How To Make A DTF Transfer

How To Make A DTF Transfer

Sep 18, 2023Mike Powers

One of the benefits of DTF transfers is their ease of use - both in creating and pressing. In fact, unlike many methods, you can both print and press DTF transfers from the comfort of your own home!

In this guide, we’re showing you the step-by-step of how to make a DTF transfer from scratch to create stand-out custom gear.

Read on to learn how to make a DTF transfer!

Table Of Contents

  • What Equipment Do I Need? 
  • The Design 
  • Step By Step Process 
    • Step 1: Print
    • Step 2: Powder
    • Step 3: Press
    • Step 4: Peel
    • Step 5: Press Again! 
  • Buy Pre-Made DTF Transfers

What Equipment Do I Need?

Having the right equipment to create a DTF transfer is important. Take a look at our exhaustive shopping list to make sure you have everything you need to create your very own transfers at home:

Must Haves:
  • DTF printer
  • DTF ink
  • DTF powder
  • DTF (PET) film
  • Heat press machine / handheld heat press / household iron

Nice To Haves:
  • DTF curing oven
  • Air filter for curing oven
  • Automatic powder shaker

The Design

Having the right design for your DTF transfer is important. However, the best part about this printing technique is that the design options are limitless. You can create a design that is as minimalistic or as intricate as you like!

Choose from a single color or multi-color design, add a single element or lots of elements together. The choice is truly yours. We cover more about the importance of design in our guide on how to make custom t-shirts.

a selection of dtf transfer prints laid out on a white background

Step By Step Of How To Make A DTF Transfer

Not sure where to start with creating a DTF transfer? Take a look at our step by step guide, below:

Step 1: Print Your Transfer

The first step to creating your DTF transfers is to print your design. You will need a specialist DTF printer and inks to ensure the vibrancy and quality of your print is maintained from the start.

Insert your PET film into the printer tray and your printer will apply your design directly onto the film.

Step 2: Spread & Melt Your Powder

In this step, you will need to spread the powder evenly over the printed design, while the print is still wet. This should be spread using a see-saw motion across the entire design and any excess should be shaken off, carefully.

You could instead opt for an automated shaker that will guarantee an even spread, which may be beneficial for speed and accuracy if you have a high volume of prints to complete.

Once spread, your powder needs to be melted and cured. This can be done in an oven at home or more commonly using a heat press - but be careful to ensure the top of the heat press does not touch the transfer, at all!

Step 3: Press The Transfer

This is the part where you can see your creation come to life!

Once your transfer has been properly cured, this can be placed on your garment of choice and pressed. This can be done with a heat press, handheld heat press or even a household iron (although a heat press is preferred).

Press for approximately 15 seconds or more, to ensure the transfer is properly adhered to the garment. Find out more about how to press DTF transfers.

Remember, a DTF transfer does not need to be used immediately after creation and can be stored for a limited period of time in a cool, dry and dust-free environment when properly protected.

step by step instructions on how to press a custom shirt using dtf transfers and a heat press

Step 4: Peel The Transfer

Once you’ve pressed the transfer, this should be left until cool to touch.

The heat of the hot-melt powder acts as a binder when cooled, which binds the pigment of the inks to the fabric fibers.

Once cooled, peel the transfer from one corner, off of the fabric. You should then be left with your design!

Top tip: If your transfer hasn’t adhered properly to the garment, then you likely didn’t press for long enough!

Step 5: Second Press

This final step is one of the most important of the whole process.

The second press helps to reduce shine and will keep the transfer vibrant and long-lasting. The second press is key for durability!

Once you have peeled the transfer from the shirt and you are left with your design, use the same method to heat press the design again for another 15 seconds or more.

Buy Pre-Made DTF Transfers

If you don't have the cash to outlay for a printer of your own, or you simply don’t have the space or time to manage this through, don’t fret!

At you can enjoy all of the benefits of DTF transfers, printed on your behalf. With our DTF transfers by size or gang sheets, you can upload your custom design and our experts will manage the printing process through.

We will print and ship your order within just 2 business days - and there are expedited production shipping options available to choose at checkout. This means all you need to do is press the transfers to your custom apparel (which takes just 15 seconds per press!) and you’ll be ready to go.

Buy pre-made DTF transfers or create your very own at home today!

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