Have you ever noticed that your DTF prints feel stiff and uncomfortable to the touch after they are completed?

This may be annoying, particularly if you’re making something that you will wear or use regularly. Hard prints might make your finished product seem unprofessional and turn away buyers.

To soften your DTF prints and make them more pleasant for your consumers, you can use a number of strategies.

Understanding hard print reasons and trying multiple approaches will help you make high-quality items that match your requirements and delight your clients.

In this blog article, we’ll examine the numerous factors that contribute to the stiffness and discomfort of DTF prints and provide you useful advice on how to soften them. This tutorial will help you make beautiful, comfortable & softer DTF prints, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

How do I make my DTF Print Softer & Less Plasticky

Understanding the Causes of Hard Prints

The transfer film’s quality, which is essential for DTF printing, greatly affects the final texture and feel of the print. Too thick or stiff transfer film might produce a harsh, unpleasant print. It’s crucial to choose transfer films that are particularly made for soft prints, or films that are thinner and more flexible, to prevent this.

Pressure and heat settings – Printing pressure and heat may also impact texture. High pressure or heat may attach the ink or toner to the cloth, making the print tougher. Adjust the pressure and heat to bind the ink or toner without hardening the print for a softer print.

The kind of fabric used – The kind of cloth used for DTF printing has an impact on the print’s final surface. Cotton, polyester, and other soft textiles are more comfortable. Soft, lightweight textiles make softer prints, whereas heavier, rougher fabrics create harsher prints.

The ink or toner used for DTF printing may also alter the print’s texture. Certain inks and toners produce hard, durable prints, while others produce soft, comfy prints. An improved end result may be achieved by using ink or toner that is particularly made for soft printing.

How do I make my DTF print softer?

Making your DTF prints feel soft is not that complex. Just follow these simple tips to achieve it:

Choosing the right transfer film

dtf transfer films

DTF printing transfer film selection depends on many aspects. Start by looking for films made especially for soft prints. These films are thinner and more flexible, making them softer. Transfer film colour is also important.

In comparison to opaque films, clear or transparent films may provide a softer print. Next, take attention to the transfer film’s adhesive. If you want a softer print, it’s crucial to pick a film with a softer adhesive since certain adhesives are more stiff than others.

Adjusting the pressure and heat settings

As stated, pressure and heat settings during printing may dramatically alter the print’s texture. You may need to reduce the pressure or heat in order to get a softer print.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the precise settings will vary depending on your particular printer and ink or toner. Try out several settings and make test prints until you discover the ideal pressure/heat ratio that yields a plush, comfy print.

Using a softer fabric

DTF printing’s texture depends on the cloth you print upon. Cotton or rayon may help soften a design. Pre-washing the cloth softens and removes chemicals and coatings that make it feel tougher.

Using soft-hand ink or toner

To produce flexible and soft prints, soft-hand ink or toner is used. A unique ingredient in these inks or toners gives them extra flexibility and stretchability.

But it’s important to remember that inks or toners with a soft hand may not last as long as those with a hard hand. This is something to think about if your prints will be washed often or used frequently.

Adding a softening agent to the ink or toner

Using a softening agent in the ink or toner is an alternative method for producing soft prints. Softening agents disrupt the link between ink or toner and cloth, resulting in a softer print.

To prevent harming the ink or toner or producing an uneven print, it’s crucial to apply the proper quantity of softening agent.

Tips to Ensure Soft DTF Prints

Here are some more suggestions to make sure your DTF prints are smooth and soft:

  • Do test prints – Perform test prints on scrap cloth to experiment with various settings and techniques before printing on your finished product. It will assist you in identifying the ideal mixture of elements that results in a soft and cosy print.
  • Make use of a heat press to properly distribute pressure and heat throughout the cloth for a more pleasant and uniform print.
  • Avoid over-curing: Avoid over-curing the ink or toner, which may make the print tougher. Be sure to adhere to the curing guidelines for the ink or toner you are using in order to prevent this.
  • Don’t overload the ink or toner: Avoid overusing the ink or toner since it will make the print more difficult. Use the right quantity of ink or toner for your fabric and design.
  • Maintain your printer: Keeping your DTF printer in good operating order and creating soft, high-quality prints is possible with regular maintenance. Replace worn components and clean the printer frequently.

What does DTF transfers feel like on a shirt?

Depending on the kind of fabric, ink or toner, transfer film, and printing method used, DTF transfers on a shirt can have a variety of textures. The garment will feel soft and flexible with a well-executed transfer, akin to a screen-printed pattern.

The transfer should feel light and not break or peel after washing. DTF transfers on shirts can be comfortable and high-quality with the correct methods and materials.

Is DTG softer than DTF printing?

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) and direct-to-film (DTF) printing both have the potential to create soft prints, though the degree of softness varies.

DTG printing enables ink to permeate fabric fibres, making the print softer. Nevertheless, DTG ink may also impact print softness. DTG printing using water-based inks produces softer prints than plastisol or solvent-based inks.

