Learn about DTF heat transfers

Direct To Film Transfers | The Basics

Have you been wondering what all the hype is about with direct to film transfers? Well, we are going to fill you in the basics of what you need to know. 

In the custom apparel industry, heat transfers have become increasingly popular due to their versatility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of application. Direct-to-film heat transfers offer a unique approach to creating vibrant and durable designs on shirts and other materials. Whether you're a business owner, a DIY enthusiast, or simply curious about this printing method, this blog will guide you through everything you need to know about direct-to-film heat transfers for shirts.


Understanding Direct-to-Film Heat Transfers:

Direct-to-film heat transfers involve the process of printing a design directly onto a special heat transfer film using a digital printer. The film is then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure, resulting in a permanent bond between the film and the shirt.

Advantages of Direct-to-Film Heat Transfers:

  • -Vibrant and Detailed Designs: Direct-to-film transfers can produce intricate and high-resolution designs with vibrant colors and fine details. You can see some of those designs HERE.
  • Autism Design
  •  Durability: These transfers are known for their excellent washability and longevity, making them ideal for long-lasting designs.
  • Versatility: Direct-to-film transfers can be applied to various fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and blends, expanding the possibilities for customization. We’ve used DTF on wood, acrylic, metal and so much more.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to other printing methods like screen printing, direct-to-film transfers are cost-effective for small to medium-sized orders. Especially when needing full color designs.
The Process of Direct-to-Film Heat Transfers:
  • Design Creation: Start by creating or choosing a design using graphic design software. Ensure that the design is suitable for direct printing onto a heat transfer film.
  • Printing: Use a digital printer equipped with specialized ink for direct-to-film transfers to print the design onto the heat transfer film.
  • Cutting: Trim the excess film around the design using a cutting plotter or scissors, leaving a small margin around the edges for accurate placement.
  • Preparing the Shirt: Pre-heat the shirt to remove moisture and wrinkles, ensuring a smooth surface for the transfer.
  • Application: Place the transfer onto the shirt with the design facing up. Apply heat and pressure using a heat press machine for the specified time and temperature.
  • Cooling and Peeling: Allow the transfer to cool down before carefully peeling off the film, revealing the transferred design.
  • You can see our specific pressing instructions HERE.
Tips for Successful Direct-to-Film Heat Transfers:
  • Storage and Shelf Life: Store unused heat transfer films in a cool and dry environment to maintain their quality. Respect the specified shelf life to avoid using expired films.
Maintenance and Care of Direct-to-Film Heat Transfers:
  • Wait Before Washing: Allow the transferred design to cure for at least 24 hours before washing the garment.
  • Washing Instructions: Wash the shirt inside out using a mild detergent and cold water. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that may damage the design.
  • Drying and Ironing: It is generally recommended to air-dry shirts with heat transfers. If ironing is necessary, use a low-temperature setting or place a cloth between the iron and the design to prevent damage. 

Direct-to-film heat transfers offer a versatile and cost-effective method for creating vibrant and durable designs on shirts. Whether you're a business looking to offer custom apparel or an individual with a penchant for DIY projects, understanding the process and following the recommended guidelines will help you achieve outstanding results. With the right materials, equipment, and care, you can enjoy the benefits of direct-to-film heat transfers to personalize your shirts with stunning and long-lasting designs. 

You can shop all our direct to film transfers HERE! If you need assistance please reach out info@griffinexpressions.com or come by the store 1580 Wells Rd. Orange Park, FL 32073

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