Direct-to-Film Transfers: Customize Almost Anything - Ninja Transfers

Direct-to-Film Transfers: Customize Almost Anything

Direct to Film printing is a new, exciting printing method that’s taking the custom apparel industry by storm. DTF transfers put the power of easy, affordable t-shirt customization in your hands. Easily applied to almost any material, they are exceptionally vibrant, versatile, and long-lasting. Let’s dive into the specifics to see how businesses and individuals can use this new technology.

What is a DTF transfer?

A Direct to Film (DTF) transfer is a design printed onto a film that can then be applied to heat and pressure. DTF transfers offer a wide range of benefits versus other heat transfer methods like screen printed, dye sublimation and vinyl.

Popular DTF Transfer Products

Versatlily is one of Direct to Film printing’s greatest strengths. We’ve found that transfers can be applied to almost every type of garment or accessory, including:

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Tank tops
  • Polos
  • Bags
  • Hats
  • Aprons
  • Towels

What are DTF transfers used for?

  • Merch - DTF is an excellent option for merch tables because the exact color and size of the shirt requested can be heat-pressed at the time of sale, eliminating inventory issues.
  • Retail sales - DTF transfers are accurate, detailed, and durable, making them an ideal way to print apparel for resale. The print colors are accurate to the design and will hold up after washing.
  • Company shirts - DTF is the way to go when outfitting your staff with work shirts and ensuring your branding is clear and prominent. This print method works on any type of fabric or garment, and you can easily position your logo anywhere you like.
  • Team uniforms - DTF can now be used for both sides of team shirts, replacing screen-printed front and vinyl names and numbers on the back. Plus, you can apply it yourself at home.
  • Events - DTF transfer printing allows you to customize your promotional items on the fly. Simply set up a heat press at an event and create one-of-a-kind mementos for prospective customers.
  • Gifts - Using DTF for customized gifts adds personalization and thoughtfulness to ordinary items that friends and family will cherish for years.

How DTF transfers are applied

Applying DTF transfers is a simple, uncomplicated process. Although they can be applied using either a heat press or a regular hand iron, basic steps remain largely the same:

  1. Prepare the Shirt - Mount the shirt on the press ensure a smooth surface. Preheat the shirt to eliminate any moisture
  2. Place the Transfer - Position the DTF transfer as desired
  3. Print the Shirt - Apply medium pressure at 320°F / 160°C for 15 seconds
  4. Remove the Film - Allow the shirt to cool for 15 seconds & remove the transfer film
  5. Cure the Design - Allow the shirt to cool for 15 seconds & reapply heat for 15 seconds with the included parchment paper

Applying a DTF Transfer Using a Heat Press

Benefits of DTF transfers

  • Affordability - Direct-to-film transfers are an affordable way to customize apparel and other items
  • Versatility - While most printing methods are limited to certain fabrics, DTF transfers can be pressed onto almost any type
  • Durability - DTF prints hold up over many washes, especially if you avoid hot water, hot dry, and harsh detergents.
  • Color range - DTF transfers support a wide range of colors, blends, and gradients without additional costs
  • Detail accuracy - The level of detail achieved with DTF is unrivaled in the printing industry and has been a total game-changer
  • Ease and simplicity - Nothing is easier than getting films in the mail and pressing them yourself at home
  • Placement options - Unlike other methods, Direct to Film transfers can be applied to unique print locations


Drawbacks of DTF transfers

  • CMYK only - While traditional screen printing allows the freedom to print any color imaginable, DTF printing (as well as DTG) is limited to a 4-color process known as CMYK. That being said, CMYK can replicate most colors and color ranges needed.
  • Large prints affect drape - Pressing a design that covers a large area of a garment can result in a vinyl-like surface that affects the flexibility of the fabric.
  • Different hand feel - Similar to the drape issue, some find that the hand feel of a large DTF print is a bit too stiff. However, this can be remedied by resizing or adjusting the design to allow more of the shirt's surface to show.

Sample Business Uses of DTF Transfers

DTF transfers have emerged as a high-quality, flexible, and economical way to customize apparel. While DTF printing is not perfect for every application, its benefits far outweigh the drawbacks for most individuals, businesses and organizations. Here are just a few examples:

Experimental Apparel Designers

Successful clothing designers must constantly test which designs sell best and DTF printing can help. DTF transfers give designers the flexibility to test different designs by customizing garments only when ordered. The result is selling more apparel that people want.

Cost Conscious Clothing Retailers

DTF transfers can help retailers more effectively manage their inventory. The Inventory Turnover Ratio measures how efficiently a retailer uses its inventory and customizing apparel with DTF transfers as needed will significantly improve it. Ultimately retailers reduce costs and make more money with DTF printing.

Expanding B2B Print Shop

Successful business-to-business print shops look for profitable ways to improve customer service and DTF transfers are a natural fit. Not only are transfers easy to store, but they can be quickly applied using standard equipment. Expanding a shop's available printing methods with DTF transfers helps them retain existing customers, sell more jobs and increase revenue.


Are DTF transfers right for you?

In short, this latest print technology is helpful for anyone in the business of customizing apparel, whether for company branding, merch, resell, or hobby and craft projects. The color range, unmatched detail, consistency, and ease of use make DTF an exciting new choice for everyone.

Check out our services and get started on your project today.

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