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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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Try to use a pique shirt. Cut it up to size and do your 2nd press with it. Use hard pressure. It should give you great results.
Yes, cost effective solution. Or to spend a lot more, search for terms including PTFE fiberglass or Teflon coated fiberglass, available in various kinds of textures and mesh, sheets and fabrics.
 

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You really swear by it? Spent all morning trying to find some at Joane today based on these comments and the lady looked like she was mad at me for being in her store at 9am. Going to get something on amazon I think. Just super impatient and want to try it. Did you find it was just worth it to stick with Pique or do you think the its worth spending the money on something more serious.
First, wow, sales lady at Joann was clueless, pique is a very common type of knit. Also, get all cotton, it won't melt, although I doubt you'll have a problem with poly.

You probably have a few old shirts in your drawer or in stock, common in polos. Or next time you order shirts from your distributor, search them for cotton pique, order a size big enough that cut out the back will cover your heat press platen. Probably cheaper than a yard of fabric, plus your time, gas, retail tax, and possible shipping online. Or Walmart, just google what pique fabric looks like before you go..

Also, the textured cover fabric is just part of the solution DTF hand solution. You may not see a big difference with that alone, read my other suggestions too.

Finally, pique is not the only fabric with a texture, but a good example of a common one (that is also not thick, inhibiting heat transfer, or leave a pattern, like duck canvas for example, idk how much a these factors matter, maybe none.
 

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I think the OP was looking for textured Teflon, which is surprisingly difficult to find.
... Did you find it was just worth it to stick with Pique or do you think the its worth spending the money on something more serious.
also, as I mentioned, PTFE/Teflon coated fiberglass is the search that is easy to find, but crazy expensive and unecessary
...The regular fabric cover sheet is something I often suggest as well.
Thin denim fabric will work as well.
Yes
 
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