SCREEN PRINTING :
Screen printing is good for large established and stable companies. If you have really large orders, nothing can beat screen printing but if you are just starting out or are a small company you shouldn’t go the screen printing route unless you have a lot of money to afford it easily. Screen printers charge you for everything, for color separations, acetate transparencies, screens, color changes etc. Screen printing is a very good way to print your T-shirts cause their print and quality is very good but it’s just for large orders for example 5,000 or 10,000 T-shirts. That’s why it’s not a very good route for you to go if you’re just starting out. Screen printing is economical just for large orders, it can produce any kind of print you need. It’s very expensive for beginners due to it’s set up fees.
SPECIALTY INKS FOR SCREEN PRINTING :
PLASTISOL INK :
Most of the times plastisol ink is used for screen printing. It contains oil for the flow and viscosity. They have a shiny look. In recent years it use has become less cause people like the soft hand feel and none shiny look of water based inks. Also plastosil ink is thick, rubbery and have this plastic feel, due to which people don’t prefer it much.It also doesn’t allow air to pass through it, if it is covering a large portion of a T-shirt, many people have complained that this print is hot and makes us sweat. And some people like this shiny look.
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WATER BASED INK :
This is a screen printing ink, which is based on water and not the oil. Due to it’s soft hand feel people prefer buying them. This ink goes into the fabric and gets absorbed by it, it doesn’t sit on top of it. This thing makes the garment very soft to the hand touch. Water based ink, dries very quickly due to which it’s very hard for screen printers to work with. There’s an additive that causes the ink to dry at a slower pace but that also is an added cost. There’s also another product called Chino base that can be added to the palstisol ink that can produce a thinner ink with a softer hand feel. But water based ink has a terrific look and feel, overall.
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DISCHARGE INK :
Discharging Ink, is a process where the ink applied to the T-shirt removes the color from the fabric. All this process uses a very special ink that is mixed with an additive. When both of these are mixed together it causes a chemical reaction. This ink now acts as a bleaching agent to the fabric with which it comes in contact with. Color pigments are added to this ink to produce color on the T-shirt. Once the T-shirt is printed and cured this print has no hand feel. This pigment of color now has become a part of the fabric. The ink has been bleached into the fabric now. But discharge ink only works on cotton and it works best on dark colors.
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METALLIC INK :
They mimic the look of a metal or a foil. Metallic look with a subtle shine. It’s a good substitute for foil which is a two step process.
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GLITTER INK :
It’s also a metallic ink, with specks and flakes of glitter inside it.
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SUGAR GLITTER INK :
A process of printing an adhesive ink then a crystal sugar looking substance is sprinkled on top of the ink. Then it is heated up and the sugar like glitter adheres to the T-shirt.
GLOW IN THE DARK INK :
An ink which glows in the dark.
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PUFF INK :
An adhesive that is added to the ink before printing. Once the T-shirt is printed there is not a visible difference between this and any other. This ink is then passed through heat, which causes a chemical reaction which makes this to ink raise up and become thicker.
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HIGH DENSITY INK :
It’s similar to puff printing but has a totally different process. High density printing is done by coating the screen with a thick coating of emulsion before the design is printed. The coating of a thick capillary film is made to be as thick as you will like the ink to raise from the shirt.
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FLOCKING INK :
Flocking has a smooth feel just like a suede. It can be applied by two ways. Normally Screen printers apply it by first printing a special adhesive. They then use a device which adds the flocking power to the adhesive. Once the powder is attached to the adhesive turns to a soft velvety suede like texture. After this the artwork is cut out of the flocked material using a vinyl cutter. The design is then heat pressed onto the T-shirt.
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