PET Film

An Evaluation of DTF PET Film

DTF printing market has become an emerging and vigorous market, and PET film is an inevitable part of DTF printing. There are thousands of DTF suppliers on the market and they are all claimed to provide the best quality products for you. Many clients, especially some novices, are firstly to the digital printing industry. Without doubt, they must be confused about how to choose DTF PET film. Today, Sublistar will give you a short introduction of DTF Film and you will have a basic understanding of PET films.

Here are the structures of DTF PET Films:

dtf-film-structure

1. Printing layer: It’s pure white before printing, which is made up of PVC or PU. To some extent, the quality of printing pattern and transfer process are largely influenced by printing layer and that’s the reason why its price is relatively higher than other layers. You don’t need to worry about pollution, because PU material is environmental friendly.
2. Viscose Layer: It’s a layer which is made up of adhesive film. The quality of this layer will determine the transfer effect between printing image and fabric. It will work after pressing under high temperature, while it have no stickness in the room temperature.
3. Release Layer: It’s also called release coating. Literally, the function of this layer is to separate the printing film and bottom film. The quality of release coating will affect the process of pattern peeling off.
4. Base Layer: It’s the base of the former three layers. Paper base and PET base are the most common used on the market. While the paper base will defrom for its softness during the cutting, PET base has gradually taken place of the paper base.
5. The last two layer are protective layer and antistatic layer.

Here are some tests to help you understand the quality of DTF PET Films.

Whether or not the film is clean and residue-free after cold tearing?

DTF Film

On the picture below, the left and right sides are totally different. There are two types of  films.
The PET transfer film for the two anime group portraits on the left is in excellent condition. SpongeBob SquarePants’ DTF PET film from Sublistar leaves no residue, and the pattern is sparkling, with more highlights and features.
The image on the right shows another brand obviously has residue on the film. Some white residue remains on the PET transfer film , and the prints on the clothes were also ruined.

Is the area around the clothes clean after removing the film?

DTF PET Film

The picture clearly shows the comparison.
One method for testing its printing effect: the most important thing to look for is whether it has white edges or other residues printed on the clothes.
The left image on the left has been completely transferred, with no white borders remaining. However, the right one is failed to achieve this transfer result.

We tested over £2000 worth of DTF transfer film from 23 different manufacturers in six different countries, and the majority of it was garbage, despite each manufacturer claiming to have the best material.

DTF Film
As you can see from the photo, there is a wide range of different films circulating in the DTF market. In general, more opaque film produced better results because it has a more ink absorbing coating, but there were a few exceptions. One particular brand sold us a roll of “DFT film” that appeared to be perfect at first glance, but after the first test, it was discovered that their coating was actually repelling the DTF ink.

Normally, this happens when you print on the wrong side of the film, but this was not the case. The film appeared to be coated in that new nanotube water repellent spray. Ink was being deposited in tiny droplets, combining into larger droplets, and then running off the film cleanly. This was extremely impressive.
A large portion of the film had loose powder coating, resulting in uneven prints and some areas that simply refused to take in. With powder constantly being shaken off and fingertips leaving fingerprint marks all over the film, handling such film was difficult.

Some films began perfectly but warped and bubbled during the curing process. This particular type of DTF film appeared to have a melting temperature lower than that of DTF powder. We ended up melting the film before the powder at 150 degrees Celsius. Perhaps it was intended for powder with a lower melting point? But that would undoubtedly affect washability at high temperatures. This other type of film warped so much that it lifted itself up 10cm and became stuck to the top of the oven, catching fire and destroying the heating elements.

Finally, a few films performed admirably throughout the tests, but when it came to transferring the print onto a garment, they stuck so firmly to the t-shirts that they almost invented their own thick and glossy heat transfer printing technology.

Only three of the 23 different types of DTF heat transfer film we tested passed all of the checks. Because this is a new and developing technology, the quality should improve over time.

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