let's learn about inks

Plastisol is a classic and it's what we use 99% of the time. However, have you considered other options?

Screen printing is a popular printing technique that involves pushing ink through a stencil, creating a design on a fabric or paper. It’s a versatile printing method that can be used on a variety of materials, including t-shirts, posters, and even wood. When it comes to screen printing, there are several types of inks to choose from. Here are the most common inks.

Plastisol ink is a popular choice for screen printing on t-shirts and other textiles. It’s made from PVC* particles that are suspended in a plasticizer, which creates a thick ink that doesn’t dry out or harden in the screen. This ink is easy to work with and produces a bright and vivid print. It’s also durable and long-lasting, making it a great choice for clothing and other textiles that will be washed frequently. Water-based ink is a more environmentally friendly option that’s becoming increasingly popular in the screen printing world. It’s made from a combination of water, pigments, and a binder that helps the ink adhere to the fabric. This type of ink produces a softer, more breathable print that’s great for t-shirts and other garments. It’s also easy to clean up and doesn’t require the use of harsh chemicals. Lastly, discharge ink is a water-based ink that’s been formulated to remove the dye from the fabric it’s printed on, leaving a soft, natural print. This type of ink is great for printing on dark fabrics, as it allows for bright and vibrant prints without adding a heavy layer of ink. However, discharge ink can be difficult to work with and requires special handling to achieve consistent results.

When choosing the right type of ink for your screen printing project, it’s important to consider the type of fabric you’ll be printing on, the color of the fabric, and the desired look and feel of the print. Each type of ink has its own pros and cons, and choosing the right one can make all the difference in the final product. No matter which ink you choose, screen printing is a great way to create high-quality, custom prints that will last for years to come.

As of April 2023, we only offer plastisol ink for the time being. If you'd like a more breathable print, let us know and we'll add a soft hand base to your designs inks. Soft hand base is a type of additive used in ink to create a softer, more comfortable feel on the printed fabric. When a soft-hand base is added to the ink, it creates a more "lived-in" or "vintage" look and feel to the print, as well as making the fabric feel softer and more flexible. This can be especially beneficial for printing on garments that will be worn frequently or for extended periods of time, as it can help prevent discomfort or irritation on the skin. It's important to note that soft-hand feel additive can affect the opacity and vibrancy of the ink, so it may not be the best choice for all types of designs or fabrics.

*We currently use either PVC-free or plastisol ink that contains minute amounts of PVC. Our end goal is to solely use eco-friendly inks in our shop to help do our part in keeping our planet alive and healthy.