DTF Printing FAQ

Here is a compilation of frequently asked questions we receive about DTF printing.

Does DTF printing require a lot of printer maintenance?

DTF printing still requires the same maintenance that DTG needs. Just not as often. DTG ink does not clog up as bad and when clogs do happen, they are a lot easier to clean. DTF white ink still separates and will need a daily shake. Best form of maintenance is regular printing. If you print every 2 days, all you will need to do is shake the ink and run an automatic printhead clean before printing.

How much does is to cost to print an A3 sheet?

At the current rate you will roughly spend £0.26 for powder + £0.18 on white ink + £0.16 on CMYK ink + £1.10 on transfer sheet = £1.70.

Can I print on DTF film with DTG ink?

No, DTF printing requires special DTF ink. Printing with DTG ink on DTF film will make the ink run and mix with white and CMYK.

Can I put DTF ink into my DTG printer?

Yes, you can print shirts on your DTG printer using DTF ink. It’s not as good as specialized DTG ink but it will work fine. You will still need to pretreat your garments using your preferred pretreatment solution.

What printer do you recommend for DTF conversion?

We recommend Epson L1800. It has been well tested with DTF inks and performs well. Replacement parts are very cheap and readily available. This printer is well documented and has been used for DTG printing for many years. It is easy to convert and does not need any special parts. Only downside is that it’s slower compared to other printers like P600.

Which printers can be used for DTF printing?

Any older printer that prints with 5 or more colours. Older printers will be compatible with most types of print rip software and will have refillable ink systems. Additional colours will allow to add white ink. Some of such printers are: P400, P600, P800, 1430, R2400, R1800, R3000, R2000, R2880, R1400 etc.

Do you need special software?

Yes, you will need to use rip software such as acrorip in order to print white and colour at the same time and choke white layer by a few pixels so that you don’t end up with a thin white outline.

What is the DTF washability like?

Washability is fine providing you use quality + powder and following correct application procedures. It certainly beats laser white toner transfers. 40C washing temperature is recommended.

What does DTF feel like?

The feel would depend on the type of powder you are using and the thickness of your ink layer. More ink will absorb more powder and make the overall result feel thicker. Our soft and stretchy DTF powder has better hand than traditional vinyl or other types of heat transfer. It’s elastic and soft to the touch. It is not softer than DTG prints however.

What happens if I leave my DTF printer inactive for a long time?

It will clog up just like a DTG or a regular inkjet printer. If you plan on leaving your printer off for a few weeks or months, you will need to flush the lines, clean your printhead and leave it soaking in cleaning solution.

27 Comments

  1. Omar
    January 29, 2021
    Reply

    Can I convert epson l1800 that use sublimation ink to dtf ?

    • Yes, you will need to pour out the sublimation ink, clean the ink tank, flush the lines and printhead and add DTF ink instead.

  2. Ed.
    February 11, 2021
    Reply

    How much does Acrorip sofware cost?

  3. Jonathan Smith
    March 6, 2021
    Reply

    Is Leather Printable?

  4. Paula Baker
    March 17, 2021
    Reply

    can I get some more information on the software dongle please?

  5. Lisa M Hoyle
    June 17, 2021
    Reply

    My DTF printer ink has been really runny so the white ink mixes with the color ink. How do you fix that? Also do you have to use white ink? I have tried printing images without the white ink but they don’t want to press on to shirts as well as with the white ink background. I don’t understand that. Can you help?

    • Are you sure you are using proper DTF ink and printing on correct side of the sheet? What printer do you use and what are your rip settings? You don’t have to use the white ink for white shirts but you will probably need to apply more ink by increasing colour % so that you get enough ink for the powder to stick to.

  6. July 24, 2021
    Reply

    Using DTG ink…have no problems, just want to know what is the best film and powder

  7. Stuart Page
    July 30, 2021
    Reply

    Hi can an epson stylus 2100 a3 photo printer be converted to dtf it has 6 ink cartridges

  8. Mubarak
    August 4, 2021
    Reply

    I have dtf machine L1800 but I need a technician to fix it for me.. I don’t know if y’all could help me out please

    • Hello, thank you for your query. Unfortunately this is not a service that we offer at the moment. It might be easier to take your printer to a local printer repair shop and see if they can help you.

  9. Jessica Lee
    August 11, 2021
    Reply

    I have a sublimation printer and just purchased the l1800 to do DTF. I would like to do away with the one I use for sublimation to free up space. Can I use my l1800 DTF printer to print on sublimation paper as well??

    • No, sublimation and DTF are completely different processes that use different inks. Sublimation ink vaporizes under heat and dies the fabric with it’s vapor. DTF ink is a water based ink that contains a rubberizer and sticks to the surface of the fabric.

  10. Jayne Evans
    August 16, 2021
    Reply

    Hey is it possible to convert my epson xp970 to dtf printer? It’s six colour and I have a ciss for it but would the rip software you have be compatible with it? If i can convert it I will buy everything from yous to this started. Also any help you can think of would also be great.

    Much appreciated and thanyou in advance

    • Hello. Sadly I’m not aware of any rip software that supports 970 at the moment. Newer printer models usually take a while to be added to rips.

  11. Mr. Victor
    September 5, 2021
    Reply

    I finally got my Epson l1800 to print through the acrorip 9.3 program ( it kept starting to print and then jammed light would start flashing) but when it did finally print it did not print the 2nd layer of white ink.
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Make sure you have check paper size option turned off in acrorip. When it comes to the white ink. Do you have white ink in your nozzle check pattern?

  12. September 5, 2021
    Reply

    I’m using Acrorip 9.03 and with a p400. And I’m still trying to find good settings where I can print a 1440×720 resolution for both color and white settings. Any suggestions?

    • It’s been such a long time since I used a P400 that I can’t remember the exact settings either I’m afraid. Maybe another reader can help you out.

  13. Farhan
    September 15, 2021
    Reply

    I have a new L1800 printer which I want to use for both DTF film and sublimation paper. The Rip software is capable to stop the white ink when we use sublimation paper. Has anyone ever used DTF white and sublimation inks together? Sorry for my bad english.

    • September 15, 2021
      Reply

      Sublimation and DTF inks are completely different. You will need two different inks because you can’t sublimate with DTF ink. Having said that, yes, in acrorip you can print in CMYK only, without white.

  14. Joshua G. Saye
    September 17, 2021
    Reply

    I’m embarking on buying Epson L1800 to use for DTF printing
    What are the critical things I need to do.

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