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Whether you are a seasoned product decorator or a newcomer, we could all benefit from a quick rundown of the essential DTF supplies and products that should be on hand for when we want to print on everyday useful items, such as t-shirts, hoodies, caps, bags, mousepads, keychains, coasters, and the like.
So, ask yourself: Have you picked up all the necessary supplies and products for DTF printing? Or… is there still something left on the list?…
… It can be a lot to keep track of, especially when you’re in the midst of a new project. Your head is down and focused on the task at hand. And whenever you run out of something, you simply reorder it.
We get it.
But at times, thinking, planning, and anticipating needs ahead can save you (and your team) time, money, and some serious stress down the line.
So, let’s get our stuff together!
Let us help with that by giving you our list of must-buy items for DTF printing. And while we’re at it, let’s also learn the basics of why they’re important, how they work, and where to get them.
Now, before we roll into the good stuff, let’s have a quick refresher on what DTF is. At its core, DTF (direct-to-film) printing is a process that transfers a design from a printed film to a garment using heat.
Simple as it may sound, the entire process relies heavily on the interplay of various supplies – from inks to adhesives, from films to the final heat application.
And that’s what we’re here to talk about today.
You haven’t forgotten about this one, have you? DTF inks should be high on your list of buys! They use up quickly, especially so when your printer is running 5 days a week and churning out prints for every hour it works.
But here’s the good news, you can replenish your stock through our website!
We offer the standard CMYK print colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and even white. You have the option to choose between bags and bottles, available in sizes of up to 500ml!
And let’s not forget that these are NOT your regular inks. They are specifically formulated to bond effectively with the transfer film and, subsequently, the fabric. This means designs won’t fade, peel, or crack after tons of washes or when left in the sun.
We have more DTF supplies and products to go through, so let’s move on to the next one.
You’ll definitely want to get some transfer films as well. After all, the printer needs something to apply the ink to! And luckily, transfer films are not just made for that, but they also make it possible to carry your design over to the fabric or store it for later use.
What we found, what makes a great transfer film, is its quality — how it retains all its details and colors. It should have an even coating, and be resistant to melting or tearing, and should release the ink smoothly onto the fabric.
This brings us to the next supply — powder adhesives.
At number three on our list are powder adhesives. For a simple illustration of how it works, let’s take the same transfer film we just talked about. Once the design is printed onto this film, powder adhesive is applied. This adhesive then melts during the heat press process, allowing the design to firmly bond with the fabric. The quality and type of adhesive ensure the longevity of the print on the garment and its resistance to washing and wear.
As we’ve touched on heat press in this section, it makes sense for us to take a closer look at it next.
Next up on the checklist is a heat press machine. While not a consumable supply like inks or films, a reliable heat press machine is vital for the DTF process. It ensures that the design is transferred to the fabric under consistent heat and pressure, vital for the durability and vibrancy of the print.
Jump ahead if you want to learn how to take care of and maintain your equipment!
Last but not least, let’s touch on the importance of maintaining DTF printers. These sophisticated machines, like all others, require regular care and the use of specialized cleaning solutions and tools. There are plenty of components that need routine attention, including the printer head, nozzles, platen, cover, control panel, and other parts. This maintenance not only ensures consistent print quality but also extends the machine’s lifespan.
To wrap this up, there’s a common theme running through this article, and it’s this: the tools and supplies you use are directly proportional to the results you’ll achieve! Cutting corners with subpar materials can lead to compromised print quality, increased wastage, voided warranties, and dissatisfied customers. Investing in premium DTF supplies is an investment in the very essence of the print – its vibrancy, durability, and overall appeal. When it comes to DTF, there’s no substitute for quality.
For one-on-one help simply call 800-891-1094 or live chat with one of our pros!
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