Skip to content
About > DTF Direct to Film

DTF Direct to Film

The latest buzz is DTF print method that is ideal for many t-shirt projects.

What is DTF Printing?

DTF sheet bourbon t-shirt
DTF transfer sheet before printing on t-shirt. Client: Charlotte Bourbon Society

DTF or Direct to Film printing is a two-step digital printing process that uses inkjet technology and heat to produce printed designs on a wide range of promotional and personalized products. During the first step in the process, an inkjet printer applies ink onto a PET film (polyethylene terephthalate) using a four-color overlay CMYK process. Once the design is printed onto the film, an adhesive is applied to the print, then cured with heat. The image is then transferred onto the product surface using a heat press.

This method is often used for smaller runs of printed products and can be carried out on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and nylon. The process produces realistic photo-quality prints that are vibrant in color as well as being durable and long-lasting. It’s a great choice for businesses who need promotional products like T-shirts, flags, banners, koozies, and similar items in smaller quantities.

DTF printing works on any type of fabric, but DTG works best on cotton and sublimation works best on polyester. Size of the order. If you need to print a large number of items quickly, DTG printing is often the best option because it is faster.

Sample of DTF printed t-shirt. Client: Charlotte Bourbon Society

DTF Cost

The cost of purchasing printed products using either method is similar. DTF printing may be slightly cheaper as it doesn’t require the use of transfer paper, but the overall difference in cost is not significant. Costs will vary depending on the type of fabric you are printing on, the size of your order, and the complexity of the design.