What is DTF? Find out about UltraColor MAX Direct to Film Transfers at STAHLS'

What You Need to Know About Direct to Film Heat Transfer Technology

STAHLS’ recently launched UltraColor™ MAX Direct to Film Transfers—a revolutionary new decoration method you should be adding to your business. These simple one-step heat transfers are the perfect solution for creating the custom apparel your customers are looking for.

If you’re unfamiliar with what Direct to Film (DTF) technology is, keep reading the excerpt below from Brett Stahl.

By Brett Stahl – This article first appeared in The Apparelist, an online industry publication.

If you are thinking about using Direct to Film transfer, or DTF, technology in your apparel decorating business, there are a few things you need to know. First of all, not all DTF is created equal. What does that mean? Before we take a deeper dive into the differences when it comes to DTF transfers, let’s learn a little more about them.

What Is DTF?

DTF, or Direct to Film, is a new technology which allows users to print designs onto special clear polyester films using digital water-based inks and a powder adhesive coating, which requires curing. After curing, you can then heat press the transfer design directly onto your garment.

How Is Direct to Film Different From DTG?

If you are familiar with DTG, or Direct to Garment printing, you may be wondering about the pros and cons when compared to DTF printing. Both options are digital and require no screens or art separation as required with screen printing. In fact, when DTG was first introduced to the apparel decoration industry, it was applauded as the ultimate solution, especially for printing multi-color designs and low quantities. However, many who jumped on the DTG bandwagon soon learned of the limitations of the DTG process. DTG printers can have steep learning curves, including a complicated pretreatment process. You are also limited to certain garment types and may have limited placement options on each shirt or item. With DTF, there is no pretreatment process, you print directly onto film instead of fabric and you can print your transfers in advance. While there are many advantages of DTF over DTG, some things both processes have in common is the high expense, labor intense artwork prep and time-consuming learning curve. Neither DTG nor DTF will ever replace direct screen printing, but they are both important digital options to consider.

Once a customer sees a properly manufactured and applied DTF transfer, they will be impressed. DTF transfers can be a gateway to expanding your business and saying yes to more orders. However, before you jump into manufacturing them on your own, you may want to try using a professional DTF transfer service provider. As the technology develops there will surely be refined workflows and systems to make it easier for businesses of all sizes and skill.

DTF is really as exciting as it sounds. And UltraColor™ MAX Transfers will allow you to capture a part of the success and open your business up to amazing new opportunities. Read the rest of Brett’s article, All DTF is Not Created Equal: What You Need to Know About Direct to Film Heat Transfer Technology.

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14 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Direct to Film Heat Transfer Technology”

  1. where to purchase transfer paper I got Hp inject do you sell the paper so I could print.no one responded back

  2. Hi I am looking for the primer to be applied on PET film which further will be printed by DTF ink for fabric transfer application,

  3. Hello! We only provide the finished DTF transfers at this time. Thanks for reaching out!

  4. Is the UltraColor™ MAX Direct to Film Transfers ink or toner based?

  5. Hi Ernesto. UCM is a direct to film transfer. Direct to film is a relatively new technology with a different production process than screen printing with plastisol inks or inkjet/toner transfer paper. Thanks for reaching out!

  6. Is DTF a strong print and will it hold up to little league players sliding on their belly

  7. When will Stahls offer kits for DTF printers and transfer stations? I love the quality but sometimes the shipping window (even though a few days) is a killer…

  8. Hi Drew! Given that DTF printing is a new technology with many limitations, it’s hard to say when we will offer this. We currently do not sell at home DTF printers due to the high start-up costs, required filtration and ventilation, and lack of maintenance and support available. To learn more about DTF printers vs. transfers, check out our ebook Printing Money on Demand- Everything You Need to Know About Direct-to-Film Transfers. Thanks for reading along!

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