What is DTF Printing? Charlie Davies October 5, 2022 Featured, Inspiration DTF is the newest printing method which we offer here at Clothes2order. DTF will complement our existing printing methods but DTF comes into its own for customising athleisure and sportswear garments. But what does DTF mean? What is the process? And what products are best for this print method? Lets take a deeper dive into DTF printing. What does DTF mean? Direct to Film, known as DTF, is exactly as the name suggests. Designs are printed onto a film using a specialist printer. Then the prints are directly transferred onto the garment via a heat press. DTF provides a high degree of accuracy with an exact replication of the original design on a wide variety of fabric types. How does DTF printing work? The following steps help us to achieve a perfect DTF print, time after time. Step one – Print on the Film First our talented artwork team cast their eye over a design. Then the design will be sent to our DTF printers. Our DTF printers are loaded with a specialist film ready for printing. Initially, a full outline of the design is printed entirely in white. Then the colours of the design are printed on top of the white layer. This is in order to achieve vibrancy and complete accuracy to the colours used in the design. The white layer will not be visible unless there are white elements included within the design. Step two – Powder Applied A powder is then applied to the film once the print has taken place. This will be evenly coated across the whole of the design which has been printed onto the film. The powder which is used within the DTF process is essential as it acts as the ‘glue’ which holds the design onto the clothing once heat pressed. This powder then needs to be cured. Step three – Transfer The whole transfer stage takes just 15 seconds! The film which now has the design printed on and the powder method is placed into one of our heat presses. 170 degrees and 15 seconds later the film is now strongly attached to the clothing. Step four – Film Peeling Once the design has cooled off after the transfer, the film is peeled off. This then leaves a new completed DTF application. What can DTF print on? DTF is a very versatile printing option which can be used to print on a number of different garment types and styles. DTF can be applied to cotton, nylon, polyester, 50/50 blends to name a few. DTF can also print on both light and dark fabrics. For example, it can be problematic to apply customisations on polyester using alternative print methods such as direct to garment. The bold colours and the accuracy of the design is impacted by printing directly onto a polyester garment. But by using the DTF process, this ensures a real to design customisation on the traditionally harder to print materials. What range would you recommend for DTF Printing? As mentioned, DTF gets the best print results on polyester. This really lends itself to athleisure and sports clothing. TriDri would be a range which we would strongly recommend for DTF. TriDri is a fashionable athleisure range for all. TriDri combines both style and technology by using technical fabrics within the range. Additionally there is a wide colour palette and size range in a collection which includes custom t shirts, vests, hoodies and more. A DTF is the perfect application to add a logo, team crest or design to the athleisure range. Is DTF Good Quality? Yes, DTF produces high quality prints. DTF prints are realistic and true to the original design which provides a great printing option for complex designs. DTF prints are very durable and wash well. This means that they do not crack or peel easily which makes them ideal for heavy-use items such as sportswear. Additionally, a DTF print has a soft feel and are flexible meaning they will not impact the wear or make the garment which the customisation is applied uncomfortable.