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Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing — the textile and advertising industries cannot do without this tool

Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing — the textile and advertising industries cannot do without this tool

CrimeaPRESS reports:

Direct-to-Film (DTF) printing is a printing method used in the graphics industry, especially when creating patterns for printing images onto textiles such as T-shirts, polos and other clothing.

The DTF process includes the following steps:

  • printing on special film: First, the image is printed onto a special polymer film using an inkjet printer. The film usually has a special coating that provides good print quality and improves ink adhesion.
  • application of hot-melt adhesive layer: After printing the image on the film, a hot-melt adhesive layer is applied to the entire surface of the image. This layer will be used to attach the image to the textile surface.
  • transferring image to fabric: After applying hot melt adhesive to the film, it is pressed onto the textile surface at high temperature using a heat press or industrial iron. The heat activates the hot melt adhesive, allowing the image to adhere to the fabric.
  • film removal: Once the image is transferred to the fabric, the film is removed, leaving only the image on the surface of the textile.

The benefits of DTF printing include the ability to create vibrant, detailed images, and the ability to print on a variety of textile types, including cotton, polyester, and blends thereof. This method also ensures that images have good wash and UV resistance.

However, it should be noted that DTF printing requires the use of specialized equipment and materials, which may affect the cost and availability of this method.

What printers are used for Direct-to-Film printing?

Printers for DTF printing usually referred to as inkjet printers. However, this process requires specialized printers that can provide high quality printing on the special polymer films used in the DTF method.

Here are several types of printers that can be used for DTF printing:

  • Sublimation Printers: Some models of inkjet printers typically used for dye-sublimation printing on paper can also be configured to print on special films designed for DTF. These printers typically have high resolution and color accuracy, which is important for achieving high quality film prints.
  • printers with UV ink (UV Printers): UV ink printers can also be used to print on special DTF films. UV ink cures immediately when exposed to ultraviolet light, providing fast drying and long lasting images. This can be useful for printing on films that require additional heat press processing.
  • printers with DTF-specialized systems (DTF Printers): Some manufacturers offer specialized printers designed specifically for DTF printing. These printers usually have optimized settings for working with films and provide high quality prints on this type of material.

Regardless of the type of printer used for DTF printing, it is important to choose models with high resolution and accuracy to ensure quality printing results on resin films. You should also consider the printer’s compatibility with the inks and DTF media you use.

Printer selection criteria

Choosing a Direct-to-Film (DTF) printer depends on a variety of factors, including your needs, budget, project types, and other considerations. Here are some criteria to consider when choosing a DTF printer:

  • High resolution printing allows for clearer, more detailed images on film. Typically, higher resolution printers provide better results.
  • Consider the type of ink used. Some printers may use specialized DTF inks that provide better adhesion to film and fabric, as well as wash and impact resistance.
  • If you need to print large images or work with different film sizes, make sure the printer you choose is suitable for your print area size requirements.
  • Check which software your selected printer is compatible with. This is important for ease of work and processing of designs before printing.
  • If you have a high volume of work or need fast order processing, consider the printer’s print speed. It may vary depending on the model.
  • choose printers from reliable manufacturers with a good reputation. Also consider the availability of spare parts and the quality of service.
  • compare the cost of printers from different manufacturers and models, taking into account your financial capabilities. Pay attention to the cost of not only the printer itself, but also its operation (ink, consumables, etc.).
  • Research user reviews and recommendations from other professionals in your field. This can help to get an idea of ​​the actual experience of using the printer.

Considering these criteria will help you choose the DTF printer that best suits your needs and expectations.

In what areas is DTF printing used?

Direct-to-Film printing is used in a variety of applications including the graphic arts, textiles, advertising and marketing, entertainment and design industries. Here are a few areas where DTF printing can be especially useful:

  • widely used in the textile industry to create patterns applied to textile products such as T-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, caps and other clothing. This printing method produces vibrant, detailed images on textiles that are highly resistant to washing and wear.
  • used in graphic design and advertising to create signs, posters, banners, stickers and other promotional materials. This printing method allows you to create high-quality and attractive images on a variety of surfaces.
  • allows you to create personalized textile products such as gifts, souvenirs, corporate clothing and accessories. Thanks to this method, you can easily apply custom images, logos, inscriptions and other elements to textile products.
  • In the entertainment industry, DTF is used to create costumes, sets, accessories and other elements for theatrical productions, film and television projects, cosplay and other events.
  • can be used in interior design to create textile decorative elements such as curtains, pillows, bedspreads and other textile products with individual designs and prints.

These are just a few examples of applications for DTF printing. This printing method is highly flexible and can be used across a variety of industries to create quality and unique textile and graphic products.

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