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You may currently be finding yourself in the position I was in around a year ago.
I’d heard DTF being banded around, it sounds a lot like DTG so it must be related? Probably producing equally poor results?
So basically, unless you are only producing niche prints with special effects, DTF is the way forward.
Direct-to-film printers, perhaps unsurprisingly, print direct to a PET film. The colour layer is produced first with the white underbase being printed on top.
This print is passed through the shaker which applies a non-toxic adhesive powder to the printed area before curing the print and outputing a ready to use transfer.
The adhesive is heat activated so isn’t in the slighest bit tacky at room temperature. The transfers can be cut, rolled up, stacked and handled without any issues.
Simply trim the transfer to the appropriate size and press. No need to be accurate, the film leaves no residue and a pair of scissors or paper trimmer does the job fine.
We press with medium pressure at 150C for 15 seconds but you can drop the temp down as far as 120C and press for longer without issues.
Once pressed just remove the film, immdidately for hot peel or after cooling for cool peel, and done.
The film is PET which is 100% recyclable so no single use plastics here.
We know, DTG (not DTF) printers suffered from awful washed out prints. If you put too much white underbase down it would bleed and the colour layer would pool and streak.
DTG printing was about finding out how washed out the customer would accept the prints.
And don’t even try getting a nice bright solid block of a colour.
Even with pre-treat, garments are far from an ideal print media. In fact they are about as bad as could be imagined.
DTF printers print to something that’s supposed to be printed on. The end result is a bright, vibrant print with none of the limitations DTG imposes.
It depends on size and coverage. Using Kingjet film and inks an average would be around £3 / linear metre.
You might have 100 small prints on that metre, you might have a few larger prints.
We found the cost to be SIGNIFICANTLY lower than DTG ( Kingjet DTF ink costs less), vinyl (a fraction of the wastage and no weeding), sublimation (DTF can press onto standard garments) and screen printing (unless the quantity is very, very high and the number of colours is low the screen costs are insane).
Yes, I’ve also seen modified desktop printers availabe for £2,000 – £4,000. For years the DTG (not DTF) printers sold to businesses were simply modified desktop printers.
We’ve got through more than our fair share of these Frankenstein printers over the years.
With even these DTG printers going for £15,000 it’s unsurprising that a cottage industry sprung up building cheaper versions from the £750 printers they where constructed from.
As the DTG (not DTF) market died a few homebrew DTF printers have appeared.
The DTF process simply doesn’t work to any sort of reasonable standard on a single head machine. Passing a wet sheet of PET film through the printer multiple times just makes a mess.
You also get the pleasure of applying your own adhesive in a cat litter try.
But don’t worry, you won’t have to do it long as the consumer printhead will be dead before you know it and you’ll be throwing the entire contraption in the bin.
If you don’t have enough demand to justify a professional DTF printer just purchase your DTF prints on demand. They are with you next day and yes, we can help you with that:
Click here -> Trade DTF on demand prints
Honestly, don’t waste your time or your money on homebrew.
I’m glad you asked that.
Kingjet machines use Epson I3200 printheads, just like our competitors, they use the exact same industrial control boards as our competitors, they are built around the same chasis as our competitors, and they use the same inks as our competitors.
We offer the best customer service in the industry and we have, we believe, the largest team of engineers in the UK.
So what’s the difference?
1ClickPrint has always been about fair pricing and, up to now, businesses have been over charged for their DTF equipment.
DTF printers really are a revolution and we believe that artificially inflating the price so only a select few can benefit only hurts the industry in the long run.