It is a digital printing technique that consists of printing a design on a film and then transferring it with a heat press to a fabric or hard substrate. It is a relatively new technology that has quickly gained popularity as you can print high-quality designs on fabrics of any colour made of cotton, polyester, blends and more.
DTF printer: this is a digital printer loaded with special DTF inks to print onto PET film.
DTF ink: this is a special type of ink designed to work with DTF printers and films. It is generally made from water-based pigment ink that has a high viscosity, which makes it easy to adhere to both the film and the final fabric or substrate. Also designed to dry quickly and resist fading, cracking and peeling, even after several washes. Those who already have a DTG system will be pleased to know that they can also use their digital prints with this DTF system.
DTF film: special film for DTF printing that serves as a support for the ink in the intermediate step before it is transferred with the heat press to the final fabric or substrate. It is usually a polyester film coated with a special adhesive layer that allows the ink to adhere to the film.
Hot-melt adhesive powder or DTF powder: it has to be sprinkled on top of the freshly printed print when it has not yet fully dried and can adhere to it. When it is then heat pressed, it melts creating a strong bond that resists washing and other wear conditions.
Heat press machine: used to transfer the design to a fabric or substrate by applying heat and pressure. Available in many different models, depending on the surface and other features expected of them.
RIP software: specialised software that helps to process and prepare the design file for colour optimisation in printing.