Show of hands, how many of you have found out that your colors are less vibrant on certain brand shirts and materials? This is a common problem with direct to garment printing, the quality of the materials in the shirt, highly dictate the quality of the print result.
With this direct to transfer process, we can now print DTG ink directly to a transfer sheet then heat transfer to almost any garment. Budget garments, blends, and 100% polyester all deliver outstanding results with the Direct to Transfer process.
The process is similar to screen printing heat transfer sheets, and now it can be done with water based DTG ink. You can purchase everything you need for DTG transfers at Shopmelco.com
The process is pretty simple, here I’ll break it down for you:
- Import your art into your rip then flip it, we will be printing the inverse.
- You will need to print color first, then white. Some rips will let you print color first then white but Garment Creator requires you to set two separate print settings. In this example we will set GC to print color first then white. Set to lay down a light amount of color ink, too much will puddle.
- Set your transfer sheet on your platen, and raise your platen higher than you would normally for a shirt.
- Print your color ink first, looks crisp and clean!
- Now with Garment Creator, I’ll need to set to print white ink. Same as with color, don’t lay down too much white, it will puddle. Also be sure to choke back your white underbase to at least 4 pixels.
- White goes down fast and because it’s printing on a transfer sheet, it looks super crisp.
- Now that your sheet is printed, you will need to apply the heat transfer powder. I found this fancy serving tray to keep the powder contained. I pour powder on the print and ensure to cover the whole print area.
- Once you have full coverage, that powder needs to dry. You can use a convection oven, conveyor dryer, or in this case I’m using a heat press. Note: Don’t close the heating element.
- Once your heat transfer powder is dry your transfers are ready for storage or for transfer. I love the storage option. These transfers can sit for months or years and be applied anytime. I can reminisce fondly about the filing cabinet at my old shop, full of juicy, easy to apply transfers.
- If you are going straight to garment, simply iron your shirt, center your transfer and heat with medium pressure at 300° for 15 seconds.
- These DTF Heat Transfers are cold peel. Shake the shirt out or let it cool and slowly peel.
- You aren’t quite done yet, take your garment back to your heat press and re-heat at 300° for another 15 seconds. Now your shirt is cure and vibrant as can be.
The final product will feel like a heat transfer, however after 1 wash it will feel like a typical DTG print. One of the benefits of DTG is the breathability of water-based ink this process does not inhibit that benefit.
So now you have an option to expand the use of your DTG printer and increase profitability. Take advantage of this technique, and experiment; this is a game changer!