Have you ever wanted to customize the prints on an article of clothing? DTF printing may be a recent innovation. Nonetheless, because of how it enables clothing manufacturers and artists to scale their outputs, it has become the go-to method of printing thanks to its efficiency and customization potential.
Direct-to-film (DTF) printing is a process where a printer directly transfers a design onto a textile surface. Using pressure and heat, DTF printing allows artists and apparel manufacturers to press high-quality and highly detailed designs onto garments.
DTF enables creative artists, designers, and apparel companies to bring their designs to life in full detail. DTF printing is also an excellent choice for anyone who needs a logo or custom design placed on garments. The design potential and availability of DTF supplies make this method of printing an accessible choice for parents, sports coaches, and school personnel.
In short, with DTF printing, you’ll not only print your custom designs with ease. You will also have the capability to print on a bigger scale. With the right DTF supplies, you can multiply your printing output by a factor of 10.
However, what are DTF supplies? More importantly, which DTF supplies will you need for a successful printing operation? We answer these questions and more.
Read on to learn all about DTF supplies and where to get the best ones on the market. Also, read to the end to learn about ways to make your DTF supplies last for the long haul.
What Are Direct-to-Film Supplies?
Direct-to-film supplies consist of several materials that are essential to the DTF printing process. These materials include specialized films the printer uses to print designs onto textiles of all kinds. Besides the specialized film, DTF supplies also include different inks used to add vibrance and color to the designs.
DTF supplies also include refills for inks, like our high-quality and affordable bagged inks. Last but not least, other DTF supplies include cleaning kits and adhesives to ensure that the DTF printer stays in peak condition.
What Will You Need for DTF Supplies?
There are many kinds of direct-to-film supplies available, and each one plays a critical role in the DTF printing process. Let’s go over the different types of DTF supplies you’ll need and what purpose each one serves.
Heat Press Machine
The heat press machine is arguably the most important DTF supply in any printing workshop. Unlike a printer, the heat press machine uses heat and pressure to transfer any drawing or design on a transfer film onto a textile. The machine uses both heat and pressure, making the designs transferred through the film permanent.
On average, heat presses can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. On the higher end are heat presses amounting to $9,000. We have them all. However, for starters, we recommend our Hotronix Fusion IQ Heat Press.
Of course, before you use the heat press machine to transfer your designs onto a garment, you need to print your designs on the transfer film. This is where a DTF printer comes in.
A DTF printer enables you to print your design onto the specialty transfer film. DTF printers come in various types and have different specifications. When you order our DTF printers, each comes with print optimizer software. The software works for both current versions of Windows and OSX.
The transfer film is where you print your designs. It’s a transparent film that goes between your heat press machine and the textile you’re printing on. Adhesives coat the surfaces of transfer films for your ink to remain in place during the printing process.
When selecting transfer film, ensure that you’re factoring in your DTF printer and heat press machine. While selecting a transfer film that doesn’t go with your machine and printer won’t hinder you from printing, it may result in subpar prints.
For example, if you have a Kodak printer, your transfer film should be one of our 60×100 Kodak DTF films. These cost $299.
Likewise, opt for Roland DTF Transfer Film if you’ve got a Roland DTF printer and heat press. Our Roland films are some of the most budget-friendly, costing less than $150 per roll.
DTF Ink and Ink Cartridges
DTF ink cartridges contain the DTF ink that adds color to your custom designs. Unlike regular ink, DTF ink has a special formulation that consolidates with heat. This makes the ink durable once it’s on your garment of choice.
Cartridges can cost anywhere from $29 and up. Colman and Company has them them all.
Ink cartridges must match your DTF printer. For instance, if you have a Roland DTF printer, your cartridges should be one of our Roland cartridges.
No Need for Pre-treatment Solution
One of the things you WONT need to worry about with DTF Prints is Pre-Treatment Solution. That’s a big advantage of DTFG Printing compared to DTF prints. with DTG, Not all fabrics will be ready for the printing process. To prevent your prints from being ruined by your fabric, you need to prepare your fabrics for pressing. This is where pre-treatment comes in.
