What do I need for DTF printing | Explained

DTF printing is an innovative technique that has taken the printing world by storm. Unlike traditional printing methods that use ink and toners, DTF printing employs a white under base and special inks to produce bright, vibrant images on various surfaces, including cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blends. If you’re interested in DTF printing, you may be wondering what do i need for DTF printing. This post outlines all the necessary equipment and supplies that you need for DTF printing.

Things You Need For DTF printing

DTF Printing Machine:

The first thing you need to get started with DTF printing is a DTF printing machine. It’s the backbone of your printing setup, and you need to invest in a machine that suits your printing needs, budget, and requirements.

There are several excellent DTF printing machines on the market, and you must choose one that offers features like precise printing, high-quality printing, and easy-to-use controls. The DTF printer typically integrates into your workflow seamlessly, using proprietary rip software or third-party software like Adobe Illustrator, and sends files directly to your printer.

What do I need for DTF printing

DTF Pre treatment:

Pre treatment is a crucial step in the DTF printing process. It involves applying a liquid adhesive coating to the surface of the fabric to ensure the ink adheres correctly. Correctly preparing your fabric or product for printing is essential to achieve the vibrant, long-lasting colors, and sharp images that DTF printing is renowned for. The pre treatment solution you use should be compatible with your ink, fabric, and the printing machine you are using. Managing the angle of the fabric is also critical as it minimizes substantial ink saturation or losing details in the shadows or highlights.

DTF Film:

In DTF printing, instead of using a vinyl cut or transfer paper as you do in screen printing or heat transfer vinyl, you use a special film. The DTF film comes with its unique coating, which is compatible with its pre treatment formula and inks. The size of your film will depend on the shirt size, as you will need to print your image on the film, making sure it is size-matched for easy application. Also, depending on how many colors you are printing, you may need to layer the films to facilitate registration when printing over different colors. DTF prints always come out cuttable, so a good cutter is an added advantage.

DTF Ink:

The last essential item that you need for DTF printing is the DTF ink. DTF printing uses special inks, which are inks formulated to work specifically with printing films and DTF printers. The inks used are typically CMYK, but additional colors are available, and you can even use neon and metallic inks. Always make sure to use high-quality DTF ink to get the best results. Look out for non-clogging and durable ink to prevent your print heads from clogging or drying. Furthermore, to ensure the best performance of your printing outcome, ensure that the inks you are using are from reputable vendors.


DTF printing is indeed an innovative printing method that provides a fantastic range of opportunities to enhance your design and artwork capabilities onto a wide range of substrates. As mentioned above, you need a DTF printer, DTF pre treatment, DTF films, and DTF ink to get started. It would be helpful if you always had the right tools to make your work more manageable and your printing process efficient. Invest the right amount of time into researching and choosing the correct equipment, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with DTF printing!

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