The Inks Behind your Prints
When it comes to printing quality, the type of ink used during the print plays the most significant role in deciding the quality and durability of the print. Inks are the foundation of you brand image on your printed apparel. There are two main Silkscreen inks that is being used in the market at the moment.
Water-Based Silkscreen Ink
Water-base inks are dispersion of pigments in a water based medium. One of the main features of water-based ink is the ability to seep into fabrics due to its thin & light texture when printed on a garment making it a lot more breathable than any of the other inks available. Not only that, water-based inks provides a much soft texture when compared to the other inks as it is absorbed into the material upon being printed.
However, there are also a few limitations when printing with water-based ink. Some of which are that water-base inks do not appear as sharp when printed on materials due to the ink not having a very dense base. On top of that, when printing on lighter garments water-based inks are perfectly fine. but once paired with a dark coloured garment the colours of printed water-based inks tend to have a variation of the garments (white print on dark garments may appear grey-ish).
Plastisol Silkscreen Ink
Plastisol Silkscreen ink is currently the most durable ink in the market. Its prints has been known to even outlast the life of the garment. Not only does the dense plastisol ink provide a better texture but it also creates a vibrant and sharper print. Not only that, with the use of Plastisol Ink printers are able to replicate the exact colours of your company logo providing they are provided with the pantone colour codes.
Although there are many benefits of using Plastisol inks, there are also shortcomings when using thicker silkscreen inks. One of them is that the thick prints may cause apparels to be less breathable when large area prints are done. Not only that, as there are PVC and plasticizers in the inks; applying direct iron on the prints will cause the prints to melt.
If you are still indecisive on the types of inks to use please do consult your local printer. Plastisol inks has gotten very well-known over the past few years due to its durability. However, Water-based inks also do provide a vintage print effect with its light ink.