Can I Use an Inkjet Printer for DTF Printing | Explained

Direct-to-film (DTF) printing has become the most popular printing process in recent times. DTF printing uses transfer film in which the design is printed on a special film, and then it is transferred onto fabric or other materials using a heat press. However, this new printing method requires printers with special features to produce exceptional designs. In this blog post, we’ll answer the question of whether an inkjet printer can be used for DTF printing and provide guidelines on how to use it.

Guidelines Use an Inkjet Printer for DTF Printing

Following are the guidelines to use an Inkjet Printer for DTF Printing.

First, it’s essential to understand that an inkjet printer can be used for DTF printing. However, you must consider the following factors. In terms of ink type, DTF printing requires special inks, not regular inkjet inks. DTF inks are developed to achieve better results, and they work well with transfer films. DTF inks adhere appropriately to the transfer film, allowing the design to transfer onto the fabric efficiently.

Another factor to consider is the print head technology. DTF printing requires a Piezo print head suitable for printing on transfer films. These print heads have better ink droplet control, which gives you a more accurate print. Piezo print heads are standard among Epson printers and are commonly used in high-end printers for commercial purposes.

When it comes to choosing an inkjet printer for DTF printing, it’s best to go with large-format printers because they are designed for printing larger images. With a large-format printer, you can print on larger transfer films, which can save you time and material costs. Most large-format printers have a higher ink capacity and a wider print width, which makes them ideal for printing larger designs.

DTF printing requires that the transfer film be loaded into the printer in a particular way. Therefore, it would help if you used an inkjet printer with a straight-through paper path. This feature helps you load the transfer film from the back of the printer and feed it out without bending, ensuring optimal print quality.

Finally, it’s important to note that DTF printing requires a high-quality transfer film. The transfer film must be designed for DTF printing and be compatible with the inkjet printer’s settings. When purchasing a transfer film, look for a film with a thick carrier that can hold the ink and prevent it from seeping into the fabric.

Steps to Set Up an Inkjet Printer for DTF Printing

Here are many steps that keeps in mind for DTF printing

Choose Your Printer

To begin with, you will need an inkjet printer. Epson and Canon are the popular brands for DTF printing. However, not all inkjet printers can handle DTF printing. We recommend using a printer with Eco-solvent inks that offer better color vibrancy, which is crucial in producing high-quality prints.

Choose Your Software

To set up your inkjet printer for DTF printing, you will need software to control the printer. RIP software is mostly used in the DTF printing process and helps you print accurate, high-quality designs. Some popular RIP software options include Wasatch, AccuRIP, and ONYX.

Acquisition of Film

You will need to invest in DTF-specific transparent films to get started with DTF printing. When choosing films, you should pick the one with an adhesive layer and surface tension that can withstand the inks. Look for films that offer a smooth surface for better accuracy. We recommend using DTF films from reputable suppliers for the best quality.

Configure Your Printer Settings

After acquiring all the necessary materials, you should input the correct settings to the inkjet printer. To print DTF films, you should configure the resolution, ink density, and halftone settings of your printer. It would be best if you did a test print to ensure everything is set up correctly before you start printing.

Print, Cure, and Transfer

After setting up your inkjet printer for DTF printing, the next step is to print on the DTF film. This is done by attaching the film to the printer and adjusting the settings as per the instructions. After printing, you should cure the design using a heat press or a special curing unit. Finally, you can transfer the design onto the garment by subjecting the cured film to high pressure and high heat.


In conclusion, using an inkjet printer for DTF printing is possible, but you must consider several factors, including the type of ink, print head technology, large-format capacity, straight-through paper path, and transfer film quality. When all of these factors are taken into account, you can use an inkjet printer for DTF printing and produce exceptional designs. It is essential to note that while inkjet printers can print on transfer films, DTF inks are mandatory to produce vibrant colors and clear designs. With these guidelines, you can achieve the best DTF printing results with your inkjet printer.

FAQs related to can i use inkjet printer for DTF

Here are some FAQs related to can i use inkjet printer for dtf.

Can I use an inkjet printer for DTF printing?

Yes, you can. However, it depends on the type of inkjet printer you have. DTF printing requires special inks that are not commonly used in regular printers. Most inkjet printers use water-based inks while DTF printing needs eco-solvent or solvent-based inks. Thus, to do DTF printing, you need to have a printer that accommodates these types of inks.

Can I use any paper for DTF printing?

No, you can’t. DTF printing requires you to print a design on a special transfer paper. The transfer paper should have a coating that allows the ink to bond properly with the substrate. Using regular copy paper won’t work, and the transfer won’t adhere to the substrate properly. It is advisable to use transfer papers that are specifically designed for DTF printing.

Can I use a fabric dye or any other coloring material instead of ink?

No. It would be best if you used inks that are certified for DTF printing. These inks are formulated to adhere correctly to the transfer paper and bond with the substrate perfectly.

How should I prepare the substrate before printing?

The substrate should be clean, dry, and free of any oils, dust, or debris. Pre-treating the substrate is essential to ensure good adhesion of the transfer. You can use a pre-treatment spray like pre treatments that are used for DTF and DTG printing to prime substrates and secure proper ink and transfer bonding.

Can I print any design for DTF printing?

Yes, you can print any design you want, but it should be compatible with your printer and substrate. For example, if you’re printing on dark-colored fabric, you need to use white ink first as an under base to ensure color accuracy.

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