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Basic Rules of Storing DTF (Direct to Film) Transfers

Direct to Film (DTF) transfers have become increasingly popular for creating custom prints on apparel or home decor. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic hobbyist, it's crucial to understand how to store DTF transfers properly to ensure their longevity and quality. Especially when you take advantage of our hot deal, Grab-Bag Pack - check out this listing ;). (This blog post may contain affiliate links.)

Understanding DTF Transfers

Before we discuss storage tips, let's briefly talk about what DTF transfers are. DTF entails printing designs using ink and adhesive directly onto a special film, which is then applied to various items like garments (such as t-shirts, hats, leather jackets, leggings, etc.) or home decor (including canvas or leather placemats, keychains, coasters, journals, canvas wall decor, etc.) using a heat press. This method offers numerous advantages, including vibrant colors, intricate details, and the ability to print on a variety of materials.

The Durability of DTF Transfers

Custom DTF transfers are famous for their resilience when applied and maintained correctly. These transfers can go through numerous wash, dry, and wear cycles without any significant color fading or loss of detail. They are robust enough for a wide array of applications, including sportswear and promotional items.

How Long Can DTF Transfers Be Stored?

The shelf life of DTF transfers depends on various factors like the storage conditions and environment. Generally, it's recommended to store DTF transfers for up to 6-12 months for best results. However, with proper storage, it's possible to store them for up to 3 years!

Tip: If maintaining ideal storage conditions is tough, it's best to press our DTF transfers within 6 months to prevent any quality issues.

Optimal Storage Methods

Keep Transfers in a Cool Dry Environment:

Moisture can negatively affect DTF transfers, causing them to stick together or to other surfaces. Store transfers in a dry environment using airtight containers or resealable plastic bags to protect them from humidity.

Store Flat:

Whenever possible, store DTF transfers flat to minimize the risk of wrinkling or warping.

Zip-Lock Bags vs. Plastic Storage Cases:

Both options will keep your transfers safe from dust, debris, and pet hair, which can stick to the adhesive side of DTF transfers and make them harder to apply smoothly.

Zip-lock bags along with Desiccant packs are a great and inexpensive solution for storing a few extra transfers. Just remember not to stack more than 40-50 transfers in a pile, as the weight might damage the prints at the bottom.

If you have a lot of transfers to store, Scrapbook plastic storage boxes with Desiccant packs  would be the a better option.

Maintain a Consistent Room Temperature:

Fluctuating temperatures can lead to wrinkling or warping of DTF transfers. Store them in a space with a consistent temperature, avoiding extreme heat or cold.

Protect Transfers from Direct Sun Light:

Direct exposure to sun light can cause fading and discoloration of DTF transfers over time. Store them in opaque containers like these storage cases or use archival storage boxes designed to protect against light damage. Sunlight heat can also soften the adhesive, causing transfers to stick together.

Use Tissue or Parchment Paper:

Interleave DTF transfers with parchment paper or tissue when placing them in storage containers or zip-lock bags to prevent sticking and absorb residual moisture.

Handle with Care:

Be gentle to avoid creasing or damaging the transfers.

Implement FIFO Method:

Practice the "First In, First Out" (FIFO) method to use older transfers before newer ones, reducing the risk of deterioration.


Properly storing DTF transfers is vital for maintaining their quality and longevity. By following these tips, you can ensure that your transfers remain in pristine condition, ready for application whenever needed.

We hope this information helps, but please reach out if you have any additional questions!

Danny & Elena @ PNW Print Co.

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