Ricoh is launching a direct-to-film (DTF) solution that allows its direct-to-garment (DTG) machines to be used for printing onto film for garment decoration.

It produces designs on PET film which is then ready to apply to clothing and other textile surfaces through heat transfer. It can be retro-fitted on Ricoh’s existing Ri 1000 and Ri 2000 DTG printers.

It prints a CMYK layer first and adds a white layer on top – a reversal of the standard DTG configuration of white first and then CMYK.

The high-quality production is supported by ColorGate Textile Productionserver V21.1 which accurately processes graphically rich artwork from creative applications.

Ricoh, a specialist in print production technology, highlighted that the new DTF solution was useful for printing onto surfaces with water-repelling surfaces like leather, nylon and Gore-Tex.

It added that these kinds of prints had high fastness in heavy-duty washing cycles and were highly durable, making DTF particularly suitable for polyester-based applications such as workwear and sportswear.

Axel Stuhlreiter, head of textile solutions for Ricoh Europe’s Graphic Communications Group, said: “The innovative technology enhances the versatility and flexibility of Ricoh’s leading DTG printers.

“In just a few simple steps they can be transformed to enable DTF printing on a wide range of materials and deliver a greater variety of applications. The fast and simple process achieves highly creative results quickly and affordably.”

Ricoh’s DTF solution is being launched this month in the UK, the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.