Why Swing Design is the Top Choice for DTF Printers

June 04, 2024

Why Swing Design is the Top Choice for DTF Printers

Swing Design stands as the leading distributor of crafting machines and printers in the United States. Recognizing the booming custom apparel industry, Swing Design introduced its first DTF Printer in mid-2022. As the demand for DTF printing surged, Swing Design emerged as a market leader, offering top-notch bundles at unbeatable prices.

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What is DTF Printing?

DTF stands for Direct to Film, a unique printing technique that involves printing your creative designs onto a special film using colored textile ink.

Step #1 - Print

Using a unique pigment textile ink in CMYK + White, your design will be printed in a mirrored format onto DTF Film. There is a specific side of the film so it is important to complete the “fingernail scratch” test to ensure you are printing on the correct side. A layer of white ink will be printed onto the back of your image to ensure correct adhesion with the hot melt powder.

Step #2 - Powder

Hot melt powder is applied to the newly printed DTF transfer. This can be done by hand (a sifter is recommended) or with an automated applicator and shaker system. The automated shaker systems are available as stand alone shakers , or as inline production machines that will move your design through the powder and onto the curing process. 

Step #3 - Cure

After the hot melt powder is evenly distributed the back of the DTF transfer, it needs to be cured to create the adhesive that will attach the image to the garment. The inline production systems are fantastic for creating a seamless process to bring your design from print through curing. Stand alone ovens are perfect for smaller businesses that print fewer transfers per run. Once the transfers are cured, they are ready to be sold as transfers, or pressed onto the garment. 

Step #4 - Press & Peel

To adhere the transfers to the garment, a tshirt press is used to apply firm pressure. It is important to follow the instructions for the DTF film your design was printed onto to ensure that you peel at the proper time. Films come in a variety of options, from cold peel to hot peel, to universal peel. Once you peel the DTF film free from the design, a final press using a top sheet, such as T-Seal, is recommended to more firmly press the design into the garment. This creates a longer lasting transfer, as well as a softer hand feel.

See the Full DTF Process in Action!

Must Have Bundles to Launch your DTF Business

Why choose DTF Printing?

Advantages of DTF printing over traditional methods.

Unlike standard sublimation, which requires white 100% polyester material, the DTF process incorporates white ink, allowing it to be used on dark-colored materials. The film design undergoes a multi-step heating process, making it suitable for transfer onto various garments, including cotton, polyester, blends, and more.

Woman in a pink sweatshirt with a DTF Print on it

Versatility and applications of DTF printing

The process of printing to a film increases your ability to be creative with where you can put your designs, applying the transfers to any textile surface, from shirts, bags, hats, and even shoes! DTF printing offers unparalleled color quality and detail, allowing your designs to stand out with a stunning visual impact wherever they go. 

Pair of Converse style shoes with a DTF Print on the side

Factors to considered in your DTF Printer

Print size - Our DTF printers come in a range of sizes, including 8", 13", 16", 20" and 24".

Speed - Print speed can make a difference when you are running a large scale business. This is often measured in either square feet per hour, or shirts per hour.

Maintenance - DTF printers require regular daily use to ensure that the machine is running properly. However, the amount of maintenance needed can vary.

Training - Once you get your machine, you are going to want to learn how to use it. Each brand offers service to help get your machine set up.

     - DTF Station provides dedicated Zoom calls for set up and weekly training 

        calls are available

     - Uninet provides a full Masterclass and 30 minute onboarding

     - Epson has an onboarding set up call available to walk through the process.

    - Roland tech support is full of dedicated Roland technicians prepared to help 

       with installation and training.

     - STS completes an onboarding call to provide full set up instruction through 

        your first print.

Warranty and Post Purchase Care - Each machine has a warranty valid through the manufacturer. Check this information carefully as each is different. Most machines do also have the ability to extend that warranty for an additional cost.

Swing Design offers the leading brands in the DTF industry!

  • Prestige A4
  • Prestige R2 & R2 PRO
  • Prestige L2
  • Prestige XL2

Prestige Direct to Film (DTF) Printers are the best reliable and affordable way to create high quality vibrant DTF transfers without sacrificing a large amount of space. Backed by both Prestige and Swing Design's lifetime U.S. based technical support, the Prestige DTF printer line has become the premier DTF printer. Start creating your own direct-to-film transfers at the home or in office and print gorgeous custom shirts. Print on various types of fabrics such as cotton, canvas, polyester, blend, nylon, rayon, rubber materials, and more!