On the other hand, when the appropriate transfer film, ink, and fabric are employed, DTF printing may also result in soft prints. These prints may feel somewhat thicker than DTG prints since the ink or toner is first printed onto the transfer film and then transferred to the cloth. Nevertheless, DTF printing can print on more textiles and colours, and the difference in softness is negligible.

Does DTF feel like vinyl?

Vinyl printing and DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing can both produce prints with textures that are quite comparable. 

If a thick transfer film is used, a DTF print may feel a little bit thicker than a vinyl print in some situations. Yet with the correct materials and methods, a DTF print may have a texture that is comparable to that of a screen-printed pattern and feel soft and flexible on the cloth.

Yet, heavy vinyl printing may give cloth a rubbery quality. This texture is stronger than DTF prints. Vinyl printing produces robust and long-lasting prints, particularly for patterns that need accurate and detailed cutting.

What is the texture of DTF?

A well-executed DTF print may have a screen-printed texture.

The DTF transfer film transfers ink or toner onto the fabric, providing a soft, flexible pattern with a texture that blends into the cloth. Such prints are thicker than DTG prints, but they shouldn’t feel stiff or heavy.

Transfer film also affects DTF print texture. In order to give the print a more old or distressed appearance, certain transfer films may have a smoother texture while others may have a slightly rougher texture.

Why does DTF feels like plastic?

Why does DTF feels like plastic?

If Direct-to-Film printing is done correctly using the necessary tools and methods, it shouldn’t feel like plastic. Like screen-printed designs, DTF prints should merge into the cloth with a smooth, flexible feel.

If the transfer film or ink isn’t right for the cloth or the printing process isn’t right, the print may feel plastic-like or stiff and heavy.

In case the design has a lot of solid areas and a thick transfer film is employed, the DTF print may feel like plastic. As opposed to a screen-printed design or a DTG print, in this instance, the print may feel thicker and less flexible.

How do you soften a stiff DTF print?

How to make t-shirts softer? You may soften a stiff DTF (Direct-to-Film) print using all these methods:

  • Heat press the print: By applying heat and pressure to the transfer film, a heat press may help in softening the print. This provides a stronger connection between the ink or toner and the cloth, increasing the print’s flexibility.
  • Wash the garment: Loosening the cloth fibres helps soften the pattern and mix it in. To prevent print damage, follow fabric and print washing recommendations.
  • Iron the print: Soften the print by gently ironing it with a heated iron and pressing cloth. Use the pressing cloth to shield the print from heat and prevent the transfer film from being harmed.
  • Make use of fabric softeners: Soften the pattern and fabric by adding a fabric softener to the wash.
  • Use a softer transfer film:  Try a softer transfer film if yours is rigid. Soft transfer films blend the design into the cloth and make it more pleasant to wear.

Tips for making DTF prints feel less plasticky

make your DTF prints less plasticky

DTF (Direct-to-Film) prints might feel less plasticky when you use these tips:

Choose the suitable transfer film: Transfer films vary in texture and flexibility. Your DTF prints may feel less plasticky and more pleasant to wear if you use a softer transfer film.

Use a better DTF printer: A better printer with a high-resolution print head may generate finer details and smoother lines, which can lessen the plasticky appearance and feel of your DTF prints.

Adjust the ink or toner settings: Change the ink or toner parameters to make DTF prints less plasticky. Reduce the ink or toner to give a more natural appearance that integrates well with the cloth.

Print on the correct fabric: DTF prints’ texture and feel depend on the cloth. Choose a soft, flexible cloth that works well with your transfer film, ink, or toner.

Post-treat the print: To soften and merge the print into the fabric, apply a post-treatment solution. Post-treatment solutions may remove surplus ink or toner and enhance print washability.

Heat press the print: Applying pressure and heat to the transfer film bonds the ink or toner to the cloth and creates a softer, more flexible print.

Conclusion- Make Your DTF Prints Softer

In conclusion, DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing can generate colourful, high-quality prints on many textiles. But, your prints must be soft and pleasant.

Use the proper transfer film, modify your ink or toner settings, print on the right fabric, post-treat your prints, and use a heat press to make DTF prints that feel soft and natural and blend in with the fabric.

By using these methods and suggestions, you can improve your DTF printing to produce prints that are not only gorgeous to look at but also comfortable to wear.


What is the best transfer film to use for making DTF prints softer?

Soft transfer films produced from polyurethane or polyester are suitable for soft DTF prints since they are more flexible.

How can I make my DTF prints softer by adjusting the ink or toner settings?

To generate a softer print that integrates better with the cloth, alter the ink or toner quantity.

Can I wash my DTF prints to make them softer?

Washing DTF prints loosens the cloth fibres, softening the print and blending it in. Follow the fabric and print washing instructions to prevent ruining the print.

Is it possible to make DTF prints feel less plasticky?

Absolutely, using a softer transfer film, altering your ink or toner settings, printing on the proper fabric, post-treating your prints, and using a heat press can make DTF prints less plasticky and more pleasant to wear.

Can I use fabric softener to make my DTF prints softer?

Indeed, adding fabric softener to the wash may soften the print and fabric, making the DTF print softer.

Similar Posts