Do you know what a DTF printer is? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many businesses are still in the dark about this technology. In today’s blog post, we’ll define DTF printers and discuss some of the benefits they offer. And by the end of this post, you’ll be ready to make a decision about whether or not to invest in this cutting-edge printing technology for your business.
What Is A DTF Printer?
DTF (Also known as Direct-To-Film printers) is a type of inkjet printer that uses direct-to-film printing technology. This means that the printer prints directly onto the surface of the film, rather than directly on to a garment like DTG. This opens up many printing possibilities like unique print locations and a wide variety of fabric blends.
How Does A DTF Printer Work?
The DTF printer uses translucent PET transfer film for the print. When you heat-press it to the garment, you can see the design beneath the film. The thickness of the PET film is approximately 0.75mm, which provides brilliant digital transfer sheets.
Some of the benefits of DTF printers include:
1. Increased Efficiency: The printing process with other technologies, such as screen-printing and DTG, entails bringing the garment to the printer. So the number of garment holding stations your printer has is a factor in how quickly you can make finished items.
Most DTF printers come with double print head technology, which increases print speed and raw machine output. For example, if you’re printing left chest logos, you can produce 8-10 copies of the same logo in only 10 seconds.
2. Improved print quality: The prints produced by DTF printers are typically of higher quality than those produced by traditional inkjet printers. This is because the printing is done directly onto the film rather than onto the transfer paper first.
3. Flexibility: DTF printers are highly versatile and can be used to print on a variety of different materials, including vinyl, paper, cardstock, and more. This makes them ideal for businesses that need to be able to print on a variety of different products.
4. Durability: The prints produced by DTF printers are also more durable than those produced by traditional inkjet printers. This is because the printing is done directly onto the film, which is more resistant to wear and tear.
5. Cost Savings: In addition to the time savings that DTF printers offer, they also tend to be more cost-effective than traditional inkjet printers. This is because the cost of the film is typically less than the cost of transfer paper.
6. Large print size: One of the great advantages of the DTF technology is that it can print on large format substrates. The largest print size for DTF printers is 22 inches wide by any length!
DTF Transfer Printing Vs. DTG (Direct To Garment) Printing
DTF transfer printing and DTG direct-to-garment printing are two different methods of printing onto fabric. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages; however, DTF is superior when weighing the two against each other.
For example, DTF machines have automated the whole process in such a way that you don’t have to bring the shirts to the machine anymore manually; instead, the machine will do all the work for you. This means that you’ll be able to print shirts much faster with a DTF machine than with a DTG printer.
Below, we list some of the advantages of DTF printing:
No Pre-Treat Chemicals
With DTG, you have to pre-treat the shirt with chemicals and wet the shirt before printing; this is an extra step that’s not needed with DTF.
No Need To DRY The Shirt At All (Saves Energy)
After printing with DTG, you have to dry the shirt before it’s ready to wear or ship. With DTF, there’s no need to dry the shirt at all, as the inks are already cured (set) when they come out of the machine.
No Need To Pre-Press with our transfers!
With DTG, you have to pre-press the shirt to remove wrinkles before printing. This is an extra step that’s not needed with DTF.
Fewer Steps Means Fewer Chances For Error
Because there are fewer steps involved in the DTF process, there are also fewer chances for human error. This results in a higher quality print overall.
Parallel Processing And Assembly
DTF machines can print and cure multiple garments at the same time; this is called parallel processing. This means that you can print faster with a DTF machine than with a DTG printer.
What About Screen Printing?
Many automatic screen print shops that used screen printers before are now switching to DTF printers because of the many advantages that DTF offers. Below, we list some of the reasons why businesses are making the switch:
No Gas-Powered Belt Dryer (or Elec)
With screen printing, you have to cure the ink with a gas-powered belt dryer or electric dryer; this is an extra step that’s not needed with DTF.
No need for a dark room
When using the screen printing method, you need to have a dark room to set up the screens. With DTF, there’s no need for a dark room as the whole process is done digitally.
No Screen Mess
Screen printing involves using screens that can get dirty and messy. With DTF, there are no screens to worry about, everything is done digitally.
When screen printing, you either have spot colors limiting the amount of colors in your artwork or you have to professionally separate for simulated process prints to achieve gradients or photos.
No SETUP OR SEPARATIONS
There’s no screens to burn and register and there’s no need to separate your artwork into the different colors
No Wasted Garments due to Registration or Popped Screens
With screen printing, you can waste shirts if the registration is off or if the screens pop. With DTF, there’s no risk of wasted garments as everything is done digitally.
As you can see, there are many advantages that DTF offers over screen printing. If you’re looking for a more efficient and effective way to print shirts, then DTF is the way to go.
What Gives DTF Printers Their Unique Look?
DTF printers utilize a unique powder in order to create their signature soft-touch prints. Rather than using transfer paper or vinyl, the Direct to Film Process only requires two ingredients: ink and a thin coating of powdered adhesive to the custom DTF transfer film.
One thing to note is that the DTF Powder seeks moisture, so the powder pulls itself into the ink of the print and chemically bonds to form a strong permanent adhesive that sticks extremely well to both cotton and polyester fabric.
DTF’s gentle touch is the holy grail of custom apparel printing. It has never been possible to obtain an incredibly delicate feeling with screen printing. DTF, on the other hand, delivers all of this and more.
What Can You Print With DTF Machines?
The beauty of the DTF machines is that you can print on any kind of garment. This includes but is not limited to: t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, bags, aprons, and even shoes. You’re not limited to only printing on cotton garments like with DTG printers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about DTF printers:
Is A DTF Transfer Easy To Apply?
Part of what makes DTF printing revolutionary is it’s super easy application process. All you need is a heat press and you’re in business!
Should You Invest In DTF Transfers?
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable, and affordable printing solution. Not only are you getting high quality prints that you and your customer will love, but your only investment is a heat press! Your DTF transfers can be ordered on an as needed basis.
There are many factors to consider when deciding if a DTF printing is right for you. We suggest doing your research and talking to other businesses that have already made the switch or addition to see if it’s the right fit for you.
DTF printers are a unique type of garment printer that offers many advantages over traditional DTG printers and other printing methods. Some of the advantages include no pretreated chemicals or wetting of the shirt needed, no need to dry the shirt at all, fewer steps mean fewer chances for error, and parallel processing.
A lot of businesses are making the switch to DTF printing because of the many advantages that they offer. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a DTF sample today!