There's no shortage of ways to make a custom t-shirt. Direct-to-film (DTF) printing is just one of the many methods for imprinting a custom design, logo, or artwork onto apparel. However, this process has many benefits over other transfer methods.
This blog post covers the basics of DTF printing, why it's such an excellent method, and how it differs from other customization options. We are your source for all things custom apparel, whether you run a custom clothing shop or a homegrown t-shirt business. You can count on us to keep you in the know about everything wholesale apparel.
What is DTF Printing?
First of all, what exactly is DTF printing? This unique customization method operates by transferring an image from a printer onto specialized film, then onto a piece of apparel utilizing textile ink. The process involves printing an inverted image onto DTF film, which transfers onto a garment using fabric ink and specialized equipment.
Intense heat is used to adhere the design to the material's fibers. When it’s complete, DTF printing produces phenomenal detail, vibrant colors, and brilliant imagery. This method is highly technical, requires special equipment, and is typically done by t-shirt professionals.
DTF Printing vs. Other Customization Methods
Not all printing methods are the same. Thankfully, there are distinct differences in each process for creating custom t-shirts. While each has its merits, here are a few differences between DTF printing and other customization options.
DTF Printing vs. Screen Printing
Screen printing is a highly popular method for creating custom t-shirts by a t-shirt professional. With screen printing, the image is built layer by layer using screens that filter shapes and colors. While this method can be effective for simple images or minimal designs, it does have its limitations.
DTF printing offers highly detailed images because of the nature of the film and ink used. Because the designs are printed directly onto the fabric, there is practically no limit to the design detail you can produce. If you're looking for a detailed image or complicated artwork, DTF printing may be better.
DTF Printing vs. Heat Press
Heat press, or vinyl printing, is widely available and popular. Countless home crafters and t-shirt designers utilize heat pressing because little equipment is required. Typically, a vinyl-pressed shirt only requires a heat source, a die-cut machine, and a flat surface. This makes this method easy and available to a wide range of t-shirt designers.
However, vinyl pressing is limited to solid colors or patterns for the vinyl. This can deter t-shirt designers from wanting more variety in their design and our work. DTF printing offers the detail and options to add variety to your t-shirt design.
Best Shirts for DTF Printing
Hanes, Gildan, and Fruit of the Loom are absolute mainstays. Let's give shout-outs to some of our picks for the best t-shirts for DTF printing!
Naturally, the list could go on and on. Be sure to check out more options for DTF printing at T-Shirt Wholesaler.