Direct to Film (DTF) Printing

Custom Direct to Film (DTF) Printing Services

Thinking about custom printing apparel and only need small quantities? Perhaps a limited promo event, a giveaway to selected customers. Maybe uniform when you only have a few staff. Even testing a design with bigger numbers planned. Well, our high quality Direct to Film printing services with no minimum order could be your answer. We have decades of experience screen printing t-shirts and customising clothes. And we provide DTF printing UK based here in our state of art London print shop.

What is DTF printing and how does it work?

As you might guess, Direct-to-Film printing involves the use of a special film in order to create your artwork on the garment. So, let’s take a quick look at that and how it works.

  • The DTF printing process begins with our skilled team using a DTF printing machine to print your design onto the transfer film. At this stage, a layer of white is applied first and the colours on top of that. A sequence which ensures that your design is both vibrant and precise.
  • After that, the custom DTF transfer is evenly coated with DTF powder (sometimes referred to as hot melt adhesive). An essential step because it’s how DTF transfers actually stick to the fabric of the garment.
  • Once the powder is cured we’re ready for the next stage. Which is, transferring the print directly to the garment with a heat press. Finally, allow time for cooling and we can peel off the film to reveal a stunning DTF printed piece of apparel.

And talking of which, let’s consider what can be embellished with this type of customisation.

Direct to Film printing services that work for you.

T-Shirt DTF Printing - Direct to Film Printing Services at Fifth Column.


Hoodie DTF Printing - Direct to Film Printing Services at Fifth Column.


Sweatshirt DTF Printing - Direct to Film Printing Services at Fifth Column.


Sportswear DTF Printing - Direct to Film Printing Services at Fifth Column.


Clothing & fabrics that can be DTF printed

DTF printing can be used on a wide variety of clothing because it’s a very versatile form of customisation. Fabrics like cotton, polyester, poly-cotton blends, nylon and more besides are often printed in this way. For instance, stuff such as silk, denim and treated leather can be suitable.

As you can imagine, this opens up a wide range of possibilities in terms of garment type. And it means that our Direct to Film printing services can be utilised for all of the most commonly customised items like tees, sweatshirts and hoodies. Plus, it’s an excellent option for sports clothing and athletic wear, products which can sometimes prove problematical with other methods of decoration.

Direct to Film t-shirt printing

Nowadays, there are many different ways to print tees. And amongst them, numerous different printing methods. For example, screen printing clothes, which is the most well established and best known. And remains the most economical approach for large volumes of custom shirts. However, it does have limitations and is not ideal for some jobs. In recent years, DTG printing apparel has become very popular. Especially for single or small batch prints. However, this too has drawbacks. Such as possible loss of vibrancy with artwork and unsuitability with certain base materials. In particular, some synthetic fabrics. Whilst DTF won’t be the right choice for every print project, it’s definitely preferable for some. Particularly those instances where factors like size of order or type of fabric make alternatives less appealing or simply impractical. So, where do you win with Direct to Film printing.

Transfer Film - DTF Printing - Direct to Film Printing Services at Fifth Column.

Advantages of Direct to Film (DTF) Printing

  • DTF printing has no minimum order. So is a good option for small print runs.
  • With a DTF printer, water-based inks (considered more eco-friendly) are standard.
  • Custom DTF transfers are flexible and therefore durable.
  • Direct to Film printing is ideal for photographs and very colourful designs.
  • It increases the options for printing polyester and synthetics.
  • Any t-shirt colour can be printed including darker shirts.
  • It’s a simpler solution when printing awkward areas.
  • The DTF process involves very little waste.

Are DTF prints good quality?

The short answer is yes. DTF t-shirt printing produces good quality results that are true to the original artwork. Which is a real plus if you have more detailed designs. It’s the same answer to the question is DTF printing long lasting? Yes, it’s resilient to wear, washes well, and doesn’t tend to crack or easily peel. Finished prints often have a similar feel to those achieved with screen printed t-shirts.

Why choose our Direct to Film Printing Services.

Fifth Column have been in the business of printing t-shirts and customising clothes since the 1970s. Over that time, we’ve printed literally millions of outstanding shirts and countless other high quality articles of clothing and merchandise. Located here in London from the very beginning, we offer a comprehensive range of customisation services designed around our customers. One of which is high quality DTF printing. And, just like the others, it comes with an assurance of expertise, attention to detail, and a passion for printing superior products. And providing excellent customer service to go with them.

Our other services

Screenprinting by Fifth Column Printers.

Screen Printing

We’ve been doing this for four decades now. Each of our state-of-the-art machines can print 600 garments an hour and we’ve got the process down to a fine art. That means colour faithful prints that won’t fade, that are soft to the touch and long-lasting.

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Garment finishing for custom printed and embroidered clothing and merchandise.


You can’t screen print perfectly on every garment, and that’s when embroidery comes into its element. It’s a stunning way to showcase your logo on jackets, hats, bags and workwear – it’s particularly durable and looks and feels premium.

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High quality, professional garment embroidery.

Garment Finishing

After the printing is done, it’s time for the finishing touches to get your garments retail ready: custom labelling, hem tagging, poly bagging and applying stickers all help you put your mark on the product and make it look professional.

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