Article: Perfecting DTF / FTF printing: the 7-step guide

A comprehensive 7-step guide to perfecting DTF / FTF printing

May 03, 2024

This comprehensive 7-step guide navigates through the meticulous steps required to master DTF printing, ensuring impeccable results on both light and dark-coloured garments. 

Buy Kodak DTF / FTF ink, film and powder.

Perfecting DTF / FTF printing: the 7-step guide

7-steps to DTF / FTF printing

1. Precise printing

Begin by using a DTF inkjet printer and load Kodak DTF/FTF transfer film onto the paper tray or roll holder. Depending on the shirt colour:

  • For dark shirts: print colour image on the film / print white image layer on top of the colour image.
  • For light shirts: print colour image on the film.

2. Powder application

Achieve uniformity by applying Kodak DTF/FTF hot-melt powder evenly over the wet print. You have the option of using white powder for all applications or selecting black powder for darker designs. This can be done manually in a tray, ensuring complete coverage, or by using an automated commercial shaker for efficiency. Once applied, meticulously remove excess powder.

Buy Kodak Cat. 7494594 DTF - FTF Powder White KODACOLOR.

3. Melting mastery

Activate the powder by either:

  • Placing the film with the printed image and powder in a curing oven at 100-120°C for 2-3 minutes.
  • Alternatively, position the film in a heat press without applying pressure, maintaining a 4 to 7 mm gap between the film and the press top plate. Heat for 3-5 minutes at 140-150°C, ensuring the press remains partially open throughout the process.

4. Fabric preparation

Before transferring the image, pre-press the fabric for 2 to 5 seconds. This step flattens the fabric and removes excess humidity, crucial for a successful transfer from the film.

5. Image transfer

Place the film with the image and melted powder onto the pre-pressed fabric in the heat press. Apply pressure and heat for 10-20 seconds at 160-180°C to firmly bond the image to the fabric.

6. Chill and peel

Allow the fused film and fabric to cool completely. Once cooled, gently separate the film from the fabric, leaving the desired image intact on the fabric surface. 

7. Enhanced performance

For optimal results, conduct a post-pressing procedure to enhance durability and performance parameters such as wash and rub fastness. Re-press the image on the fabric for 10-20 seconds at 160-180°C, ensuring long-lasting quality. 

More information about DTF / FTF printing

With these meticulous steps, you can master the art of DTF printing and achieve professional-grade results with ease. If you need more information please feel free to reach out to our specialists via the contact form.

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