Updated: Nov 23
For best results, it is recommended to use a commercial-grade or heavy-duty press. These types of presses provide the necessary even and adequate pressure required for successful DTF transfers.
Presses like the Cricut Easy Press, HTVRont, or some basic presses may not yield the same results.
We provide free samples of our DTF transfers with all orders to ensure compatibility with your heat press settings before working on your order. It is essential to conduct a test before proceeding to ensure optimal results.
Our DTF transfers can be applied to a variety of materials, including cotton, cotton/poly blends, tri-blends, polyester, nylon, leather, vinyl, denim, canvas, and even wood. Settings vary.
Unlike other transfer methods, our transfers minimize or prevent scorching. They are applied at a lower temperature range of 275-315 degrees (see detailed instructions for each material below) for just 15-17 seconds (initial press + repress). This contrasts with HTV transfers that require 315 degrees for 60 seconds and sublimation transfers that require 380-400 degrees for 50-90 seconds.
DTF HEAT PRESS SETTINGS
Please note that press settings may differ for each individual machine. Use the provided samples to find the appropriate settings for your press.
Here are some general guidelines to consider:
Pre-pressing is not required for DTF transfers as moisture is not the enemy of DTF, unlike sublimation. Only pre-press if you have to iron the wrinkles.
Set the pressure to HIGH or 70 PSI (or setting 7 on Stahl's Hotronix, PNW Cascadia Pro, and some HPN presses).
Set the temperature: it depends on the fabric content - see suggestions below.
Place the transfer with the adhesive side facing down and cover it with parchment paper to prevent it from sticking to the upper platen due to static electricity.
Press for 10-12 seconds.
To enhance adhesion for intricate details, use a folded microfiber towel to rub the film all over immediately after opening the press, pressing the fine lines into the fabric. Pay close attention to sharp corners and fine design elements while rubbing.
For the hot peel method, swiftly remove the film in one continuous motion while it is still very hot. Do not pause or stop mid-peel and avoid pulling it upwards. Always pull away.
For the cold peel method, remove the garment from the press and allow it to cool completely. Once the garment is cold, quickly remove the film in one smooth motion. Avoid pausing or stopping mid-peel and pulling the film upwards. Always pull away.
For optimal results, we recommend a second press: re-press the garment for 5 seconds using Kraft paper and high pressure.
These recommendations should help you achieve best results with your DTF transfers.
COTTON & POLY-COTTON BLENDS
Set the temperature to 295-305°F. Press for 10-12 seconds. Re-press for 5 seconds with raft paper.
Hoodies may require a slightly higher temperature range of 310-315°F. Press for 10-15 seconds with medium-to-high pressure. Re-press for 5 seconds.
Material with higher polyester content and other non-cotton fibers: to use the lower end of the temperature range to prevent scorch marks.
NYLON & 100% POLYESTER
Polyester settings can vary greatly – TEST FIRST. To avoid creating a pressed box look, try using a temperature range of 275-285°F for 8-10 seconds. For nylon, TEST with temperatures around 265-280°F for 7-8 seconds. The pressure can be lowered to 60 PSI.
To improve adhesion:
place a thin cotton kitchen towel or an old cotton shirt underneath your shirt.
use a folded microfiber towel to rub the film immediately after opening the press. Pay close attention to sharp corners and fine design elements while rubbing.
You may have to allow the garment to cool completely and peel the transfer cold.
Generally, thick fabrics require slightly higher heat settings.
For baseball hats: when pressing baseball hats made of polyester, it is essential to apply good pressure. We tested using Stahl's Hotronix 360 press. Recommended settings are 270-285°F for 6-8 seconds. It is recommended to perform a cold peel: remove the hats and allow them to cool completely before peeling and repressing.
For items like umbrellas, stadium chairs, and rain jackets: testing and trial-and-error are necessary for these types of items.
Regarding clothing dye migration: some clothing dyes may migrate to the transfer. To check for potential migration, perform a 24-hour test.
TRI-BLENDS AND ANY OTHER HEAT-SENSITIVE MATERIALS
Turn the heat down to 275-285 to avoid scorch marks. Press the transfer for 7 seconds, hot peel, and re-press for 3-5 seconds.
Keep your seams off the platen as much as possible. Use pressing pillows to elevate the garment if it’s impossible.
Rayon fiber is very heat and pressure sensitive. Reduce the heat to 275-285°F and pressure to medium. Don’t pre-press. Press the transfer for 5-6 seconds. Perform a hot peel and re-press for 3-5 seconds.
For a matte finish, use butcher or Kraft paper when re-pressing.
For a semi-gloss finish, use a Teflon cover sheet or Parchment Paper during re-pressing.
HOT PEEL DOES NOT WORK
To ensure a successful hot peel, there are three crucial requirements: adequate heat, time, and pressure.
Use an infrared thermometer to scan the upper platen of your press. This will help identify any cold or hot spots and ensure that the platen's temperature matches the temperature displayed on the press's screen.
Peel while sill very hot. Some hot-peel films don’t perform well when peeled warm.
If needed, make adjustments to the time or temperature gradually. Increase them by 3-5 degrees or 2-3 seconds, one value at a time. Be cautious not to press too hot or for too long, as this can lead to overcooked transfers that feel stiff and have a shorter lifespan.
If your press cannot provide even and heavy pressure, you can follow this workaround: as soon as you open the press, rub the film gently with a folded towel. Then, allow the garment to cool completely before peeling it off. After peeling, re-press the garment as usual. However, please note that if the pressure applied during the initial transfer is insufficient, the transfer may wrinkle and start to peel off after only a few washes.
FILM STICKS TO THE UPPER PLATEN AND RIPS MY TRANSFERS
Film sticking to the upper platen can be caused by static electricity, which is more likely to occur in low-humidity environments. To avoid this issue, use parchment paper on top of your film.
Furthermore, wearing shoes with rubber soles while pressing can help dissipate static electricity buildup.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Danny & Elena @ www.pnwprintco.com
PNW Print Co. is not responsible for operator or machine errors when applying DTF or sublimation transfers. We recommend purchasing extra for each transfer and practicing with your machinery, temperatures, pressure, and times before attempting your final product.