August 22, 2022

What Makes Direct-to-Film a Revolutionary Process

A breakdown of materials, the process,
and why you should consider adding DTF.

Direct-to-film, or most commonly referred to as DTF, is a revolutionary embellishment process.

What makes this technology so remarkable is for the first time in my 26 years as an embellishment educator and printer, we have an affordable, no-limitation transfer option. Let me explain.

Basic Benefits

Using the right mix of the printer and consumables (explained later in the article) or DTF print provider service, we can create full-color transfers with no color or textile limitations and without artwork limitations, no weeding, and that are soft to the hand. There’s no pre-treating, no true two-step process, no/limited heat concerns, transfers are printed at high speeds and at low cost. Plus, they are nearly indestructible (I’ve heard reports of 50 to 75-plus washed with little to no fad) and can either be made in house or quickly delivered from print providers.

Think about that. One process, for all color garments, nearly all textiles (poly, cottons, blends, nylon, leather, spandex, etc.) that can be applied at temps from 250-310-plus F with as little as five-second dwell time on certain fabrics. (Note: Always test and check with your supplier for time, temps, and pressure recommendations. Results will vary — it takes time to dial in, but when you get it, your got it!).

I love heat transfer vinyl (HTV), but take away 50-90% of the labor, cut the cost by 30-75%, and remove artwork limitations while creating as soft or in most cases, a much softer hand, and DTF is going to win almost every time. This does not mean you toss away your print/cut devices, just be aware of the best new way to decorate apparel and textiles.

Dye-sublimation is the bees’ knees when it comes the feel or hand of a transfer. I am partners in a dye-sub print cut-and-sew/decorating company, but this process does not allow for the number-one requested apparel item: a printed black/dark cotton T-shirt or hoodie. The heat needed for sublimation also eliminates a lot of low-temperature transfer opportunities.

Now, for a small-medium investment, every dye-sub shop has an option to address decorating needs for all apparel and textiles!

For about a $1 per sq. ft. or less, you can produce these transfers in-house using high-quality materials. Ordering transfers from service providers clients can expect to pay about $3.00-$7.50-plus per sq. ft. or sheet. This low-cost, high-quality transfer has led to a boom in people offering transfers as a service. A commercial DTF printer can print at 50-150-plus sq. ft. per hour, creating a revenue stream of $100-$500-plus per hour offering DTF printing services per machine (before labor and overhead). You can expect to spend about $20,000-$30,000-plus on a good commercial set-up from a reputable supplier.

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August 17, 2022

Invited Sponsor Showcases DTF Printer/Laser Cutting Options at Printing United’s Apparel Zone

For Immediate release:

East Peoria, Ill. — has been asked to be the invited sponsor of the DTF area of the Hands-on Apparel Training Zone at the Printing United Expo, to be held October 19-21, 2022, in Las Vegas. Matt Gusse, the founder who has worked several “training zones” at shows throughout the years, says the company was invited to be a sponsor because of its good track record in the past of providing a non-aggressive approach to the educational experience that others may be lacking if the “zones” are wrongfully used as a selling experience.

“The concept of the Apparel Zone is that it’s intended to be a very educational, hands-on approach,” Gusse says. “It’s made up of several areas covering all of the apparel decorating processes, and DTF2U is managing the DTF portion. We will be working alongside sponsors Kodak, CADlink/ EFI and Hotronix.”

“We will be running CADlink Digital factory RIP software and have CADlink/EFI and Kodak personnel who will be working with us,” he adds. “We’ll be running Kodak’s new Kodacolor consumable solution, which means we’ll be using their film, ink and powder on our MACH IV branded machine. Our core press partner, Hotronix, will be providing the heat press machines.

We want the attendees to move everything from the keyboard to applying the transfer; scratch, sniff, feel and maybe even go through some of the maintenance procedures on the equipment.”

In this specific hands-on, micro-factory experience, is showcasing an all-inclusive printing and cutting solution — the first time in North America that decorators will see a printing and finishing solution for DTF transfers, Gusse says. “We’re bringing a DTF printer, Hotronix heat presses and a brand-new laser that will be cutting printed transfers in line to show an automated cutting solution because the Printing United crowd typically is made up of volume decorators.” The commercial printer it’s bringing is branded as the DTF2U MACH IV printer because of its speed and because it prints with four heads. It’s a 4-foot machine paired with the laser so we can print and cut wide, he says.

The Hands-on Apparel Training Zone is located in the Central Hall in booth C8915.’s exhibit booth also is located in the Central Hall in C11212. is a premier provider of direct-to-film solutions and services for the textile, promotional products, printers, sign and display industries. The company offers efficient DTF equipment that it has researched and tested to ensure the products are reliable and productive. is headquartered in East Peoria, Ill., and has a satellite office in Lakeland, Fla.;