What Kind of Printer Do I Need for DTF Transfers?

what do you need for dtf printing_best dtf printer for startup

Choosing the right DTF printer is crucial. It ensures efficient, high-quality prints and cuts long-term costs. Since then, choosing the right DTF printer is difficult. Here are several important factors to remember:

  1. Demand: First, consider your printing needs, such as how many pieces of clothing you want to print daily.
  2. Budget: You need to consider a reasonable budget range. Then, choose the right printer in the range.
  3. Brand Reputation: You can choose brands with a certain degree of popularity. Typically, they offer superior quality and better after-sales support.
  4. Reference Reviews: Before purchasing, you can check some third-party reviews or user reviews.
  5. Function Selection: Evaluate different printer models to determine which one best suits your requirements. Consider printing speed, print quality, white ink cycle, and consumable cost.

Understanding DTF Transfers

DTF transfer is a direct-to-film printing method. It stands out from other printing techniques due to its unique process and advantages. Understanding the DTF printing process is essential. It is key for making great prints.

What is DTF Printing?

DTF stands for Direct To Film. This technique involves printing your design onto a film. You then transfer it to a cotton, polyester, or blender T-shirt, no matter their color. It can work with white ink.

DTF VS Screen Printing

The operation is simpler. DTF printing uses few materials and takes little time. Prototypes can be made and shipped quickly. Import the design drawing into the software.

Then, connect the printer to print on the PET film. After, transfer it to the clothes. Starting a business with DTF is easier. This type of printing needs much less equipment than screen printing.

There is no minimum order quantity, whereas most screen printers have one; A design can feature any number of colors without limitation. Thin lines and small fonts are not a problem. Print quality is generally rated higher than DTG printing.

However, for large orders, the cost exceeds that of screen printing. It is also time-consuming as most heat press machines can only handle 2-4 pieces of clothing at a time.

If your order is not very large, this should be no problem, but larger orders may take longer than expected.

DTF vs. Sublimation Printing

DTF printing and sublimation printing are both widely used in the printing industry, yet they possess unique characteristics. Sublimation primarily targets light-colored polyester fabrics.

DTF works with many fabric types and colors.DTF prints generally offer richer and brighter colors compared to sublimation prints, although the latter can sometimes achieve slightly higher vividness.

Recommended Printers for DTF Transfers

12-inch/A3 DTF Bundle

Model: DTF Printer L-402+Powder Shaker A-402

This is our Superior Bundle-Profitable product, suitable for brand starter customized T-shirts. Hoson Mainboard, double Epson I1600 print heads, achieving stable printing performance and high-resolution quality.

China best DTF printer_12 inch A3 DTF printer bundle

24 inch/60cm DTF Bundle

DTF Printer A-602 +Powder Shaker H-652

Advanced Bundle is suitable for Fashion design companies, Advertising companies, Small scale factories, and physical stores.

24 inch/60cm 4 head DTF Bundle

DTF Printer B-8048+Powder Shaker H-6502

High-Speed Mass Production Bundle suitable for Fast fashion clothing companies, B2B B2C clothing factories, High-Volume Factory

DTF printer for shirts_24 inch 60cm 4 head DTF Bundle

What Do I Need To Print DTF Transfers?

RIP Software:

Necessary to print CMYK and white-coloured layers correctly

DTF Printers:

It is built to accommodate PET film and DTF inks that are used in printing.

DTF Inks:

Special ink formulations are essential. They stick well to the PET film and keep designs sharp.

DTF Film:

Selecting dependable, high-quality films can be crucial. They improve the final output.

DTF Powder:

The type of adhesive powder used is key. It determines both short-term looks, like smoothness, and long-term durability.

The right amount, curing method, and physical properties create a balance. They let us get ideal grip strength without harming either surface. The surfaces are the printed pattern side and the reverse/bare white area.

They also keep needed flexibility (e.g., for wearables) in non-stiff fabrics. This balance is critical when laminating.

Heat Press:

Heat presses are crucial in DTF printing. They transfer images from the film onto substrates and activate the adhesive on the DTF film. This ensures proper bonding between transfers and garments.


Q1: What kind of printer do I need for DTF transfers?

DTF transfers need white ink. Laser printers can’t print it. Inkjet printers are the preferred choice for this purpose.

Q2: What resolution should the printer have for DTF transfers?

Many traditional inkjet printers can be used for DTF transfers. But, they may need extra modifications or special inks. They are cost-effective. However, they might not offer the same quality or consistency as specialized DTF printers.

Q3: What should the printer’s resolution be for DTF transfers?

Different passes have different resolutions. We use Epson industry heads, high print quality. 1080dpi/1440dpi/1200dpi/1800dpi/2400dpi

Q4: Can a laser printer be used for DTF transfers?

No, laser printers are not suitable for DTF transfers. DTF transfers require the ability to print with white ink.

Q5: Can any printer be converted to DTF?

While not every printer can be adapted for DTF, several models are indeed compatible with this printing technique. 

Q6: Are there particular steps one should take when converting a printer to DTF? 

Clean the printer by removing dust, debris, and any clogs. Remove the ink cartridges as they are not compatible with DTF printing and may damage your printer. Install a printhead that is compatible with DTF printing, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Load the printer with DTF film and powder.