In the ever-changing world of textile marking, DTF (Direct To Film) technology has emerged as a major innovation, changing the way designs are printed on various media. At the heart of this revolution are DTF films, essential components that enable precise, durable, edge-free printing. Whether you are a professional in textile customization or simply curious about this technology, this article will guide you through the different types of DTF films, how to choose them, where to find them, and why they have become a go-to choice for many printers. With PrintMyDTF, dive into the fascinating world of DTF films and learn how they can improve your printing projects.
DTF films: composition, characteristics and comparison
Introduction to DTF Movies
DTF (Direct To Film) films are at the heart of DTF printing technology, serving as the medium on which designs are printed before being transferred to textile. This innovation transformed textile marking, offering unparalleled flexibility and quality.
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Composition of films for DTF printing
DTF films are essential elements in the DTF printing process, and their composition is crucial to print quality. Here is an overview of the typical composition and manufacturing process of DTF films:
1 - Support layer
The base of DTF film is often made of a material such as polyester, which provides a stable surface for printing. This layer must be smooth and resistant to ensure uniform printing.
2 - Coating layer
On the support layer, a special coating layer is applied. This layer is formulated to accommodate DTF ink and may contain resins, plasticizers and other components that allow the ink to bond to the film.
3 - Types of films
Depending on the type of film (hot peel, cold peel, matte, double-matte, etc.), the composition of the coating layer may vary. For example, a heat peel film may require a composition that allows for easier removal at elevated temperatures.
3 - Manufacturing process
Manufacturing DTF films typically involves applying the coating layer to the support layer in a controlled environment. This can be done by methods such as coating, where the coating layer is applied evenly to the support layer. The film is then dried and cut to the desired size.
4 - Quality and control
The quality of DTF film depends on the precision of the composition and the manufacturing process. Rigorous quality checks are carried out to ensure that the film meets the standards required for DTF printing.
The composition and manufacture of DTF movies are complex processes that require a thorough understanding of materials and printing techniques. Choosing the right film, suited to the specific application and ink used, is essential to achieving the best printing results.
Different Types of DTF Films: Exploring the Varieties and Uses
DTF films, specifically designed for the Direct To Film printing process, are primarily made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) films. Here is a more detailed exploration of the types and characteristics of these films:
1 - Thickness and Transfer capacities
DTF films are typically around 0.75mm thick, giving them better transfer capabilities compared to films used in screen printing.
2 - Formats
Cut leaves : Available in individual sheets, they are ideal for small scale use.
Rolls : For larger projects, DTF films are also available on rolls.
3 – Coat Types
Cold peeling: These films are peeled at room temperature and can provide more control and precision.
Hot peeling : These films are designed to be peeled hot. These films are generally more expensive but allow for increased productivity.
3 - Heat stability
Some suppliers, like the one you mentioned, offer films laminated on both sides to provide good heat stability of the film. This can be essential to ensure print quality and durability.
Effect films in DTF printing: exploring creative possibilities
Effect films provide an added dimension to DTF printing, enabling visually captivating and unique creations. These films are specially designed to produce various visual and tactile effects. It should be noted, however, that effect films are still very recent on the DTF market and that they are still in the research and development phase with many manufacturers.
Here is an exploration of these innovative films:
1 - Metallic effect films
These films give a shiny, metallic shine (Gold, Silver), adding a touch of luxury or creating eye-catching designs. They may require specific settings on the DTF printer.
2 - Glitter effect films
Incorporating small sequins, these films create a shimmering effect, ideal for fashion clothing and festive designs. Selecting the right ink and printer settings is essential.
3 - Reflective effect films
Reflecting light, these films create a bright, visible effect, used in sports and safety clothing, or to add a unique touch.
3 - Holographic effect films
Rendering a three-dimensional and color-changing effect, these films offer a futuristic appearance and are perfect for modern designs.
Buy DTF movies: where to find and how to choose
Using films supplied by DTF machine manufacturers: advantages and disadvantages
When purchasing a DTF machine, it is common for manufacturers to offer their own transfer films. This option has both advantages and disadvantages that deserve careful consideration:
Advantage: guaranteed compatibility
Using films recommended or provided by the machine manufacturer ensures optimal compatibility. This can reduce the risk of printing errors or machine damage.
Advantage: quality and consistency
DTF machine manufacturers have typically tested and selected the films that work best with their equipment. This can ensure consistent print quality.
Advantage: alternative options
If there is a problem, the manufacturer's technical support will be more familiar with the films they provide, making troubleshooting easier.
Disadvantage: higher cost
Films supplied by the manufacturer may be more expensive than other options available on the market or may lack certain essential features (heat peel).
Disadvantage: less flexibility
Sticking to manufacturer films can limit options in terms of film types (like hot/cold peel, matte, double-matte, etc.) and suppliers.
Depending on location and manufacturer, availability of specific films may be limited, which may affect delivery times and inventory management.
The Cost of DTF Films: Price Analysis and Factors to Consider
The cost of DTF films can vary greatly depending on several factors. Here is a price analysis, with concrete examples to illustrate cost variations:
DTF film sheet prices
Standard sheets : Around €0.50 to €1 per A4 sheet.
Effect sheets : Can cost between €1 and €2 per A4 sheet.
Bulk purchase : A pack of 100 A4 sheets can cost around €50, with discounts possible for larger quantities.
DTF film roll prices
Standard rolls : A roll of 100 meters can vary from €100 to €200, depending on quality.
Effect rollers : Can cost more, between €150 and €250 for a 100 meter roll.
Bulk purchase : Discounts may be available for purchasing multiple rolls, potentially reducing the cost per meter.
DTF film manufacturers
The DTF film market is dominated by manufacturers located primarily in Asia, but there are also options in Europe and America. Here is an overview of DTF film manufacturers and important considerations when selecting a supplier:
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Asian manufacturers: quality pioneers
Quality and price : The majority of DTF film manufacturers are located in China, South Korea, and Japan. They offer a range of products of varying quality, often at competitive prices.
Types of films : These manufacturers offer a wide variety of films, including standard films, effects films, and specific films for hot or cold peeling.
Import Considerations : Buying direct from Asian manufacturers may require careful consideration of shipping costs, delivery times, and customs regulations.
European and American manufacturers: new arrivals
Quality and price : Although fewer in number, some manufacturers in Europe and the United States produce DTF films. Their quality may be comparable to Asian manufacturers, but prices may be slightly higher.
Support and delivery : Buying from local manufacturers can offer benefits in terms of customer support, faster delivery times, and ease of communication.