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How to Print Professional Mousepads

Can DTF Printing Really Compete?

While a typical workstation may not be equipped with a mousepad anymore, they are an integral part of any video gamer’s setup. Professional mousepads tend to be larger, an almost full desk in length, but aren’t made from chunky rubber and poor quality felt like they used to be. These days they are slim, sleek, and covered in unique prints.

What Gamers Look for in Professional Mousepads

In short, it comes down to feel and performance, as one would expect. The team at decided to take a professional mousepad and print designs on each half. One half would mimic a logo design, with sparser ink used, and the other half would be a full DTF print, covering much of the space. We got some pleasing results after a few test runs on the heat press at various temperatures and times.

The Test Results: Feel

We saw nearly flawless results on the logo half (or sparse ink side) of our professional mousepad. The ink dried quickly and smoothly and didn’t warp the rubber.

On the other half, where we used more ink, the results were good but could have been better. We noticed some of the ink was raised to the touch, and it took our tester a few attempts in the heat press to get the ink to apply correctly and settle.

The Test Results: Performance

The next part of our DTF experiment involved using the pad in an office and gaming scenario.

The side with more ink experienced some mouse dragging and could have been smoother. The side with less ink, where we mimicked a logo design, performed incredibly well. It was nearly perfect, and the mouse could glide around the space easily.

Tips for your DTF Mousepad Project

  • Use halftones and sparse patterns during the design for excellent results.
  • Test at lower heat settings, to begin with.
  • Apply strong pressure on the heat plate.
  • Do a second press with parchment paper.
  • Always lay the mousepad flat during cooling.
  • Avoid “heavy” prints (using lots of ink).

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