Printing on textiles requires more than a pretty design. When it comes to washable, wearable items, print washability is just as crucial as aesthetics.  In order to create durable goods and ensure client satisfaction, it is essential to make sure that your DTF prints can endure numerous washings. This blog article will discuss the value of washability in DTF printing. You will get to know how to make sure your prints can withstand several washings. We will also see how many washes does DTF last, with a few tests.

If the DTF transfers are good in quality and the cloth’s printing process were smooth, DTF printed garments can last for about 50 washes.

how many washes does dtf last

Importance of Washability in DTF Printing

It is impossible to overestimate the significance of DTF printing washability. A buyer who buys a printed item anticipates that it will withstand several washings and wearings without the print fading or peeled off. If the print fades after washing, it can make customers unhappy, give bad reviews, and discourage them from coming back.

Poor washability may have an influence on consumer satisfaction in addition to the print’s lifetime. Prints that can’t resist repeated washings are more likely to fade, break, or peel, shortening the product’s lifetime. For long-term usage things like uniforms or products, this might be troublesome.

Making sure that your DTF prints are washable is essential to producing high-quality, durable goods that clients will adore and keep using. By making sure your prints can endure numerous washes, you can boost consumer happiness, reduce product returns, and promote brand loyalty.

Factors that affect the washability of DTF prints

  • Ink Quality: DTF printing’s washability depends on the ink’s quality. Low-quality ink is less likely to withstand several washings than high-quality ink created especially for DTF printing on cloths.
dtf ink
  • Substrate Quality: The kind and quality of the fabric or substrate on which the print is put has an impact on how easily the print can be washed. Polyester, which is good for high-heat applications, is easier to wash than cotton or mixes, which shrink and fade.
  • Temperature and Duration of Curing: A strong, washable print requires proper curing. If the curing temperature or time is too low or too short, the ink may not completely stick to the cloth, reducing washability.
  • Washing Conditions: How you wash the print might impact its washability. Tumble-drying, strong detergents, and high heat might fade or peel the print faster.
  • Design Complexity: The intricacy of the design have an impact on how long the print will last. Designs with big regions of color are more durable than those with lots of tiny details or little text because the ink has more surface area to cling to.

Case Studies

We have conducted two DTF printing wash tests to come to a conclusion. Here’s more in that:

Test 1: Here, we are testing the washability of Direct-to-Film (DTF) prints, specifically black prints. We have two shirts, one with a black DTF print that has been washed about 52 times. The second one has a big DTF print that we have washed about 15 times. If we compare the two post washing, the black ink has not faded and the prints look as good as new.

The durability of DTF prints depends on the type of ink and curing method we use. So, it’s important to test and find a good supplier. In addition, we also have a super color shirt that has been washed more than 100 times and still looks vibrant. It’s an excellent product, but overpriced. We prefer DTF because of its lower price.

Test 2: Here, we test a shirt made using DTF transfer technology. We wash it in cold water and dry it on high. There was no cracking or peeling after approximately 20 washes. The shirt is a Gildan brand t-shirt. You can use DTF technology for your business, but keep in mind that the results will depend on the quality of the transfer company used.

Final Result: DTF transfers are a good solution for low-quantity orders. The prints holds well after several washes. However, there is maintenance time involved with the printer and you need to be prepared for that.

How Many Washes Can DTF Prints Last?

dtf printed white tshirt

DTF prints’ washability depends on ink quality, substrate quality, curing temperature and duration, washing circumstances, and design complexity. DTF prints’ wash life depends on these elements, the product, and use.

Well-made DTF prints may survive several washes before fading or flaking. Some printers say their prints endure 50 washes, while others say 30 or less.

Tips for Ensuring Good Washability

  • Use high-quality ink: Using a fabric-specific ink ensure that the DTF print sticks to the cloth and doesn’t fade or peel.
  • Utilise a substrate made for high-heat applications: Textiles made for high-heat applications, such polyester, have a tendency to hold up better over time than natural fibers like cotton.
  • Observe correct curing procedures: A sturdy, long-lasting print requires adequate ink curing. Make sure the curing temperature and duration are suitable to avoid poor adhesion and fragile cloth.
  • Wash with care: How the print is cleaned may have a big influence on how long it lasts. Avoid high heat, tumble-drying, and harsh detergents. It is advised to line dry clothes.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals: Using bleach, fabric softeners, or other strong chemicals might hasten the fading or peeling of the print.
  • Optimize design complexity: Optimize the design complexity to ensure that the ink has more surface area to adhere to. Designs with broad color regions often last longer than those with lots of fine details or small text.

Important DTF washing instructions

How do you wash digital printed shirts without cracking them? DTF prints need proper cleaning to retain quality and durability. Here are some washing instructions for DTF prints:

  • Before washing the garment, let the ink cure for 24–48 hours.
  • To preserve the print, turn the item inside out before washing.
  • To minimize fading and color bleeding, wash the clothing in cold water.
  • Use a mild detergent free of bleach and fabric softeners.
  • If at all possible, avoid using the dryer since heat might harm the design. Instead, use a low-heat setting on the dryer or allow the item to dry naturally.
  • Avoid ironing directly over the print as this might melt or peel the ink. Instead, iron the garment from the inside out or use a shield to protect the print from the iron.

Why does DTF Shirts Washing out after one wash?

dtf tshirt color faded after few washes

If DTF prints are applied properly, they shouldn’t fade after only one wash cycle. DTF shirts that wash away after one wash may be due to numerous factors:

Low ink quality – If the printing ink is of poor quality, it might not stick to the substrate effectively, causing early fading or washing away.

Poor curing – In DTF printing, curing, which includes heating the print to solidify the ink, is a crucial phase. Incorrect curing may cause ink to bind poorly to the substrate, limiting washability.

Wrong substrate: If you use the wrong kind of substrate for the print, it can also be challenging to clean. DTF printing on unsuitable textiles might cause poor adherence and washability.

Improper washing environment: Hot water, strong detergents, and high dryer heat may also make DTF prints unwashable.


When it comes to DTF printing, washability is an important issue to take into account. Make sure the prints are washable and can endure several washes to provide your consumers long-term value.

However, obtaining high washability requires carefully taking care of a number of parameters, including ink quality, substrate, curing, washing conditions, and design intricacy. You can make aesthetically beautiful and lasting DTF prints by following best practices for each of these elements.


Is DTF printing washable?

Yes, DTF prints can be washed, however how long they last will vary depending on the ink quality, substrate, and washing circumstances.

How should I wash my DTF printed shirt?

We suggest that you wash shirts with DTF printing inside out, in cold water, and with a mild detergent. If you can, avoid using the dryer, and don’t immediately iron the print.

Do DTF prints peel or break after washing?

If the print is applied appropriately, well cleaned, and properly maintained, it shouldn’t peel or fracture. Unfortunately, the print may break or peel due to subpar ink, bad drying, and unsuitable cleaning procedures.

How long are DTF prints good for?

DTF prints may withstand 50 wash cycles if handled carefully.

Can I iron my DTF printed garment?

If ironing is necessary, turn the garment inside out and use a protective layer between the iron and the print.

Can I do DTF printing on any fabric?

Certain fabrics are better for DTF printing than others. To choose the ideal substrate for your particular project, it is preferable to speak with a DTF printing specialist or the manufacturer.

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