DTF Transfer Printing onto Hoodies and Sweatshirts, The 101 Guide

DTF Transfer Printing onto Hoodies and Sweatshirts, The 101 Guide

Recently updated on January 29th, 2024 at 02:46 pm

DTF Transfer Printing onto Hoodies and Sweatshirts, The 101 Guide

Welcome to the world of DTF transfer printing, where customising your Hoodies and Sweatshirts has never been more enjoyable! Are you curious about the versatility of DTF transfers, wondering if they can go on any colour fleecy or can they be ironed on? You’ve come to the right place. Want to know how to Print DTF Transfers onto Hoodies or Sweat Shirts?

To Apply DTF Transfers to Hoodies first make sure you know the composition of the hoodie or sweatshirt, order the transfers to suit the composition. Check if the Fleece sublimates (if it does reduce the temperature and increase the time), use the DTF Transfers manufactures recommendations. Do a test print before going into production.

In this article, we’ll explore the exciting process of fitting DTF transfers onto various fabrics and answer your burning questions. This step-by-step guide will take you on a journey filled with vibrant colours, personalised designs, and expert tips.

By the end, you’ll not only be knowledgeable about how to print DTF Transfers onto hoodies and sweatshirts but also feel confident in creating your own unique pieces!

Choosing the Right Fabric: Can You Put DTF on Any Fabric?

DTF transfers are known for their versatility, but understanding fabric compatibility is crucial to achieve the best results. In this section, we’ll discuss how different fabrics react to DTF transfers and how to determine if your hoodie or sweatshirt is suitable for printing.

Understanding fabric compatibility

DTF transfers work best with fabrics that can withstand heat and have a smooth surface to ensure proper adhesion. While DTF transfers can be applied to a wide range of materials, they perform exceptionally well on cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blends.

Cotton provides a soft and comfortable base for the transfer, while polyester and cotton-poly blends offer excellent colour vibrancy and durability. However, fabrics with a high percentage of spandex, nylon, or other heat-sensitive materials may not be as suitable for DTF transfers, as they can be damaged by the heat required for the process.

It is advisable to do a test prior to fitting the transfers to see if they can be used.

How to tell if your hoodie or sweatshirt will sublimate

To determine if your hoodie or sweatshirt is suitable for DTF transfers, check the fabric composition. Look for garments that are made of at least 50% cotton to be confident.

If the fabric content is not listed on the garment’s label, or it has a greater than 50% cotton makeup you can also perform a test. If the fleecy is polyester rich, check if it will sublimate at the temperature for the transfers to be fitted.

For the test, use small fabric area from an inconspicuous area of the garment and use your heat press set to the temperature and time and pressure, do a press with clear heat transfer tape on the face side.

Observe the behaviour of the material after you press it, has it changed state at all, and remove the clear tape and check if the tape has been discoloured by the process. If the fabric is unaffected and the tape has not been stained, you are good to go.

If the fabric structure has changed, E.G become brittle or has become more compressed and shinier, or if the heat proof tape has discoloured, it would be advisable to source a different garment to print onto.

Now that you’ve determined if your hoodie or sweatshirt is compatible with DTF transfers, it’s time to prepare your garment for the magical transformation.

Preparing Your Hoodie or Sweatshirt: Ensuring a Perfect Fit

Before you dive into the world of DTF transfer printing, it’s crucial to prepare your hoodie or sweatshirt for the process. Taking the time to do this will not only help ensure a perfect fit but also increase the longevity of your transfer.

Let’s go through some essential steps to get your garment ready for a successful DTF transfer application.

Washing and drying your garments

It is best to use brand new Hoodies and sweatshirts that have not been worn or washed, and ensure that they are clean. If the garment is dirty or stained then wash it prior to fitting your transfer.

If washing ensure you fully dry your hoodie or sweatshirt. Ensure you use a PH Neutral detergent when washing your garment, and do not use fabric softener. It is best to air dry your garment out of direct sunlight.

Ensuring proper garment placement

Once your hoodie or sweatshirt is clean and dry, it’s time to set up your workspace. Place your garment on the platen of the heat press, ensuring there are no wrinkles, folds, or creases.

If you’re working with a hoodie, make sure the hood is positioned correctly and out of the way to avoid any mishaps during the transfer application process.

Using a lint roller, remove any remaining lint, dust, or stray fibres from the garment’s surface. This step is crucial, as even the smallest debris can affect the transfer’s adhesion and overall appearance.

