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DTF or Direct-to-Film printing is a method where you print designs on special film paper. After printing, you use a heat press to transfer the design onto clothes, like t-shirts, hoodies, and more. It’s different from other methods because the designs come out very bright and last a long time. This makes DTF printing a popular choice for custom clothing.

But how much does it cost to start a DTF business? We are gonna explore in this blog.

Well, starting a DTF business in 2024 is a great idea for many reasons. 

First, custom clothes are very popular right now. People love to wear unique designs that show their personality. 

Second, with DTF printing, you can create very detailed and colorful designs. This can help you stand out from other businesses. 

Third, you don’t need a lot of money to start. You can start small, with just a few pieces of equipment, and grow your business over time. 

Plus, more people are shopping online, so you have a big market to sell to.

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about starting a DTF business. First, we will look at how much money you need to start. This includes the cost of equipment and supplies. Next, we will talk about the day-to-day costs of running the business, like maintenance and electricity. Let’s get started!

How Much Does it Cost to Start a DTF Business in 2024

Source: DTF Station

How Much Does it Cost to Start a DTF Business?

As a simple answer, for just the printer, you might spend between $2,000 and $20,000. Heat presses also vary in cost, depending on how big they are. So, the total cost will depend on the size of the printer and heat press you choose. 

So for a decent start, you can say it may cost around 12,000 Dollars. You will get a clear understanding from the calculation below.

Initial Costs


  1. DTF Printer

A DTF printer is the heart of your business. It’s where you print your designs onto special film paper. The cost of a DTF printer can vary depending on the brand and features. 

Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 for a good quality DTF printer. Some important features to look for include print resolution, printing speed, and compatibility with different types of film.

  1. Heat Press Machine

Once you’ve printed your designs onto the film, you need to transfer them onto clothes using a heat press machine. There are different types of heat press machines, including clamshell, swing-away, and multi-function. 

Prices range from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on the size and features you need.

  1. Software

To create and edit your designs, you’ll need design software. Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW are popular choices among DTF businesses. 

The cost for these software programs can vary, but you can expect to pay around $20 to $50 per month for a subscription. 

Normally, you can get the designs ready-made from the web or some graphics designers. They are gonna charge some money for it, but it is worth it as it will save you a lot of time.

Supplies You Need

  1. DTF Film

DTF film is the special paper that you print your designs onto. The average price for DTF film varies depending on the brand and quantity you buy. On average, you can expect to pay around $2 to $5 per square foot of film.

  1. DTF Ink

DTF ink is what gives your designs their color and vibrancy. The cost of DTF ink varies depending on the brand, color, and quantity you buy.

On average, you can expect to pay around $50 to $100 per liter of ink.

  1. Adhesive Powder

Adhesive powder is used to bond the ink to the clothes during the heat press process. The amount of adhesive powder you need depends on the size and complexity of your designs. 

On average, you can expect to pay around $20 to $50 per pound of adhesive powder.

Operating Costs

  1. Maintenance

Regular maintenance is important to keep your equipment running smoothly. This includes cleaning the printer heads and replacing worn-out parts. 

The cost of maintenance can vary depending on the type and condition of your equipment, but you should budget around $100 to $200 per month for maintenance.

  1. Electricity

Running a DTF business requires electricity to power your equipment. The estimated monthly cost of electricity depends on factors like the size of your operation and the efficiency of your equipment. 

On average, you can expect to pay around 40 dollars per month for electricity.

  1. Consumables

Ink and film are consumable supplies that you’ll need to replace regularly. The amount of ink and film you use per month depends on factors like the number of designs you print and the size of your operation. On average, you can expect to spend around $200 to $500 per month on ink and film consumables.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a DTF Business in 2024

Additional Expenses


This can vary depending on the training program you choose. It might range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you are smart enough, you can simply learn it from YouTube or Google.


It’s something that you can do both for free and premium. You can start with a small budget for online advertising, like social media ads, which might range from $100 to $500 per month. 

You can also consider other marketing strategies like creating a website or attending local events, which could cost a bit more.


Packaging materials such as boxes, bags, and labels might cost around $50 to $200 per month, depending on the volume of orders you receive.

Total Estimated Cost for DTF Business in 2024

To start a DTF business in 2024, the total estimated cost can vary depending on factors like the size of equipment and marketing budget. Here’s a rough estimate:

  • Low Estimate: $5,000 (for a small setup with basic equipment and minimal marketing)
  • Medium Estimate: $12,000 Dollars (for a decent setup with good quality equipment and normal marketing)
  • High Estimate: $30,000 (for a larger setup with advanced equipment and more extensive marketing efforts)

These estimates include equipment, supplies, additional expenses like training and marketing, and packaging materials. Keep in mind that actual costs may vary based on individual circumstances and business needs.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a DTF Business in 2024


Well, starting a DTF business can be super fun! But before jumping in, it’s smart to check out all the costs and make a good plan. Remember, it’s important to do your homework and think about your budget carefully.

Hey there! We’re SpeedE Transfers, a cool DTF printing company in Austin, USA. If you’re thinking about starting your own DTF business or need some help, we’re here for you! Feel free to reach out to us anytime. We’d love to chat and see how we can work together to make your DTF dreams come true!

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