Print Techniques 101: DTF
Direct Transfer Film (DTF) printing is a new method of printing that extends the capability of Direct to Garment printing by allowing images to be transferred to many different types of garment materials.
DTF printing is an advanced printing method that will allow t shirt printing shops to offer low minimum orders while providing top quality prints.
What is DTF Printing?
Direct to Film (DTF) is a digital printing technique that involves printing the design onto a special film that has a coating of heat-activated adhesive powder. The printed film is then applied to the garment or textile and heat pressed, which activates the adhesive powder and fuses the design to the fabric. DTF is a relatively new printing technology that has gained popularity due to its versatility and ability to print on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and blended fabrics, as well as on hard surfaces such as plastic, metal, and wood. This versatility makes DTF printing an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from clothing and accessories to signage and promotional items.
One of the significant advantages of DTF is its ability to produce vibrant colors and intricate details, making it an ideal printing option for designs that require high-quality resolution. DTF also offers excellent durability, and the designs will not crack, peel, or fade even after multiple washes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of DTF Printing
Advantages of DTF Printing
- No Limitations on Color: DTF printing allows for full-color printing without any color limitations. The printer uses a CMYK color process that produces high-quality prints with vibrant colors and sharp details.
- Durable: DTF prints are highly durable and long-lasting, making them ideal for high-traffic areas such as sports jerseys and team uniforms.
- No Minimum Order Requirements: Unlike other printing methods that require a minimum order quantity, DTF printing allows you to print as few or as many items as you need.
- DTF printing is also a more cost-effective option than other printing methods. Because it is a digital printing technique, there are no setup costs associated with DTF printing. This means that you can produce small runs of custom items at a lower cost than with other printing methods.
Disadvantages of DTF Printing
- Higher Equipment Cost: DTF printing requires specialized equipment and materials, which can make it more expensive than other printing methods.
Artwork guidelines for DTF printing
The quality of the final result largely depends on the quality of the original image that is delivered. This is why we recommend that you provide us with designs in suitable print-ready formats in vector (.ai or .eps) or high-resolution files (.png or .tiff), at least 300 DPI and 100% of the required print size. Images downloaded from the Internet are generally not suitable (and may be subject to copyright), so please try not to use them. A perfect design is larger than 35 cm (W) x 45 cm (H) and over 300 dpi or a vector file.
Designs for any colour garment should always have a transparent background.
We also recommend that if you create your file in Photoshop, keep the following parameters in mind when creating the new file:
- 35 x 45 cms
- 300 DPI
- 8 Bit
- Transparent Background
Your design has to be in high resolution, otherwise, the print quality will drop significantly, and the final product will not be up to par. In the same way, keep the image without background (or with transparent background).
DTF is a form of digital printing, so anything that appears in the background will also be printed, so you need to keep the background without any other elements, otherwise, it will also be printed!
IMPORTANT: make sure your file does not have pixelated borders, as these will cause your print to have a white border that will diminish the quality of the print.
It is recommended to open the file at the actual size and check that the edges are fine and not pixelated.
On the other hand, when printing on coloured fabrics, you should keep in mind that the printing machine will create a white layer under the colour layer. That means you should avoid creating blurred edges and semi-transparent areas as they will negatively affect the final result.
Things you need to think about
1. Your required print positions, print sizes and print size limitations:
A4 or A3 front, A4 or A3 back, sleeves, left or right breast, across the shoulders, lower back, name or number etc.
2. Your preferred printing technique:
Direct to film printing.
3. Accepted formats in Adobe Illustrator / Adobe Photoshop, PNG, PSD, JPG, EPS, PDF.
Just send us what you have to email@example.com and we will advise or assist you with your artwork limitations.
4. Required vector files:
Ask us for more information.
If you already know the kind of print you need, then you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill up the form in the contact us page, our team will return with a quote within 48 hours. Also, please provide ready-to-print artworks (in vector, .ai, .eps) along with detail description on print sizes and the position of the artwork.
If you are looking for a versatile, high-quality, and cost-effective printing method for your designs, DTF printing is an excellent choice. It offers many advantages over other printing methods and can be used for a wide range of applications, from clothing and accessories to promotional items and signage.