DTF Transfers Not Sticking. What Next?

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Direct To Film (DTF) Printing

Direct-to-film (DTF) transfer printing has become a staple in the garment decoration industry, offering intricate designs and vibrant colors. However, challenges can arise when transfers fail to adhere properly to garments. This guide explores the common causes behind adhesion issues and provides comprehensive solutions for DTF printers and consumers.

Understanding DTF Transfer Printing

DTF involves printing designs onto transfer film, which is then heat-pressed onto garments. Adhesion is critical for ensuring long-lasting and high-quality prints.

Common Issues and Causes

  1. Inadequate Adhesive Application:

Cause: Insufficient adhesive coverage due to incorrect settings, low-quality adhesive, or insufficient curing time.

Solution (Printer): Use high-quality adhesives with proper viscosity and bonding properties. Ensure adequate curing time as per manufacturer guidelines.

2. Incorrect Cure Temperature and Time

Cause: Inaccurate equipment settings or inconsistent curing conditions leading to incomplete curing.

Solution (Printer): Over curing your transfers can lead to the transfers not adhering to your garment. Test different belt speeds paired with different temperatures and make sure you are getting the glossy “orange-peel” finish on your transfers. To know you have cured your transfers correctly you should be able to do/feel the following: The transfer should feel a little tacky to the touch, as if it could stick to your finger. Another sign of a properly cured transfer is that you should be able to pick at the edges of the design and not have it immediately peel up. If your transfer gives no push back to you picking at it, then it is over cured. 

3. Low-Quality Transfers or Materials

Cause: Use of subpar transfer films, inks and powders or outdated materials that do not provide proper adhesion properties.

Solution (Printer): Inspect transfer films for defects or inconsistencies before printing. Source materials from reputable suppliers known for consistent quality and ensure your inks are not expired.

Wrapping Up

Adhesion issues in DTF transfer printing can be addressed through a combination of proper environment conditions such as humidity, temperature and airflow and making sure your materials (inks, films, powder) are high-quality. By understanding the root causes and implementing targeted solutions, printers and consumers can achieve optimal adhesion and ensure long-lasting, high-quality prints. If you aren’t sure about the environment conditions for your machine, contact your manufacturer for more information. Hope this helps!


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Designed By

Ashton Jacobs