Plastisol is the most widely used ink for screen printing today. This PVC based ink sits on top of the garment’s fibers, allowing for great coverage on light and dark garments. It’s unmatched when it comes to bright colors on cotton and blended garments, and is the most accurate when it comes to matching Pantones. These inks are very durable, and when properly cured, prints will last for years.
Waterbased ink is exactly what it sounds like, ink that uses water as a solvent. This ink is very thin (like water), so it soaks directly into a garment’s fibers, resulting in a very soft print. It’s primarily used on light, 100% cotton garments. Using it on blended shirts can create a cool “vintage” look. These inks typically wear with the shirt, resulting in a well loved look over time.
Discharge is a waterbased ink containing a bleach-based agent. Once it is absorbed by fabric, this ink is effectively a dye. Discharge ink allows for extremely soft prints (once washed). It can produce incredibly vibrant colors (on 100% cotton garments), but it’s very reactive to a garments color and blend. Discharging garments with a low cotton content is not recommended. Although custom colors are available, Pantone matches are not as accurate as plastisol.
Athletic inks are similar to Plastisol, however they have a lower cure temperature, and contain blocking agents that prevent dye migration on dyed fabrics such as polyester. These inks allow for screen printing on more delicate garments that are highly reactive to heat.
Specialty inks are also available at Press & Release. We offer glitter inks, shimmer inks, puff inks, foil, etc. If you’re looking for something to help your print stand out, we’ve got you covered!