  • Roland BY-20

Introducing the Roland VersaSTUDIO BY-20, the best desktop direct-to-film roll to roll DTF printer on the market. With simplicity at its core, this printer is a beacon of reliability and efficiency, transforming apparel and accessory decoration into a quick and easy process for everyone from entry-level print practitioners to seasoned professionals. Beyond its capabilities as a DTF printer, the BY-20 boasts dual integrated perf-cutting and vinyl cutting functionality, allowing users to create print and cut heat transfer graphics or utilize the machine as a vinyl cutter – all with a single, compact, and affordable device.

  • Uninet DTF 100
  • Uninet DTF 1000
  • Uninet DTF 2200
  • Uninet DTF 6000

The UNINET DTF printing system features beautiful transfer film printing, white ink circulation system, ProRIP software, training and onboarding. The UNINET DTF machines produce durable and intense color prints, is built on the popular and reliable Epson engine, professionally modified and enhanced by UNINET. The UNINET DTF process has significant advantages over comparative systems. Works for multiple fabric types (cotton, poly, blends and more), and works on both light and dark textiles.

  • Epson 2270
  • Epson 1070

Take Direct to Garment (DTG) and Direct to Film (DTF) printing to the next level with these hybrid print solutions. Open new doors for your printing business with the versatile SureColor F2270 & F1070. Purpose-built for both DTG and DTFilm printing, this hybrid printer combines outstanding image quality, easy operation and great value. With DTFilm printing capability, go beyond traditional garment printing and transfer to a wider variety of materials, including uniquely shaped items. 

  • STS XPD-724
  • STS XPJ-1682D

For over twenty years, STS Inks has provided its customers with the American made quality they’ve come to expect, and DTF film printing is  no exception. Having the correct adhesive powder can make all the difference in DTF printing. STS powders can withstand up to 40+ washes with great coverage and a high-level transfer rate. When it comes to DTF printing inks, STS leads the way with its vast array of high-quality inks, which have been specially formulated for this process and is made in the US where rigorous quality testing is the norm.


What else do you need?

Besides the actual DTF Printer, what else do you need to create beautiful finished products? To accompany your printer, you will want a curing oven to melt the powder to create the adhesive. You can do this with either a stand alone curing oven, or with an inline shaker with oven combo. Both options have their own unique benefits. With an inline shaker oven combo, you are able to run a seamless production run for your business from print all the way through a final cured transfer. With constant printing capabilities and taking the rest off your hands, you can grow your business to new heights. For smaller businesses, not printing high quantity runs, a stand alone oven provides the ability to do one-at-a-time transfers. Most ovens now come with built in air purifiers, however if the oven you choose does not, an air purifier is highly recommended.

Next up - You will want a quality heat press to transfer your design onto it's final textile surface. Firm pressure and an even heat are necessary to ensure your end product is long lasting. To further streamline your business, an auto open clam shell or a dual shuttle press will shorten your production time and help you expand your capabilities.

Finish your design with the T. Seal Finishing Sheet. The T.Seal has a special coating that locks the transfer into the fibers of the shirt. This helps prevent the transfer from coming off when you wash the shirt. This finishing sheet is used in place of kraft paper for the post press only! T.Seal is reusable up to 500 presses.

What maintenance is required?

As DTF printing requires white ink to create the vivid designs on dark surfaces, daily maintenance is essential. Stirring ink bottles, or gently agitating ink cartridges is crucial to avoid clogs. You will want to print a nozzle check at the beginning of each day to ensure that your designs will come out crisp. At the end of each day, cleaning of the system is necessary to prevent issues will the printer is sitting unused. Finally, if you are going to be away for an extended period of time, long term storage is highly recommended. Please see each brand for specific maintenance requirements.

What software is needed?

Each machine comes with software that allows for the layout and preparation of your files for printing. This is called RIP software. As the RIP software is mostly for the print info, you will want to complete most of your designing elsewhere and bring those files into the RIP software for printing. A transparent background is recommended. 

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What the customers are saying!

5 Star review from a real Swing Design customer
5 Star review from a real Swing Design customer