Now that your hoodie or sweatshirt is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to delve deeper into the fascinating world of DTF transfer printing and learn about the critical components involved in the process.

DTF Transfer Printing: A Closer Look at the Process

Direct-to-Film (DTF) transfer printing is a relatively new digital printing technology that enables high-quality, full-colour prints on various textiles, including hoodies and sweatshirts.

The process involves printing an image onto a special film, applying an adhesive powder, curing the Transfer and then transferring the design onto the garment using heat and pressure.

Here is a general step-by-step guide to DTF transfer printing on hoodies and sweatshirts:

  1. Create or choose the design: First, create or select the design you want to print on your hoodie or sweatshirt. Use a graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create or modify the design. Make sure the image is high-resolution for best print quality. For best results save your artwork as a .png with a transparent background.
  2. Go to DTF Transfers Australia, select the size of transfer required, select how many you need, and select if the garment is cotton, of Polyester, if using a blend select Polyester for the material.
  3. Check the basic information is correct and now upload your art into the online designer, stack images as required.
  4. Click on add to cart once you have finished designing, check the cart is correct and process your payment.
  5. Once you have completed the order process we will take care of the rest, your transfers will be processed the following business day, and will be printed 3 business days after you order.
  6. Once you receive your transfers, unpack them trim as required, and prep the transfers for printing.
  7. Pre-press the garment: Before transferring the design, pre-press the hoodie or sweatshirt using a heat press to remove any wrinkles and moisture. This step will help ensure a smooth and even transfer.
  8. Position the design: Carefully position the printed film with the design “glue” face down on the garment. Make sure it is centred and properly aligned.
  9. Press the design: Place the garment with the design in the heat press, and adjust the temperature and pressure settings according to the transfer suppliers’ recommendations. Typically, the heat press should be set between 160°C-170°C for Cotton, or Cotton Rich Blends or between 130°C-135°C for Polyester, or Polyester Rich Blends with medium pressure. Press the design for the recommended time usually between 15-30 seconds.
  10. Peel the film: Once the heat press cycle is complete, wait for the film to cool down and carefully peel away the film, starting from one corner and moving slowly across the design. The design should now be transferred to the hoodie or sweatshirt.
  11. Post-press the garment (for best results): Most DTF printers recommend pressing the garment again for about 10 seconds after peeling the film to ensure better adhesion and durability. By placing parchment paper (Baking Paper works as well) over the design when doing your post press, you will achieve a nice satin finish.
  12. Allow the garment to cool and cure: Let the hoodie or sweatshirt cool down for a few minutes. The DTF Transfer will continue to etch onto the material for the next 24 hours, once this time has elapsed the Transfer will be fully set into the fabric.

After completing these steps, you will have a high-quality, full-colour DTF printed design on your hoodie or sweatshirt.

Remember to follow the care instructions provided by the garment manufacturer and the DTF printer to maintain the longevity of your print.

DTF Transfer Printing: A Closer Look at the Process

DTF (Direct-to-Film) transfer printing is an innovative technology that has revolutionised the world of garment customisation. This method allows for intricate designs and vibrant colours to be transferred onto various fabrics, including hoodies and sweatshirts.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the key components involved in the DTF transfer printing process.

The role of DTF inks and films

DTF inks play a significant role in achieving the stunning, high-quality prints that this technology is known for. These specially formulated inks are designed to work with DTF printers and film, ensuring that your designs come out vibrant, crisp, and long-lasting.

Some inferior printers use Sublimation Inks, while this will work ok the main reason this is done is cost as sublimation inks are cheaper than DTF and DTG inks.

In addition to the inks, DTF film is another essential component in the process. The film acts as a temporary carrier for the printed design and is responsible for transferring the image from the printer to the garment.

DTF films are coated with a unique adhesive that activates under heat and pressure, allowing the design to release seamlessly from the film and adhere to the fabric during the application process.

The adhesive powder applied to the transfer is also another important part of the process, different adhesive powders are designed for different types of material. Some may be fine or course, and some may be black in colour or white.

DTF on fleece: Is it possible?

Fleece is a popular fabric choice for hoodies and sweatshirts due to its softness and warmth. While DTF transfers can indeed be applied to fleece, it’s essential to approach the process with caution.

Fleece is more delicate than other fabrics, such as cotton or polyester, and may be more susceptible to heat damage, and due to the polyester make-up, it can also be prone to sublimating.

