What is Direct To Film printing? How expensive is it? Does it make sense for your business? These are all questions people are asking about the process that has gained a ton of traction and attention over the past six months.
In this blog, let’s start with what Direct To Film (DTF) printing is. DTF is the process of using an inkjet printer to print the artwork onto special transfer paper that can then be transferred onto garments and other textiles.
The Process of printing Direct To Film transfers (Start-to-finish)
The process involves just a few steps. You will start by printing a design onto a transfer film. You will then disperse a power onto the transfer that will gel to the ink. After the transfer dries, you will simply heat press it to your garment of choice and peel the transfer film off. The final step will involve placing a finishing sheet over the garment and heat pressing it one more time to drive the ink deeper into the garment.
DTF printing, in a lot of cases, is seen as an alternative to Direct-To-Garment printing.
The many benefits of printing Direct To Film transfers
There are a lot of benefits to DTF printing. One of the major benefits is time. For example, If you’re printing on a 24-inch, two-head machine, you are able to print in the neighborhood of 100 transfers per hour.
The beauty of printing onto transfer paper is that they don’t have to be used right away. The transfers can be stored for a later date and applied whenever you see fit.
Arguably the biggest benefit is the garment material that you can transfer to. With DTF, you’re able to transfer onto cotton, polyester, performance wear, nylon, treated leather, 50/50 blends, both light and dark materials, and many more things. This is where DTF can really separate itself from DTG, where you can only print onto cotton fabrics.
The expenses associated with Direct To Film printing
How much does DTF cost? Like any type of printing, there are both cheap and expensive options. If you’re running a small operation, purchasing something like an Epson P700 or P900 and converting it to print DTF transfers would be a relatively cheap option.
DTF ink, film, and power are each relatively inexpensive. And if you don’t already own a heat press, you will need one to complete the process.
If you’re running a bigger operation, there are bigger, better, faster DTF machines to choose from. Upwards of $20,000 could get you top-of-the-line equipment that would have your business printing transfers by the droves.
DTF is still a relatively new printing process. As an industry, we’re still learning about it on a daily basis. Click HERE to see how DTF is directly compared to DTG.