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 £0.23 for dtf powder + £0.16 on white ink + £0.14 on CMYK ink + £0.55 on dtf film sheet = £1.08.

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.

Buy DTF printing supplies here

86 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.

      • Nats
        December 1, 2023
        Reply

        Hi, has this now been added to your software as I want to get a xp970?

        Also what should I do if I’m leaving my dtf printer not running for 2 weeks?

        • I’m still not aware of any rip software that supports this printer.
          For long term storage you would need to flush out all the ink out of ink lines, dampers and printhead. Fill up with moisturizer solution. Soak the capping station. When you are ready to print again, extract the moisturizer, refill with ink. It’s not an easy process. DTG/DTF is not ideal for intermittent printing.

  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.

  15. October 5, 2021
    Reply

    Does anyone know of a good DTF epson L1800 maintenance service provider in NYC area. I’m having issues that I can’t resolve and need help.

    • If nobody gets back to you, any local printer repair place with good reviews should be able to help out. There is nothing special about DTF. Any inkjet printer mechanic will know what to do.

  16. Phillip DeLaTorre
    October 31, 2021
    Reply

    I have a epson 1390 and my printer is printing out alot of ink. When I do a nozzle check it’s just long thick lines of different colors. When I print a picture it prints the picture but then there’s just alot of ink ontop of it to where you really can’t see it. Any suggestions.

    • Are you using a CISS? Maybe your ink tanks are way to high above the printer. They should be on the same level as the print head. Might be a delaminated print head. You can take the print head out and waterfall it. If you see ink coming out from the side of the print head, it’s basically dead. This is usually caused by cleaning the print head with too much pressure.

  17. Timilehin
    November 25, 2021
    Reply

    Hello, my dtf prints is blurry, what should I do

  18. November 28, 2021
    Reply

    I have a DTF L1800 with AcroRip, it starts to print normaly but sometimes later start to stop a few seconds in the left and after some seconds in the right 🙁 I take 58 minutes to print 1 x A3 sheet (1440×720 white; 1440×720 colors) bi-directional and use a usb cable 1,5mts

  19. Carlos Névoa
    November 28, 2021
    Reply

    so far only tested with acrorip. maybe you suggest to try with other rip?

    • Honestly, I have no idea what’s causing this. But at least you can try and narrow down the problem to something.

  20. January 13, 2022
    Reply

    hi, how long can i store dtf prints once printed and powdered?

    • Hello. Cured transfers can last a very long time in an air tight container. They tend to absorb moisture from the air. Uncured transfers might warp over time. I’d say maybe 24 hours for uncured. After that you are risking various problems depending on humidity etc.

  21. Rahul
    January 18, 2022
    Reply

    how many prints i get out of full dtf ink cartridge epson l1800

  22. James
    January 19, 2022
    Reply

    Hi can I still use my dtf converted printer to print sublimation paper i.e mugs, also can I still use the printer for every day prints like card and paper

    • Yes, however these are completely different types of ink chemically and you will need to clean out and flush the old ink out completely before switching to the other one. Also, you will lose 3cm or so from the bottom of the page that you print because of removed rollers.

  23. Gordana
    February 1, 2022
    Reply

    I’m interested in printing on DTF film, but not for DTF printing on the T-shirt or anything like that (I’m not interested in the DTF process of transferring ink to other surfaces). I’m working on an art project and I’m just wondering can I print on DTF film with regular inkjet printer with classic pigment or dye ink (like printer Epson SureColor P-900 or Epson L-805)? Can dtf film accept classic pigment inks or dye inks?

    • You can do that but it will be the same as printing on a regular transparency for an overhead projector. DTF and standard Epson inks are very different and are designed for different applications.

  24. Durgesh
    February 4, 2022
    Reply

    Can we transfer dtf prints on mugs?

    • You can but the transfer is going to be soft and not durable. You need UV DTF for hard surfaces.

  25. robby
    March 3, 2022
    Reply

    Hi, I have converted my epson l805 to dtf , when i put my pet film in it feeds it in ok but just when its about to print the orange paper out light comes on , if i press it the film ejects out , if i put a piece of standard a4 in the printer will print ok , hope you can help solve this problem as everything else is ok . thank you , robby.

  26. Harold aculan
    April 26, 2022
    Reply

    Is everyday flashing of head is okay? Or does it have negative effect? A supplier of mine suggested this using sureflash that they invented.
    Thank you

  27. Padington
    April 29, 2022
    Reply

    Hi all please may you help me. i want to start a printing business but wanna jump straight to dtf. I have order an epson L805 and might get it next week. I saw convertion videos but my question is the rip software how do i obtain it and maybe how i do i set it up.

  28. June 4, 2022
    Reply

    Does the xp 970 use the same printhead as the xp 15000 and can the acroRip 10.5 xp15000 driver be used for it?

