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How To Use DTF

Direct to film (DTF) printing is rapidly becoming a popular option for companies looking to grow their decorated clothing business. Take a look at our guide to this exciting new technology below...
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What is DTF?

Direct to film (DTF) printing is a similar process to direct to garment (DTG) printing. The key difference is that, rather than printing directly onto garments, DTF uses water-based ink to print a film transfer.  


Why DTF?

  • Simple process
  • No need to use pre-treatment
  • Soft water-based ink can be transferred to the garment in just 15 seconds
  • Can be applied to a wider range of fabrics than DTG
  • Low level of investment for a stand-alone version or a fully automated system for mass production transfers
  • Offers terrific results courtesy of the water-based ink used
  • Durability is enhanced by the ink and adhesive (ideal for workwear)
  • The print doesn’t crack like screen printing
  • Very soft feel due to the water-based ink used 




1. Does DTF printing require much printer maintenance?

DTF printing requires similar maintenance to DTG, but not as often. The best form of maintenance is regular printing. If you print every 2 days, all you will need to do is shake the ink and run an automatic printhead clean before printing.


2. Can I print on DTF film with DTG ink?

No, DTF printing requires special DTF ink. Printing with DTG ink on DTF film will make the ink run and mix with white and CMYK.


3. Can I put DTF ink into a DTG printer?

Yes, you can print shirts on your DTG printer using DTF ink. It won't work as well as specialised DTG ink. You will still need to pre-treat your garments.


4. What is DTF washability like?

Washability is fine providing you use quality powder and following correct application procedures. 40°C washing temperature is recommended.


5. What does it feel like?

The feel would depend on the type of powder you are using and the thickness of your ink layer. More ink will absorb more powder and make the overall result feel thicker.


6. What happens if I leave my DTF printer inactive?

It will clog up just like a DTG or a regular inkjet printer. If you plan on leaving your printer off for a few weeks or months, you will need to flush the lines, clean your printhead and leave it soaking in cleaning solution.


How to Order

Shopping online is the most convenient way to order from Xpres. Our website is transactional 24/7 and you can even save on delivery rates. If you haven't experienced the convenience of online shopping with Xpres, now's the time to get started...

New Customer? Register here to shop online.

Returning Customer? Simply log in here.

Prefer to speak to someone for a more bespoke service? You can also order by calling 01332 85 50 85 or emailing [email protected] 

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