere to the fabric of a single garment. If you try to apply multiple DTF transfers, the adhesive may not fully bond to the shirt and your transfer might not adhere as well.

DTF transfers are easy to apply to your apparel using a standard heat press machine or even a craft iron. Simply follow the application and pressing instructions that come with your DTF supplies to get professional results every time. Using DTF transfers also means you can skip the step of pre-treating your garments before printing, which can be an important time saver for busy shops that need to turn around orders quickly and efficiently.