People are loving the quality of DTF print, the look, the feel and also how easy it is to use, but a recurring question is how long will the transfer last? The ever-increasing rise in DTF printing for promotional products is no surprise as it is simple to use, avoids any time spent weeding the transfer and creates a great finish. But the important element is the test over time.
Typically, DTF transfers on promotional merchandise have a good shelf life and can last for years, but their longevity can be affected by various factors. And this stems from the initial quality of the transfer, the material it’s applied to and the storage conditions.
Are DTF transfers durable?
The short answer is ‘yes’! In our eyes, durability is about more than it staying put for a couple of washes. If you have spent time creating a wonderful design the last thing you want is for it to be jeopordised after a couple of washes. That is where DTF printing steps up – it is about flexibility of the graphic, maintaining the vibrancy, withstanding wear and tear and importantly surviving repeated washing and drying.
In fact compared to other methods involving hear transfer, they offer better resistance to cracking, peeling and fading.
But what factors could affect the durability of DTF Transfers?
The success of the finished product is about more than just the DTF process. There are some key elements that need to be addressed to get the ultimate our of your kit and what you produce:
Transfer Quality: This is critical. Using high quality inks, film and powder that work effectively together is imperative. Creating a high-quality transfer at this stage will ensure it properly adheres to the fabric you are working with, avoids the perils of cracking or peeling and keeps those colours punchy bright.
DTF Transfer Design: While the beauty of DTF transfers are that you don’t need to weed the design, consideration should be given to intricate designs complicated by little elements, features and details. While these will certainly work, they will involve a more delicate approach during the pressing and peeling stage to make sure the design stays complete. More solid, basic shapes will still be easier and quicker to transfer.
Fabric Type: The choice of fabric will influence the finer aspects of the process. Depending on what you are producing, fine tuning the graphic you are using, the pressing temperature and the heating time will be required. Whether it is cotton, blends or polyester you are using, each will work differently with the transfer and could potentially impact its longevity.
Process of Application: This may require some initial trial and error to get it right. Be patient! It is important to get this right. Time spent exploring the correct temperature, pressure and time for pressing will make all the difference in creating a piece that bonds well with the fabric.
Longer Term Exposure: Once you have supplied the product to a customer, it is difficult to control the circumstances under which it is worn and washed. However, it is important to highlight that obvious environmental factors can impact the DTF transfer’s durability. It might be sunlight, extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Equally kit that is for sport is likely to go through repeated cycles of washing and drying and so it is important to flag how to best care for the garment.
Care and Maintenance: Ideally you want the customer to enjoy and love the product for a long time. So, flagging that it is best to turn the garment inside out, adopt ways of gently washing and avoid harsh detergents alongside drying on a line will all help keep the print longer.
How Long do DTF Transfers Last?
Practically with proper care, if it is a quality DTF transfer; it can last years. It is difficult to give a definitive timeline as it will vary depending on the fabric type, use and frequency of washing. However, by understanding the nature of the material, the best way to apply the transfer and offering after care advice – all help to make sure the item is carefully prepared from the outset to maximise it’s durability.