Pre-treatment solution primes fabrics for the DTG (Direct to Garment) printing process. It prepares the fabric of your garments for maximum ink adhesion, guaranteeing that the ink stays on after pressing. But its NOT needed for DTF.. Sweet!
After printing and heat pressing, your equipment will require after-care and maintenance. These go a long way in keeping your DTF printing equipment in perfect working order. If you’re serious about maintaining your equipment, you need to clean them with the right cleaning supplies. For this, we offer quality and affordable cleaning supplies.
Cleaning materials are a must, especially with your DTF printer. The printer’s head will require cleaning because it’s sensitive and gets the most wear and tear. To clean the printer’s head, you’ll need the following cleaning liquid and wiper.
Of course, the printer may have leftover ink in the head. Getting rid of the ink will require more than a regular cleaning solution and a brush. You will need cleaning cartridges.
Cleaning cartridges contain fluids that will flow through your printer and eliminate residual ink. With cleaning cartridges, your designs will contain only the colors you want and nothing more. Most importantly, you will add years to your printer’s life.
Cost-effective Tips for Buying DTF Supplies
DTF printing can come with significant operating costs. If you want to save money wherever possible, start with how you buy your DTF supplies.
Here are some easy and actionable tips for getting your DTF supplies without compromising quality.
Get Compatible DTF Supplies
Some printers and heat presses will work best with certain types of supplies. Get the wrong DTF supplies, and you’re risking another expensive trip to the DTF supply store. To prevent this from happening, check the compatibility of a certain ink cartridge or transfer film before you buy.
Buy Your Direct-to-Film Supplies in Bulk
Buying in bulk may seem expensive. However, doing this will help you save money on shipping. If you buy from a physical store, you will save money on gas by ordering your supplies in bulk.
Get Your Supplies From a Reputable Company
A reputable DTF supply company ensures that you get the most bang for your buck each time you make a purchase. This kind of company will have only the best products in store and will likely offer free quotes and deals on bulk purchases.
Maintenance Tips and Tricks
A big part of economizing on your DTF setup is by maintaining your equipment and supplies. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be adding years to your printers, presses, cartridges, and DTF operation.
Clean Your DTF Printer’s Head Regularly
The DTF printer accumulates a lot of dirt, particularly on its head. Effectively cleaning it requires a two-way approach. First, load a cleaning cartridge and run your printer. This will eliminate residual ink.
Store Ink Cartridges and Any Liquid DTF Supplies in a Dark Room
Ink and cleaning solutions will deteriorate faster when exposed to direct sunlight. To maximize their shelf life, store them in a dark place.
Carefully Load and Unload Transfer Film With Clean and Dry Hands
Carefully loading and unloading the transfer film will prevent damage to the sensitive DTF printer head. Also, doing this with clean and dry hands is essential to preventing folds and creases that may make unloading and loading the film more difficult.
Handle Ink Cartridges With Care
You must never force an ink cartridge into a printer. Before pushing it farther into the printer, check to see if it’s in perfect alignment with the cartridge receiver.
Any attempt to force the cartridge into the printer will result in damage — both to the printer and the cartridge.
Use Ink Before the Expiration Date
Over time, ink can settle at the bottom of an ink cartridge. If it’s left unused past its shelf life, the ink can consolidate, becoming useless for printing. To save time and money on your printing operation, don’t use ink that’s past its expiration date.
Key Takeaway: Excellent Prints Require the Right DTF Supplies
Selecting the right DTF supplies is essential to creating high-quality designs and transferring them onto garments of any kind. By choosing the right supplies, not only will you improve the quality of your prints; you will also be taking the necessary steps to ensure that your DTF printing equipment stays in peak condition.
Invest only in quality DTF supplies to keep your printing operation going. If you’re looking for a place that has the best and most affordable printing supplies, look no further.
We offer all kinds of printing supplies, from inks to transfer films, to cleaning kits. If you’ve got a printing project in mind, we’ve got the DTF supplies for it.
Reach out or check out our DTF supply offerings that are sure to help bring your designs to life.