What is a DTF Transfer?

What is a dtf transfer?

What is a DTF Transfer? - Everything About DTF Transfers

With the ever-changing and evolving textile industry, particularly in printing methods, incredible techniques have emerged. It is now possible to create colorful patterns, shapes, and especially design t-shirts using various printing methods. One of the latest wonders of technology, the Direct to Film (DTF) transfers, has gained considerable popularity among the younger generation and is frequently used in printed t-shirts and sweatshirts. So in short, DTF stands out as one of the newest printing methods. In this article, we answer the question "What is a DTF Transfer?" for those curious about the DTF method and explain the entire Direct to Film technology with its main features.


Continue reading the article to discover why you should choose the direct to film transfer which offers greater convenience and simplicity compared to traditional transfer printing methods!

What is a DTF Transfer? - DTF Transfer Meaning

The application known as DTF, which stands for "direct to film" is commonly utilized on various textile products such as t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and more. You can easily print on fabrics such as cotton, silk, polyester, linen, and leather using DTF printers.

Usage areas of DTF printing;

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Blouses
  • Bags
  • Hats
  • Towels
  • Jersey
  • Mask
  • Tote bag

Regarding the DTF printing method, it can be stated that it combines elements from sublimation, DTG, and White Toner methods. With the Direct to Film transfer method, you can benefit from the advantages of each printing technique. 

The DTF transfer method is used in various industries, ranging from small businesses to large brands, where there is a need for printing. In the clothing sector, we often come across prints in the form of labels, design visuals, logos, and names. Particularly in recent years, it has become popular to have slogans, popular phrases, and quotes on products. Therefore, the DTF transfer process can be used not only to reflect a brand but also to make dressing more fun with the help of a DTF transfer printer.

What are the Advantages of DTF printing?

DTF transfer and printing machines differ from other traditional transfer methods with their numerous features.

DTF printers have the following characteristics:

  • They have a specially designed ink system to deliver high-quality prints.
  • The colored ink tanks operate according to the CMYK color model. DTF printers typically have four separate ink tanks for black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.
  • They are compatible with heat presses. Heat and pressure can be applied using a heat press.
  • They can produce sharp, detailed, and high-resolution prints.
  • They offer the ability to print quickly, allowing for more prints in a shorter amount of time.
  • DTF printer models provide user-friendly interfaces for ease of use.
  • DTF printers are compatible with a wide range of materials.

What Are The Disadvantages of DTF Printers?

Limited to CMYK colors: DTF printers rely on the CMYK color model and can only use four primary colors. Unlike traditional printing methods, you do not have the freedom to use any color you desire. 

Impact of design size on fabric drape: Printing a large design on a fabric can affect its flexibility and drape. To maintain the fabric’s natural movement, you may prefer using smaller prints for your shirts and sweats. 

Altered fabric texture: DTF prints can sometimes alter the texture of the fabric. Particularly with larger prints, the printer era may feels stiffer compared to the rest of it. 

How To Print DTF Transfers?

DTF printing is a highly enjoyable process for both businesses and individual use. During DTF transfer, there are certain points that need to be considered. By executing the printing steps properly and paying attention to the details while using your DTF transfer printer, you can achieve high-quality results.

The general steps to prepare for DTF printing are as follows:

  1. Firstly, you need to decide on the surface on which you will be printing and create a suitable design for that surface. You can either draw your own design digitally or use a pre-made design.
  2. Next, you need to feed your design into the DTF printer. The DTF printer uses inkjet technology to transfer the design onto a PET film.
  3. During the transfer process, the PET film, onto which ink is sprayed, is placed onto the surface where the printing will be done. It's important to ensure that the chosen PET film is suitable for DTF printing.
  4. The transfer process is carried out using heat and pressure. Once the PET film is placed onto the material, the applied heat and pressure allow the ink to pass through the PET film and onto the material.
  5. Please note that the DTF printing process may involve additional steps and considerations depending on the specific equipment and materials being used.
  6. During the transfer, apply medium pressure at 320°F/160°C for 15 seconds.
  7. After a 15-second cooling period, you can remove the transfer film from the shirt.
  8. Let the shirt cool down for 15 seconds. Then, apply heat again for 15 seconds using the provided parchment paper.

What you’ll need for DTF transfers?

DTF Printers: 

Understanding your printers well will help you achieve better results in DTF transfers. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge about the features of your DTF printers. Taking a closer look at these printers also allows you to better understand the differences between traditional printing methods and DTF printing methods.

DTF printers are equipped with colored ink tanks and operate using CMYK settings. The ink used in these printers is specifically designed for this principle of operation. With DTF printers, you can easily achieve the desired print because they are known for their superior print quality, and the application process is also quite straightforward.

PET Films: 

PET films are used in DTF printers. These films, with a thickness of 0.75mm, are excellent materials that effectively transfer your designs onto products after applying heat and pressure. They are also known as DTF transfer films. When purchasing PET films, you can find them in small sheets for individual use or in large rolls for business purposes, allowing you to choose the most suitable PET film for your operations.


DTF printers utilize specially designed DTF inks, which are the best option for your prints.


You need a product to perform DTF printing. In the first step, you should determine the product you want to print on. Various textile products such as t-shirts, masks, bags, or other suitable materials can be chosen.

Heat Press: 

You require a heat press to perform DTF printing. The heat press is used to transfer the designs on the PET films onto the desired surface for printing. Heat and pressure facilitate the transfer process.


You can use ready-made designs or create custom designs in a digital environment using design software. Transfer your design to the DTF printer to perform the printing.

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