  29. June 26, 2022
    Reply

    please give me more information

  30. Pat
    July 23, 2022
    Reply

    Hi I have a 1390 printer. My colors are coming out wrong and it prints pink ito white. When I print red yellow print but the backing is always pink. I have manually cleaned the heads did normal head cleans. When I did a manual head clean using the syringe with cleaning chemicals it just sprays. Do u think my head is damaged

  31. August 18, 2022
    Reply

    Gd morning i just bought a l1800 dtf printing having trouble with the ink not co.ing out and there looks like a wire is loose need help asap

  32. MMZ
    August 19, 2022
    Reply

    Good Morning, DTF ink is for t-shirt only?Can it be use also in printing photos like 1×1 , passport photo, document printing etc?

    • It will sort of work in an emergency but I would not recommend it. DTF ink is rubberised in a way. It’s designed to stretch on the fabric without cracking. It’s not really for paper.

  33. Dima
    October 19, 2022
    Reply

    Hi,
    I’m wondering if there is a signifficant difference between the DTF inks from different suppliers? If I started to work with the ink from one supplier and now want to change to another one do I need to clean the printer somehow specifically or the inks are generally the same and I can just add new ink and it will work well (without damage to the printer)?
    Thank you in advance.

  34. Renee Lemire
    October 24, 2022
    Reply

    I needed a new print head I installed that with no problems ran a few prints all good now my white has turned pink I have ink flushed pulled the print head cleaned ran cleaning solution through it and still getting pink I left it over night got up and the pink had traveled through the print head up white one white line but not into the bottel I changed the damper cause it was now pink extracted all the pink from the lines and it is still pink but lines and damper show white

  35. Richard
    November 4, 2022
    Reply

    Help , I want to know why my DTF prints are feeling like plastic ? Is this normal ? I have L1800 , acrorip 10.5

  36. Jessie Dyer
    November 26, 2022
    Reply

    Hi there my Prestige A3+ DTF printer both lights for the cleaning light and Paper tray light are going back and forth flashing red I am not sure how to get it out of this mode so that I can reset the printer. It will not print right now.

    • You probably need to reset the the waste ink counter using an Epson adjustment program for your printer model

  37. Rick
    November 29, 2022
    Reply

    Can I pour my White Ink into the Light Cyan and Light Magenta cartridges on my Epson L1800, or do I need an external modification?

      • Rick
        November 29, 2022
        Reply

        Thank you so much for answering! Will the printer automatically print white where needed, or do I need to specify it in the RIP Software?

        • Everything is controlled through rip software. You will have an option to automatically print white over every coloured pixel or in specific areas.

  38. Elliot Rodriguez
    November 30, 2022
    Reply

    Is there a specific software and/or consumables brand you would recommend for small-time beginners?

    • Acrorip for software and nanodroplet consumables that we sell on this website you are on right now.

  39. Dejan
    December 20, 2022
    Reply

    Why i can not use epson 2100 printer for dtf prints while it says that can on myn acro rip softwear ?
    Please someone !!does not printing corectly nossle is corect prints not

    • XP-2100 can’t be used for DTF. It only has 4 colours. Where have you managed to even put the white ink?

  40. Ashley B
    March 17, 2023
    Reply

    Hello. What is the best DTF paper, powder, and inks to use for vibrant colors and a soft feel? I have a Prestige A3+ DTF printer.

  41. Staci
    March 18, 2023
    Reply

    I have a Prestige A3+R dtf printer. Colored ink alga’s gotten into my white ink. What do I do?

  42. Caroline
    April 14, 2023
    Reply

    Hello, should I close my DTF printer overnight ?

  43. Yasmine
    August 23, 2023
    Reply

    My dtf machine says “end of service” what do I do ?

    • Try and find an Epson adjustment program for your printer model. It will allow you to read the error and reset the ink pad. I’m guessing it’s the ink pad that needs replacing.

  44. February 9, 2024
    Reply

    I have been in the process of moving and have not used my L 1800 DTF printer during this process or even maintained it because it’s been at the other house. How do I fix it to where I can use it again?

    • Shake the ink really well. Pull it through the dampers using a syringe. Do a few cleaning cycles. Run a nozzle check. See how bad it is. You may need to extract the printhead in order to waterfall it or even replace it.

  45. Angie Pinkston
    February 12, 2024
    Reply

    Hi. Do I have to add a white background to the image in order for the DTF printer to print the white background? Or does it automatically add the white onto the back?

    • You will need to use special rip software to setup and print your designs. All the settings will be managed through that.

  46. Steve Joseph
    March 23, 2024
    Reply

    Is it possible for epson l805 dtf printer to use one white ink tank for printing and coating background?

    • It will depend on the rip software you are using. Some will have an option to customize each output allowing you to only use 1 tank for white but your white layer will be thinner

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