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Custom Construction Apparel & Equipment Using Direct-to-Transfer Printing


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Direct-to-film printing, like embroidered printing, is an extremely versatile printing method that works well on a variety of cotton and poly fabric. DTF printing involves using heat processing to transfer your design from a film to the garment. It is a more efficient method than screen printing, which requires hours to make the screens and time between applications to let the ink dry. You don’t have to deal with print rollers, which sometimes cause screens to slip and designs to be offset. It is also more affordable on a large scale than direct-to-garment printing. 

In direct-to-film printing, your design is printed first onto a clear film designed specifically for garment printing, called a PET film. There are two different kinds of PET films, cold-peel and hot-peel, which refer to when you remove the excess transfer film. Cold-peel film:

  • Has to cool completely after pressing before you can peel the transfer
  • Requires the use of a binding or adhering agent before pressing
  • Has a smooth feel that results in a matte finish
  • Uses clear film, so you can see the design for more exact placement

Hot-Peel Film:

  • Can be peeled warm or cool
  • Typically has a sticky backing that adheres without needing a binding agent
  • Has a rough feel that results in a glossy finish
  • Uses white paper, so you can’t see the design until after transfer

Once you know which process will work best for both your design and your chosen garments, we can get started on your design. DTF printing creates crisp, clean designs without visible lines. It handles multi-color and single-color logos with equal precision, and shines particularly well on multi-layered designs. With direct-to-film printing, your logo looks exactly the same on your garment as it does in your template.

The pros to DTF printing include:

  • It is incredibly versatile and can be used on almost all fabrics types and colors 
  • It doesn’t require fabric pre-treatment
  • Finished fabric has excellent wash resistance 
  • DTF designs last as long as, if not longer, than traditional screen-printed ones
  • When applied correctly, DTF is incredibly durable and flexible, resisting peeling, bubbling, and splitting
  • It is a more direct and quicker method than DTG
  • You can cut your film to fit specific areas, so as long as you can apply heat to the transfer, you can put your logo wherever you want 
  • DTF uses less white ink than screen printing or DTG, thus reducing your cost per item
  • Simply print, apply, and go! There is no waiting for ink to dry, and no extended printing time. Mass-production goes quickly, which aids in cost reduction. 

However, using film transfers reduces the color vibrancy from what you would find in a screen-printed or DTG garment. Additionally, DTF lacks the incredible softness of a DTG garment.

We know that these printing methods can be confusing, but trust us: garment printing is our business, so contact us with any questions. Now, let’s look closer at the benefits of direct-to-film printing for your consruction or contracting business.

Direct-To-Film Outerwear

Because DTF printing is so versatile, outerwear is one place where you can really see the benefit. Besides natural fibers like cotton, linen, and silk, DTF adheres to polyester, nylon, rayon, and both cotton and poly blends. You can even use DTF transfers on leather! Some ways to showcase your brand and keep your outdoor crews warm and dry in any and all weather conditions include putting your logo on:

  • Lightweight half-zip, half-button, full-zip, and pullover windbreakers, hooded or collared
  • Lined or quilted half-zip, half-button, full-zip, and pullover windbreakers, hooded or collared
  • Heavyweight work coats
  • Fleece vests
  • Heavy or lightweight alf-zip, half-button, full-zip, or pullover fleece jackets, hooded or collared 
  • Parkas
  • Rain coats
  • Slickers

Direct-To-Film Shirts

Whether your employees work on construction or building sites or in an office, they can proudly wear your company’s brand on a variety of shirts. We have shirts to match everyone’s preferences, including:

  • Long-sleeved, short-sleeved, and tank-style tee shirts
  • Long-sleeved, short-sleeved, and tank-style unlined henleys
  • Flannel-lined or thermal-lined long-sleeved henleys
  • Long-sleeved and short-sleeved polo shirts
  • Long and short-sleeved blouses
  • Long and short-sleeved Oxford or dress shirts
  • Turtlenecks

Direct-To-Film Sweatshirts, Work Shirts, & Flannel Shirts

Outdoors, in the office, during work time, or off-hours: it doesn’t matter where, when, or who, but use sweatshirts, hoodies, and work shirts to get your brand into public-facing situations. This might be the easiest way to extend your reach while also keeping your workers and their families warm all year. Driving carpool, picking up groceries, and watching the kids at sports practice are all places where your employees can wear:

  • Lightweight full-zip or pullover hoodies 
  • Heavyweight full-zip or pullover hoodies
  • Crewneck sweatshirts
  • Flannel-lined hoodies
  • Fleece-lined hoodies
  • Unlined denim, chambray, flannel, and canvas work shirts
  • Flannel-lined denim, chambray, and canvas work shirts
  • Thermal-lined denim, chambray, canvas, and flannel work shirts
  • Quilted denim, chambray, canvas, and flannel work shirts

Direct-To-Film Safety Gear

Safety gear is where DTF shows its advantage over other garment printing methods. Because it adheres to any blend of cloth, we can use direct-to-film cold-peel technology to put your logo on any reflective and high-visibility clothing, including hard-to-print colors like orange and yellow. We can meet all your safety gear needs including:

  • Reflective and high-visibility vests
  • Reflective and high-visibility shirts
  • High visibility coats and rain gear
  • Flame-resistant high-visibility clothing
  • Flame-resistant shirts, sweatshirts, coats, and coveralls

Direct-To-Film Specialty Items

Specialty items and novelty gear is a fun way to showcase your business and brand, and direct-to-film printing is an ideal way to do so. The versatility of DTF means that you can, for example, sponsor runners in a charity race and print team shirts in a moisture-wicking fabric. Alternatively, commemorate a holiday party or staff retreat with custom DTF hats or shirts. The possibilities for specialty items are limited only by your imagination!

Final Thoughts

Getting your brand seen and building your business reach doesn’t have to be hard. Branded work, office, and recreational gear is perhaps the easiest way to engage with the public, Direct-to-film printing is, hands-down, the most versatile of all printing methods. To learn more and discuss the best options for your business, please get in touch!

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An American apparel print shop
& design studio.

Opening October 2022