To achieve the best results when working with fleece, ensure you do a test press prior to fitting the transfer, and that you adjust the temperature and pressure settings of your heat press according to the fabric’s specific requirements.

This adjustment will help prevent scorching or melting while still ensuring proper adhesion of the transfer.

With a better understanding of the DTF transfer printing process, you’re now ready to learn some extra tips and tricks to help apply DTF transfers to your hoodies and sweatshirts, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that showcase your unique style.

Application Guidelines: Some Tips and Tricks to Help Fit DTF Transfers on Hoodies and Sweatshirts

Now that you’re familiar with the DTF transfer printing process, it’s time to learn a few more tips and tricks to help to apply these stunning transfers to your hoodies and sweatshirts. Follow these guidelines to ensure a flawless application and a professional-looking results.

Aligning and positioning the transfer

Before applying the transfer, carefully cut out your design, leaving a margin around the edges. This step will make it easier to handle the transfer and ensure proper alignment on the garment. Leaving a margin around the print will also make the peeling process easier.

Doing a Pre-Press will help prepare your garment to receive the transfer. It will also remove any moisture that may affect the adhesion of the transfer.

Next, position the transfer on your hoodie or sweatshirt, making sure it’s centred and straight. If necessary, use a ruler or a T-square to help with alignment.

(You can purchase special T Shirt rulers from online that can help with spacing and placement).

Once you’re satisfied with the placement, you can either use heat-resistant tape to secure the transfer in place or simply hold it steady with your hands.

Pressing and peeling tips

With the transfer in place, it’s time to apply heat and pressure using a heat press. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for temperature, pressure, and time settings, as these can vary depending on the type of fabric and transfer film you’re using.

Generally, DTF transfers are applied at temperatures between 130°C and 175°C for 10 to 30 seconds.

Place a Teflon sheet or parchment paper (Baking Paper works as well) over the transfer to protect it from direct contact with the heat press. Close the press slowly and apply the recommended heat and pressure for the specified time.

Once the timer goes off, carefully open the heat press and remove the Teflon sheet or parchment paper.

Wait for the transfer to cool down, gently peel away the film in a smooth, even motion. (Peeling the transfer paper back onto it’ self can be advantageous).

If you notice any areas that haven’t adhered properly stop peeling and repress, this normally happens due to the heat press not being set properly, or the heat press is not able to maintain the required consistent temperature.

After the film has been removed, cover the design with the Teflon sheet or parchment paper again and reapply heat and pressure for around 10 more seconds.

And there you have it! With this additional application guidelines, you’re well on your way to creating stunning, custom hoodies and sweatshirts using DTF transfers.

As you gain more experience, you’ll find it easier to experiment with different designs and techniques, taking your garment customisation skills to new heights.

DTF Transfers and Longevity: How Long Do They Last?

One of the most common questions when it comes to DTF transfers is how long they last. The durability and longevity of your DTF transfer on hoodies and sweatshirts depend on several factors, such as the quality of materials used, application techniques, and proper care.

In this section, we’ll discuss these factors and provide some tips to ensure your transfers remain vibrant and long-lasting.

Proper care and maintenance

To maximise the lifespan of your DTF transfer, it’s essential to follow proper care and maintenance guidelines.

Always turn your garment inside out before washing, as this will help minimise friction and protect the transfer from direct contact with other garments in the wash.

Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild PH Neutral detergent, and avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as these can damage the transfer.

For drying, either air-dry or if you have to tumble dry use the lowest heat. High heat can cause the transfer to crack or peel over time.

Factors affecting transfer lifespan

The lifespan of your DTF transfer is also influenced by the quality of the materials used. High-quality DTF inks and films and powder provide better adhesion and colour vibrancy, resulting in transfers that last longer and withstand repeated washing and wearing.

Additionally, proper application techniques play a significant role in the longevity of your transfer. Following the transfer suppliers’ guidelines for temperature, pressure, and time settings will ensure that the transfer adheres correctly to the fabric, reducing the risk of peeling or cracking.

With proper care, use of high-quality materials, and correct application techniques, your DTF transfers can last for several years, allowing you to enjoy your customised hoodies and sweatshirts for a long time.

DTF vs. Vinyl: Which Is Better?

