Are you a sublimation printing enthusiast looking to explore new possibilities in your craft? Can you print DTF with sublimation ink? You’ve come to the correct spot if you’ve heard about DTF printing with sublimation ink and are ready to learn more about this fascinating process. In this complete guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about DTF printing using sublimation ink. You’ll get the information and step-by-step steps you need to make beautiful prints on a variety of fabrics.

How to Do DTF Printing with Sublimation ink

Preparing for DTF Printing

Make sure you have all the required materials and equipment before beginning the DTF printing process. To get the best effects, it’s also essential to know which textiles to use and to prepare your artwork appropriately. Let’s look at the main elements of getting ready for DTF printing:

Equipment and Supplies Needed

You have to purchase the following necessary supplies before starting your DTF printing journey:

  • Purchase a dependable inkjet printer that can handle sublimation ink. Make sure it can handle the appropriate print size and has suitable color management settings.
  • Sublimation Ink: Select premium sublimation ink that is suitable with the design of your printer. For any printing jobs, be sure you have adequate ink.
  • Purchase DTF transfer film, which is created especially for sublimation printing. The film’s surface has to be smooth for the best ink absorption and transfer.
a dtf transfer film
  • Heat press: To transfer the design from the DTF transfer film to the fabric, a heat press is required. Verify that the device can manage pressure and temperature consistently.
  • Using a ruler and scissors, you can easily measure and cut the DTF transfer film to the right size for your drawings.
  • Wearing protective gloves is essential to maintain personal safety while working with ink and chemicals for DTF printing.

Choosing the Right Fabrics for DTF Printing

Not all fabrics are suitable for DTF printing. Look for textiles with a high percentage of polyester or those made especially for sublimation printing. Better ink absorption and vivid color transfer are possible with polyester materials. Avoid using natural fibers or textiles with low levels of polyester since they could not provide the intended effects.

Preparing the Artwork


Before printing, it’s essential to prepare your artwork to ensure optimal results:

  • Design Considerations: Consider the dimensions, resolution, and color specifications of your design. Think about the type of fabric and how you plan to use your printed design.
  • Image Resolution and Size: To ensure clarity and sharpness, make sure your design has a high resolution (often 300 DPI or above). Without sacrificing quality, scale your design to meet the required print size.
  • Color management: To ensure proper color representation in your design, calibrate your monitor and tweak the color settings. To get consistent and colorful results, use color profiles designed for your printer and sublimation ink.

Printing DTF with Sublimation Printers- Case Study

We conducted a test using a sublimation printer, sublimation ink and an artwork on a cotton t-shirt. First, we printed the design on the transfer film using the Sublimation printer. Then, we sprinkled the powder onto it. Finally, we heat-pressed the film onto the cotton t-shirt. Here’s our observations:

  • DTF printing with sublimation printer allows for printing on light-colored or white cotton shirts, which traditionally require a polyester blend for sublimation.
  • DTF film with adhesive powder can be used as a sublimation hack to transfer sublimation ink onto cotton.
  • Sublimation ink works best on white shirts.
  • True DTF printing involves using a white channel of ink. It is to create a backing on designs, allowing them to be transferred onto dark fabrics. However, the hack she presents is not a true direct-to-film method but rather a workaround to print sublimation designs onto cotton shirts.
  • We compared the results of the sublimation DTF print with a true DTF transfer on a white cotton shirt, there was significant differences in color and quality.
  • This hack does not offer the same level of quality, color control, and versatility as true DTF printing.
  • We recommend considering true DTF printing or outsourcing transfers if it’s for business purposes, as this hack may not be ideal for professional results.

Also See: Alternatives of DTF printing


We have covered every aspect of this fascinating printing method, from understanding the operation to assembling the required tools to putting your artwork and textiles together. By following the step-by-step steps, you now have the skills and tools to make beautiful, colorful prints on different fabrics.

DTF printing using sublimation ink gives you a plethora of creative options and makes it simple to produce results of expert caliber. Therefore, let your creativity run wild, experiment with various patterns and materials, and enjoy the almost limitless possibilities that DTF printing offers!


What is DTF printing with sublimation ink?

DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing with sublimation ink involves using an inkjet printer with sublimation ink to print graphics onto a particular transfer film. The printed pattern is then applied to the fabric using a heat press machine, making pictures that are bright and last a long time.

What benefits do DTF prints using sublimation ink offer?

Sublimation ink for DTF printing has various benefits. High-quality prints with vivid colors, outstanding color accuracy, and precise details are possible. It prints on a variety of textiles, including polyester mixes and cotton. DTF printing also offers a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized print runs.

Can I use any inkjet printer for DTF printing with sublimation ink?

Sublimation ink is not compatible with all inkjet printers. You need a printer that is particularly made for sublimation ink. It should have the right color management settings to ensure effective DTF printing. Before making a purchase, it is advised to review the printer’s specs and speak with the maker or a trustworthy provider.

Are there any specific fabric requirements for DTF printing?

DTF printing works well on polyester-rich textiles or sublimation materials. Better ink absorption and vivid color transfer are possible with polyester materials. Natural fibers or fabrics with little polyester content could not provide the intended effects. Select materials that can resist the heat press process without damage.

Can I print on dark-colored fabrics using DTF printing with sublimation ink?

Since sublimation ink is transparent, DTF printing with it performs best on white or light-colored materials. While printing on dark-colored textiles is feasible, using sublimation printers won’t give you the quality that DTF can. So, we don’t encourage you to apply these tactics on dark materials.

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