Over the past ten years, the digital textile printing market has expanded quickly as more and more consumers switch to digital textile printing. Incorporating ease, simplicity, fabric performance, consistency, and most importantly a huge variety of colors in textiles is made possible by the use of digital printers, which makes the entire process dependable and reasonably priced.


Digital textile printing encompasses a number of processes. We’ll mainly be talking about the DTF printing process (Direct to Film Printing) in this article.


Because it can be used for a variety of purposes, textile printing is still widely used and in high demand. It is used to make personalized clothing, including T-shirts, business attire, and athletic wear. Textile printers are utilizing direct-to-film in addition to more modern, cutting-edge, and dependable methods like silk screen, dye sublimation, and heat transfer (DTF).


Printing on fabrics can be done more quickly, precisely, and affordably with DTF inks. If you’re unfamiliar with this printing technique, you might have a few questions. You should be aware of the following things about it:


How are DTF prints made?

Direct-to-film printing refers to the use of specialized CMYK DTF inks and their application to hot-peel or cold-peel PET film with a thickness of roughly 0.75mm. Because it serves as the backdrop for the colors to stand out when printed on dark fabrics, white ink is essential to the process.



While the ink from the wide format printer is still wet, the hot-melt adhesive powder coats the printed film. Smaller operations can do this manually, but industrial-scale productions might use shakers that are automated.


The powder must be applied evenly during DTF printing, and any extra must be scraped off. The film is processed at a temperature of roughly 160 degrees Celsius in a curing oven. When heat pressing, there should be a 4mm to 7mm gap so that the top plate doesn’t come into contact with the glue.


The full-color, pre-glued film is then transferred to the pre-pressed fabric for curing, which could take up to 20 seconds at temperatures between 160 and 170 degrees in a heat press. To protect the print, most vendors advise placing a silicone sheet on top.


The cold peel film is removed once the fabric reaches room temperature, revealing the printed motif. Although the hot-peel film is less frequently used for DTF, it is thought to be more effective because it can be peeled off as soon as the heat press is opened. Weeding is not required, regardless of the film you use, as only the printed portions are glued and will adhere to the fabric. To increase washability and rub-fastness during post-processing, many experts advise using the heat press.


Types of textiles suitable for DTF printing

DTF inks can cling to organic materials like cotton and silk. They also work with synthetic materials like rayon and polyester. On bold, dark, and white textiles as well as pastel, light-colored, and white textiles, the white ink layer aids in making the colors stand out. The prints are flexible and hard to crack.


Your printer might be DTF-capable.

Wide format printer ink can be used with some digital sublimation or direct textile printers to upgrade them to support DTF printing by simply switching out the inks.