What Makes Direct to Film Special?

Direct Film technology is an upcoming technology that many custom apparel and sports outfitters are turning their attention to. In addition, many seek to invest in DTF printer machines because they have seen all the features that make DTF unique.

Why DTF is Taking the Market by Storm

Direct to Film (DTF) is a revolutionary printing technology that offers a cost-effective and easier to use solution than DTG sublimation, screen printing, or laser white-toner transfer. DTF also requires modified DTF machines known as Direct to Film printers or Printer DTF.

With DTF, you can pre-print transfer designs that can be stored for future use.  Then, you simply pull the transfer off the shelf when you get an order and apply it to virtually any garment type.  It’s is a win-win situation for most businesses.  However, you’ll also need a particular DTF transfer film and DTF powder to complete the transfer.

How DTF Suits The Needs Of The Local On-Demand Printing Market.

Here are some of the reasons why the Direct to Film technique suits the needs of the Local On-Demand printing market.

·        Efficient and Quick Delivery

There are 32 countries in the world offering DTF printing services worldwide. This ensures that companies can have access to seamless and fast delivery of products as per your needs.

·        End-to-End Fulfillment

If you wish to expand your business, DTFprinting can help you diversify your operations at the minimal cost possible.

·        Proven Reliability

Direct to Film technology is far more reliable due to its enhanced performance and consistency of design. Plus, you will never have to worry about distorted images and unwanted white lines. DTF ensures superior quality of printing while keeping the quality of your fabrics intact.

Steps Involved in DTF Printing

The basic steps involved in direct-to-film printing are as follows.

1st Stage: Print on the Film

DTF uses PET film instead of traditional paper. The printer first prints the whole image as a layer in white on this PET film.  Next, the printer uses accurate color settings to print the colored image or design on the white layer.  When the image is transferred onto the garment, the color is on the outside, and the white underbase touches the fabric.

However, you must remember that the printed image should be the spitting image of the actual image you wish to appear on a substrate or fabric.

Stage 2: Powdering

This process involves the application of the hot-melt powder on the PET film with a printed image. First, apply the powder uniformly on a wet print and remove the excess powder carefully.

You must remember that it is critical to spread the powder on the entire printed surface evenly. One of the best ways to do so I hold the PET film from its short edges so that the long edges are aligned parallel to the ground (landscape orientation).

You must sprinkle the powder in the middle of the PET film in a uniform fashion. The next step is to pick up the film and bend it slightly inwards to make a slight U-shape concave surface facing you. Next, start rocking the film from your left to right and evenly spread the powder throughout the print.

In commercial set-ups, companies can use automated DTF shakers to take care of this task.

Stage 3 – Melting this Powder

This stage requires you to melt the powder, and there are several ways to do this.

  • You can either the film containing printing image and powder application into a pre-heated curing oven.
  • Place the PET film in the heat press. Now only bring the top of the heat press very close to this PET Film. However, you must make sure the heat panel does not touch the film. There must be a gap of 4 to 7 mm between the heat press and the film.

You can check the manufacturer’s specification on powder heating ranging between 2 and 5 minutes with temperatures ranging from 160 to 170 ⁰C.

Stage 4 – Pre-Pressing

The pre-pressing stage requires you to heat the fabric before transferring the image on your PET film.   Then, you press the fabric on the heat press and pressurize it for 2 to 5 seconds. This helps you flatten the surface of the fabric and also to de-humidify it.

The Prepress process helps the easy and flawless transfer of an image to the fabric. 

Stage 5 Transferring

This stage is the soul of DTF printing processing. First, you will put the PET Film containing the image and melted powder on the pre-heated fabric.   Next, you will use the heat press to create a strong adhesion between the fabric and the film.

This process is also known as curing, and it requires temperatures between 160 to 170 ⁰C for 15 to 20 seconds approximately.

Stage 6 Cold Peeling

It is important that you let the now attached film and the fabric cool down back to room temperature before pulling them apart. This is because the hot-melt powder has characteristics similar to that of amides. So as it starts to cool down, the hot melt will start to act like a binder to hold ink’s color pigments together for firm adhesion with the fabric’s fibers.

Once you are sure that the film is at room temperature, it is time to peel it off from the fabric. This will only leave an immaculately printed design on the surface of the fabric.

Stage 7 – Post Pressing

Post-pressing is an optional step when transferring the print. However, it is highly recommended if you wish to achieve high performance and the best results from direct to film printing.   You can press the fabric with a transferred design under the heat press for 10 to 15 seconds in this process.

Step by Step, this process is known as DTF printing.

How You Can Profit from Direct to Film Printers

Apart from the above-mentioned advantages of direct-to-film printing techniques, here are some of the other profits you can generate via this method.

  • You will be able to offer a wider range of fabric printing options to your clients. This will increase your company’s portfolio of services offered. Hence, you will be able to generate more return on investment.

  • It does not require any pre-treatment, which means you will save a lot of money and reduces your manufacturing cost. In addition, this increases your margin for profit.

  • The DTF, Direct to Film process is faster and more error-proof. This reduces your wastage cost and allows you to accept more orders due to fast production capabilities.


If you are a printing company thinking about expanding your operations direct to film is the most economical and productive innovative technology in 2021.

Adopting it now can still give you an early bird advantage.

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