DTF printing onto garments

The ultimate guide on how to get started with DTF printing.

New to DTF printing and not sure what you need to get started? In this article find out everything you need to start up your own textile printing business with our DTF supplies checklist, including our recommendations for beginners.

DTF supplies checklist.

  1. DTF printer.
  2. DTF inks.
  3. DTF film.
  4. DTF hot melt adhesive powder.
  5. RIP software.

DTF Printer

The most common start up DTF printing machine is a converted six colour Epson inkjet printer. The Epson EcoTank printers are ideal as the 6 colour ink tanks can be utilised to hold the white ink. For example, the CMYK DTF ink can be syringed into the standard CMYK tanks, whereas the LC and LM tanks of the printer can be filled with White DTF inks. OEM printers are available to purchase but are extremely costly when compared to a converted printer. At Ink Express we understand the importance of keeping your costs low, therefore we offer both an A4 DTF printer and A3 DTF printer option for you to convert.

For a start-up DTF business we would recommend the Epson EcoTank L1800 A3+ DTF printer.

DTF Inks

DTF inks are specially designed pigment inks available in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow,

Black and White. The White Ink is a special component that lays out the foundation of the print onto. The ink can be purchased in various quantities, buying in bulk will help to keep yours costs low.

Click here to shop the Ink Express DTF inks.

DTF Film

DTF PET film is made from a form of plastic known as Polyethylene Terephthalate. The film has a thickness of around 0.75mm and better transfer characteristics in comparison to those used in screen printing. The PET film is available in sheets for small scale use and in rolls for a more commercial setup. Another classification of the PET films is based on the type of peeling that is done after the transfer. Based on the temperature, the films are either hot peel films or cold peel films.

We would recommend using DTF PET film sheets for small scale, start-up businesses. Click here to shop our range of A4 and A3 DTF Film sheets.

DTF hot melt adhesive powder.

DTF powder is a polymer powder applied to the printed PET film sheet.  The powder acts as an adhesive material that binds the pigment ink to the fibres in the fabric when heated. The powder is heated and melted using a heat source such as heat gun, heat press or convection oven.

At Ink Express we offer DTF powder for both light and dark fabrics. Our white DTF polymer powder is designed for application onto all garment colours except black. Our black DTF polymer powder is designed for application onto black or dark coloured garments.

Click here to shop the Ink Express DTF powder range.

RIP software.

RIP software is an essential part of the Direct To Film printing process. The colour performance and final transfer are greatly influenced by the software. The RIP software handles the CMYK and white pigment ink allowing the printer to print in full colour with a white ink background. At Ink Express recommend the Acrorip software, from experience we found it is easy to setup and simple to use.

To learn more about Direct to Film printing, visit our DTF printing process guide here. For any questions regarding DTF or alternative printing processes, visit our support page here, or contact us direct at info@inkexpress.co.uk