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What to Consider When Bringing DTF In-House

Workflow, quality of equipment and products, and training are just a few factors.

Apparel decorators should review a few factors when adopting DTF technology in-house: workflow, quality of equipment and products, staff training, sustainability, support, and education.

“Understanding the complete workflow is crucial. This includes not just the printing process, but also pre-treatment, curing, and finishing. Each step is vital to ensure the final product meets quality standards,” Daniel Valade, product manager, Roland DGA says.

The quality of the printer as well as the consumables are also important. “The choice of inks, films, and powders greatly affects the durability, feel, and appearance of the print,” he says. “Using high-quality consumables not only produces better results but can also reduce waste and increase efficiency.”

Employee training and skill development must be addressed because DTF involves specific techniques and knowledge to run efficiently and achieve quality results.

The print shop is the last group in a long chain to touch the final product before it’s received by the customer. “As the industry moves toward more sustainable practices, understanding the environmental impact of the inks and other consumables, and how to dispose of them responsibly is extremely important,” Valade says.

Taylor Landesman, VP, Lawson Screen & Digital Products says the biggest consideration for bringing DTF in-house is support. “The cost of the machine is not how much you pay, but the total cost of ownership,” he says. “I’ve heard countless horror stories from current clients who at first tried a cheap DTF machine, only to struggle with support, parts, and help. The piece of mind that comes with finding a vendor that offers U.S.-based support on both the equipment and supplies is priceless.”

Last, but certainly not least, continuous learning and education must be top of mind for those in the DTF space. This includes the latest advancements, certifications, and new materials and equipment. “The industry is evolving quickly, and being aware of new techniques, materials, and equipment can keep a business competitive,” Valade says.

This article is written by Adrienne Palmer and originally published in Graphics Pro Magazine.

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