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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we have been doing DTF for about four months now.

For the most part we don't hear negative reviews - they are mostly little silly family reunions, photo shirts, etc and I think they are one time use or giveaways.

But for some of our clients we are hearing "got my shirts today - feels like a cheap iron on or decal".

We are having people who we send samples too actually prefer the more pixelated, blurry, rough screen print to the clear, bright, crisp DTF transfers.

Not sure what to tell them?!
We are transitioning our business to 50 or less items ALWAYS gets DTF
(over 50 goes to the screen printing shop).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the image is 30+ colors and they need 4 items.

So I can not do screen printing.

But they place A LOT of really large orders during the rest of the year so don't want them leaving - these are for some school club she runs and she wants photorealistic art.
 

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But for some of our clients we are hearing "got my shirts today - feels like a cheap iron on or decal".
Would you not feel the same way if you were the customer?

Not sure what to tell them?!
We are transitioning our business to 50 or less items ALWAYS gets DTF
Offer DTG like everybody else is doing.

You may also want to try hybrid DTG.
That's DTG over screen-printed base.
Same level of detail as regular DTG, but much more durable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So after selling for four months (printed probably 400-500 shirts for 60-70 customers) we have not gotten a single complaint.

Most people tell us they prefer the DTF to normal printing - clearer, less rough, thinner, brighter, faster, cheaper.

But I have a few people making this complaint - I was more trying to figure out how to talk to them about, ease their fears, let them know it's a good process and not just some stick on iron on.
It's going to be something we do a lot - so trying to figure out how to talk to the few people that complain about it.
 

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let them know it's a good process and not just some stick on iron on
But that's exactly what it is.

It's this decade's printable vinyl.
Exactly.
In fact, vinyl printed on a HP latex printer is basically the same thing.

It's going to be something we do a lot - so trying to figure out how to talk to the few people that complain about it.
No matter what you say, what feels like a transfer is a transfer.
You may as well just call it printable vinyl, and save yourself the explaining.
 

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Not all DTF transfers are equal. Depending on how they are made and applied, the final result (feel) can be very different. Make sure you are using good quality DTF transfers that you apply correctly and you will have much fewer complaints. However, you should be upfront with your customers and tell them that this is the newest digital printing process. It has a different feel from screen printing but will look better and hold up just as well.
 

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That is what we tell them.
And we have our own DTF machine.
Try several different film, powder, and ink combinations. You will find there are big differences. You also need to control the amount of ink being applied. When pressed on a t-shirt your transfer should be thin enough so the texture of the shirt can be felt through the transfer. If it feels like a smooth vinyl keep making changes to your process. It takes a lot of trial and error.
 

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DTG is greater than DTF, DTF is an glorified iron on, while DTG is a water based product softer feel. DTF still is only good for small prints and not large images. You will lose customers if you only offer DTF. Provide both options, find a DTG printer.
 

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Whoa, so many haters - screenprint and DTG snobs. Yes, one can focus on some of the cons of DTF, but there are also advantages that allow for DTF to occupy a useful space in the marketplace. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are cons to screen printing and DTG too. The pros and cons comparisons of screen printing, DTG and DTF are discussed many other places. I'm not going to go on that tangent, now, but DTF occupies a great niche in the right circumstances and IMHO will prove to have enduring value in the industry.

I agree with many of the ideas already expressed to reduce amount of ink on the fabric, and agree with suggestions by @DonR (although I'm not quite sure how much change of film would have an effect on the hand, but it can have affect on factors like release). My experience is the type/brand of adhesive powder can have a noticeable effect on hand. Play with increasing temp/time/pressure and be sure to give it a SECOND PRESS with a TEXTURED TEFLON cover to GET THE INK A LITTLE DEEPER into the fabric. Second press may take slight vividness off color, but IMHO opinion, well worth it for softer hand, and likely improved durability.
 

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The hand feel can get slightly better with using a more quality film, because you can use less ink, less powder to achieve your results. The reason the hand feels bad besides it just being a large area of ink with glue behind it, is that your feeling a different texture compared to the shirt. This is why currently I only use the DTG process for left chest and sleeve prints, since most of what you feel is the shirt, the print doesn't feel bad. Its the case in larger prints, and to achieve the same idea you will need to practice with using halftones, but will lose some clarity in the image.
 

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If the customers are local, make sample shirts with various size designs on them. That way they have the “feel” test. I came from sublimation to white toner to DTG to DTF. I kept looking for that sublimation feel, personally even though I know better. White toner taught me, knock out the shirt color when possible. So started doing it with DTF, since it’s also film based.

honestly some things you just can’t do dtf with and have an optimal “fits all customers” experience. And that 2nd press, is much definitely needed. And DTF does soften with each wash. I’ve been paying attention to that.
 

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Whoa, so many haters - screenprint and DTG snobs. Yes, one can focus on some of the cons of DTF, but there are also advantages that allow for DTF to occupy a useful space in the marketplace. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are cons to screen printing and DTG too. The pros and cons comparisons of screen printing, DTG and DTF are discussed many other places. I'm not going to go on that tangent, now, but DTF occupies a great niche in the right circumstances and IMHO will prove to have enduring value in the industry.

I agree with many of the ideas already expressed to reduce amount of ink on the fabric, and agree with suggestions by @DonR (although I'm not quite sure how much change of film would have an effect on the hand, but it can have affect on factors like release). My experience is the type/brand of adhesive powder can have a noticeable effect on hand. Play with increasing temp/time/pressure and be sure to give it a SECOND PRESS with a TEXTURED TEFLON cover to GET THE INK A LITTLE DEEPER into the fabric. Second press may take slight vividness off color, but IMHO opinion, well worth it for softer hand, and likely improved durability.
I've not seen TEXTURED TEFLON - can you suggest a source? I'm no longer doing DTG and I have switched to transfers only. I just did a large solid image and I was not totally pleased with it. I think the textured teflon would help a good deal.
 

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I don't think you can buy "textured Teflon." However you will notice that when you use a Teflon sheet for a long time, it looses its slick feel and develops a "texture." If you have been doing this for a while, then you may have several old Teflon sheets with varying degrees of "texture." These sheets work great for the needed second pressing.
 
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