A comprehensive guide to the benefits of direct-to-film (DTF) printing

A comprehensive guide to the benefits of direct-to-film (DTF) printing

SYDNEY, Australia - March 27, 2023

If you're in the printing business, you've probably heard of DTF printing, also known as direct-to-film printing. This innovative technology has taken the printing world by storm, and for good reason. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about DTF printing, its benefits, and the type of printer you need to get the best results from your DTF transfers.

What is DTF printing?

Direct-to-film or DTF printing is a printing method that involves printing designs onto a film that is then transferred to a variety of surfaces. DTF printing has become increasingly popular because of its versatility, durability, and high-quality output. This technology is ideal for printing designs on garments, hats, bags, and a huge range of other products. 

When choosing a DTF solution, it's important to consider the benefits of using a printer that is built for purpose, rather than a printer that has been converted for DTF printing. Dedicated DTF printers offer optimal results, increased efficiency, and long-term cost savings. 

What makes GJS' DTF solution so special?

Created especially for the high demands of production printing, GJS' DTF printing solution utilises either a Brother or Epson garment printer to create film transfers that can be applied to a multitude of fabrics (including polyester) and garment colours that are traditionally difficult to decorate such as blue, green, red and yellow.

GJS’ solution delivers brighter and more vivid prints than other DTF solutions due to the high-capacity film sheets that are used in the process and has the added benefit of allowing digital decorators to print hard to reach areas, such as neck labels, cap brims and more.

How much do DTF printers cost? 

The cost of DTF printers can vary depending on the specific model, features, and capabilities of the printer. Generally, DTF printers range in price from $10,000 to $30,000. Factors that influence the cost of DTF printers include: 

  • Printer size 
  • Ink type 
  • Maximum print resolution 
  • Colour capabilities 
  • Features such as automatic film cutting and feeding 

What is the DTF printing process? 

The DTF printing process involves several steps: 

  • Design creation: first, you must create a design using graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. 
  • Printing: next, the design is printed onto a special film using a DTF printer. 
  • Film preparation: once the design is printed, the film is then prepared by adding a powder adhesive layer to the printed design. 
  • Transfer: the film is then placed on the surface to be printed and is pressed with a heat press at a specific temperature and pressure. 
  • Peel: once the transfer is complete, the film is peeled off, leaving behind the printed design on the surface. 

Watch our video below to see just how easy it is to create a DTF print!


Why you should only choose a dedicated DTF printer, not a printer that has been converted for DTF printing

While it may be tempting to convert a inkjet or similar printer for creating DTF transfers, or purchase a cheap retrofitted printer online, it's important to choose a built for purpose, industrial DTF printer for optimal results. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Printers that are designed for digital decoration use specialised ink that is formulated specifically for the garment decoration printing process
  • The ink used in DTF printers is cured using a heat press, resulting in a high-quality, durable print that is resistant to fading and cracking
  • Most printers that are converted for DTF printing are not designed to use the necessary white ink used in the DTF process. Many also use open/bulk ink delivery systems that are prone to clogging and contamination
  • A printer that is designed and dedicated  to creating DTF transfers will offer you greater reliability, flexibility and long-term cost savings 

Is DTF printing better than dye sublimation? 

While both DTF and dye sublimation printing offer high-quality prints, DTF printing offers a few advantages over sublimation. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • DTF printing allows for printing on a wider range of materials, including dark-coloured fabrics and non-textile items such as wood, metal, and ceramics
  • DTF printing offers a higher level of detail and vibrancy, with the ability to print white ink
  • DTF printing is more cost-effective for small to medium print runs. 

Is DTF printing better than heat transfer vinyl? 

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is a popular method for creating custom designs on fabrics, but it has some limitations. Here are a few reasons why DTF printing may be a better option: 

  • DTF printing offers a wider range of colours and the ability to print high-quality images and designs 
  • DTF printing allows for more precise and intricate designs, including small text and details 
  • DTF printing is more durable and long-lasting compared to HTV. 

How do you make money with a DTF printer and DTF transfers?  

DTF printing offers a great opportunity for businesses to generate revenue. Here are a few ways you can make money with DTF transfers: 

  • Offer custom printing services to individuals and businesses 
  • Create and sell your own designs on products such as t-shirts, hats, and bags 
  • Partner with other businesses to provide custom printing services for their products. 

Why you should select a reputable local supplier for after-sales support and service 

When choosing a DTF printer, it's important to select a reputable local supplier that offers after-sales support and service. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Local suppliers can provide in-person training and support, ensuring that you get the most out of your DTF printer 
  • Local suppliers can provide quick and efficient repairs and maintenance services, minimising downtime and lost revenue 
  • Local suppliers can provide a reliable source of DTF supplies and consumables. 

Ready to get started?

DTF printing is a versatile and cost-effective method for creating high-quality custom prints on a variety of surfaces. By using a dedicated DTF printer and working with a reputable local supplier, businesses can take advantage of the benefits of DTF printing and generate revenue through custom printing services, selling products with custom designs, and selling DTF printers and supplies. 

If this sounds like the print solution for you, don't hesitate any longer! Follow the link below to browse our range of DTF starter kits.

 Get Started Now

About GJS
GJS is Australia’s premier provider of solutions and services for the textile, promotional products, custom photo gift, sign and display industries. With over 44 years’ experience, GJS supplies everything needed to start and operate a successful printing business including equipment, consumables, training and support. Headquartered in Revesby, NSW, and with additional teams located in Victoria and Queensland, GJS serves customers throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. For more information visit: gjs.co. GJS and the GJS logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of GJS. Other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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