DTF aka... "Direct To Film"
Direct to film printing involves printing a design onto a special film, applying and melting a powder adhesive to the printed film, and pressing the design onto the garment or merchandise.
1. Apply to a wide variety of materials
While direct to garment printing works best on 100% cotton, DTF works on many different garment materials: cotton, nylon, treated leather, polyester, 50/50 blends, and both light and dark fabrics. The transfers can even be applied to different types of surfaces like luggage, shoes, and even glass, wood, and metal! You can expand your inventory by applying your designs to a whole variety of merchandise with DTF.
2. No need for pretreatment
If you already own a DTG printer, you are probably quite familiar with the pretreatment process (not to mention the drying time). The hot melt power that is applied to the DTF transfers bonds the print directly to the material, meaning no pretreatment is necessary!
3. Use less white ink
DTF requires less white ink – about 40% white versus 200% white for DTG printing. White ink tends to be the most expensive since more of it is used, so reducing the amount of white ink used for your prints can be quite a money saver.
4. More durable than DTG prints
There’s no denying that DTG prints have soft, barely-there hand feel because the ink is applied directly to the garment. While DTF prints don’t have the same soft hand feel that DTG can boast, the transfers are more durable. Direct to film transfers wash well, and are flexible – meaning they won’t crack or peel, making them great for heavy-use items.
5. Easy application
Printing onto a film transfer means you can place your design on hard-to-reach or awkward surfaces. If the area can be heated, you can can apply a DTF design to it! Because all it takes is heat to adhere the design, you can even sell your printed transfers directly to your customers and allow them to allay the design to whatever surface or item they choose with no special equipment!