Dtf printing is a relatively new way of printing to fabrics that is gaining popularity and market share as it provides a more cost-effective alternative to traditional printing methods. It works with a variety of garments including cotton, silk, polyester and synthetic fabrics such as rayon and terry cot.
Printer DTF printing is a process that utilizes an inkjet printer to print onto PET film. This ink is then transferred to the fabric through a heat press. The process is simple and easy to use and is able to produce high-quality results that are comparable to screen printing.
In order to implement DTF, a printing shop will need several things: a DTF modified inkjet printer that uses thick PET film; specialized CMYK ink with the addition of white; a powder for transfer; and a curing oven or heat press machine. DTF printers are typically designed for this process and they feature multiple colored ink tanks that provide the convenience to operate using CMYK modes. The white ink is added to the CMYK colors so that it is able to bind to the fabric and create an image.
The specialized ink for DTF is formulated to be durable and stable on the fabric. The ink is able to withstand many washes and will not fade, peel or crack. A powder for transfer is also added to the ink and this acts as the glue that adheres the dyed pigments to the fabric. The powder is available in various grades and can be specified based on the specific needs of the business.
Once the ink is printed onto the PET film, it is layered with the white powder and then placed into a curing oven to melt the adhesive. The hot melt powder is then poured over the transfer and rocked back and forth to ensure that it is thoroughly covered. This step can be done manually or automatically. Upon completion, the film is then placed onto the garment and is heat pressed for approximately 15 seconds. Depending on the supplier instructions, the transferred design may need to be cooled before it can be peeled from the film.
A DTF print can be applied to most fabrics and is often preferred by shops who work with nylon, polyester and 50/50 blends. This type of print can be used on light or dark garments and is also able to handle large color prints with high detail and saturation. The process also eliminates the need to make screens or separate artwork by color and can allow a print shop to keep high color, complicated jobs off their screen printing machines. It can also help reduce production times and requires less setup and cleanup than other printing methods. This allows for a faster turnaround time and helps to increase productivity for the shop. dtf printing