When it comes to garment customisation, both DTF and vinyl transfers offer unique advantages and limitations. In this section, we’ll compare the two methods, highlighting their pros and cons, to help you decide which technique is better suited for your hoodies and sweatshirts.

DTF transfers


  • High-quality prints: DTF transfers produce vibrant, full-colour prints with sharp details, making them ideal for complex designs and photographs.
  • Versatility: DTF transfers can be applied to a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blends.
  • Soft hand feel: DTF transfers are thin and lightweight, resulting in a soft and comfortable feel on the garment.
  • Durability: DTF transfers are known for their durability and can withstand multiple washes without fading or cracking.


  • Slightly higher cost: DTF transfers can be more expensive than vinyl transfers, especially for smaller quantities.
  • Requires specialised equipment: Purchasing Ready To Press Transfers from DTF Transfers Australia will reduce this, but you will still need a good quality Heat Press.
  • The Transfers can be discoloured if the garment is prone top sublimation.

Vinyl transfers


  • Easy to weed and apply: Vinyl transfers are relatively easy to work with and can be applied with a heat press or even a household iron (not advised).
  • Cost-effective for small quantities: Vinyl transfers can be more cost-effective for small quantities or single-color designs.
  • Sublimation resistance: if you use a Subli-Blocking vinyl any sublimation that the garment might have will be overcome.


  • Limited design complexity: Vinyl transfers are not ideal for intricate designs, as they involve manual weeding and layering of multiple colours.
  • Stiffer feel: Vinyl transfers can have a more rigid and noticeable feel on the garment, which may be less comfortable for some wearers.
  • Less versatile: Vinyl transfers may not adhere well to certain fabrics, such as fleece or heat-sensitive materials.

The choice between DTF and vinyl transfers depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritise high-quality, full-colour prints with a soft hand feel, DTF transfers may be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for simple designs and smaller quantities, vinyl transfers might be more suitable.

Ultimately, both methods have their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to decide which one aligns best with your garment customisation goals.

Frequently Asked Questions: Your DTF Transfer Queries Answered

When venturing into the world of DTF transfers, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. In this section, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about DTF transfers and provide helpful answers to guide you through the process.

Can DTF transfers go on any colour sweatshirt?

Yes, DTF transfers can be applied to sweatshirts and hoodies of any colour. The white ink used in the printing process ensures that your design remains vibrant and visible, even on dark-coloured garments.

Can DTF transfers be ironed on?

No, DTF transfers cannot be successfully fitted with a household iron. A heat press is recommended for the best results. Heat presses provide consistent heat and pressure, ensuring proper adhesion and a professional finish.

How do I tell if my hoodie or sweatshirt will sublimate, and will it be a problem?

To determine if your hoodie or sweatshirt is suitable for DTF transfers, check the fabric composition. Look for garments that are made of at least 50% cotton.

You can also perform a test to identify the fabric type and suitability. Sublimation is where the colour is released from the garment when heat is applied, and it’s not typically suitable for DTF transfers.

Is DTF better than vinyl?

Both DTF and Vinyl Transfers have their advantages and limitations. DTF transfers offer high-quality, full-colour prints with a soft hand feel and are suitable for a wide range of fabrics.

Vinyl transfers, on the other hand, are more cost-effective for small quantities and simple designs but can have a stiffer feel on the garment.

The choice between DTF and vinyl depends on your specific needs and preferences.

We hope that this FAQ section has addressed your concerns and provided you with valuable insights into the world of DTF transfers. We also have a more in-depth article about FAQ’s of this great process.

With this knowledge in hand, you’re well-equipped to create stunning, customised hoodies and sweatshirts that showcase your unique style and creativity.


DTF transfer printing is a versatile and innovative technology that allows you to create stunning, high-quality custom hoodies and sweatshirts with ease.

By understanding the various aspects of the process, including fabric selection, preparation, application techniques, and proper care, you can achieve professional-looking results that last for years.

Whether you’re looking to create one-of-a-kind pieces for yourself, your friends, or your customers, DTF transfers are a fantastic option for garment customization.

Now that you’re well-versed in the world of DTF transfers, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action.

Don’t wait any longer to bring your creative vision to life. Head over to DTF Transfers Australia to purchase your custom printed transfers that are ready to fit.

With their high-quality products and exceptional customer service, DTF Transfers Australia is the go-to destination for all your DTF transfer needs. Elevate your hoodies and sweatshirts with vibrant, eye-catching designs – order your DTF transfers today!

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