DTF printing made up a massive 67% of the digital textile printing market in 2022. Adopting this innovative technology can give your printing business a competitive advantage.
DTF prints have many advantages over other types of printing. You can print on a wider range of materials, including polyester, fleece, and nylon as well as cotton. You can print easily on dark-colored fabrics.
Getting started with DTF printing technology is simple. Keep reading to learn more about this versatile process.
How Does DTF Printing Work?
With direct-to-film (DTF) printing, you print a design onto a piece of PET film. The film has a coating that helps transfer the design. The process uses water-based ink and an adhesive powder.
Heat transfers the design from the film to the fabric. You can use a curing oven or a heat press.
DTF printing is very durable. It’s simpler than other methods because you can print white ink and colored ink at the same time.
What You Need to Start Making DTF Prints
You need some basic equipment and supplies to start your DTF print business. You’ll find many options for printers, inks, and film. You want to get the supplies you need without overbuying.
First, you need a DTF printer. Look for a printer that fits your budget and is easy to use. A printer that is compatible with many different types of DTF inks and powders gives you more flexibility.
You’ll need RIP software to ensure that the colors print correctly. You can use graphic design software to create your designs. After you install the printer drivers and software on your computer, you can connect the printer.
You need DTF ink in black, cyan, magenta, yellow, and white. The best type of ink depends on the type of printer you have. Ink contains:
- Color pigments
- Resin binders
- Additives to increase viscosity and improve drying time
- Solvents to improve the flow
The main types of ink are pigment ink, sublimation ink, and solvent ink. Pigment ink is the most versatile.
DTF printing uses PET films. You can buy sheets for small shops or rolls for commercial operations. DTF film is either cold-peel or hot-peel.
DTF Adhesive Powder
Adhesive powder helps bind the colored pigments in the ink to the printing surface. The main ingredient is polyester resin. It forms a coating on top of the printed design.
After applying the powder, you place the fabric on top of the PET film. Then, you use heat to make the powder melt and stick to the fabric.
Heat Press or Curing Oven
A heat press helps transfer your printed design onto the fabric. You can also use it to melt the adhesive powder. The type of heat press you need depends on the size of your DTF print business.
A curing oven is a small industrial oven. It melts the adhesive powder. Curing ovens usually work faster than a heat press.
Managing Your DTF Printing Business
Good business management will help your DTF print business grow. You need to give your customers accurate quotes as quickly as possible. You need to manage production to meet demand.
You also need to manage your inventory, organize your production team, and fill orders efficiently. DTF printing management software is an excellent tool to help grow your business. You can streamline your workflows, improve your online presence, and boost sales.
Start Making DTF Prints
DTF prints have many advantages over other types of printing. You can print on a variety of fabrics. The designs are vibrant and durable.
Starting your DTF printing business is simple. You need some basic equipment, supplies, and software. DTF print management software can help you manage your operations and grow your business.
For more useful guides like this, check out our other business articles!