Ink is a crucial component of the t-shirt printing process. It is responsible for adding color and design to the fabric. However, not all inks are suitable for printing on t-shirts. In this blog post, we will discuss the types of inks used for t-shirt printing and their properties.
Types of Inks Used for T-Shirt Printing
Water-based ink is a popular choice for t-shirt printing. It is made of water, pigments, and binders. Water-based ink is eco-friendly and safe to use. It is suitable for printing on light-coloured fabrics and produces a soft, breathable print. Water-based ink dries quickly and does not leave a heavy feel on the fabric. However, it is not suitable for printing on dark-coloured fabrics as it does not provide good coverage.
Plastisol ink is a synthetic ink that is widely used for t-shirt printing. It is made of PVC particles suspended in a plasticizer. Plastisol ink is known for its durability and ability to produce bright, vibrant colors. It is suitable for printing on both light and dark fabrics. Plastisol ink requires a heat press to cure, which makes it a popular choice for screen printing. However, it is not eco-friendly and can leave a heavy feel on the fabric.
Discharge ink is a type of water-based ink that is used to print on dark-coloured fabrics. It contains a bleaching agent that removes the dye from the fabric and replaces it with the desired colour. Discharge ink produces a soft, breathable print that is durable and long-lasting. However, it is more expensive than other types of inks and requires a high level of expertise to use.
Solvent-based ink is a type of ink that is used for printing on synthetic fabrics, such as polyester. It is made of solvents, pigments, and binders. Solvent-based ink produces bright, vibrant colors that are resistant to fading and washing. However, it is not eco-friendly and can emit harmful fumes during the printing process.
Hybrid ink is a combination of water-based and plastisol inks. It is designed to provide the best of both worlds by combining the durability of plastisol ink with the soft feel of water-based ink. Hybrid ink is suitable for printing on both light and dark-colored fabrics and produces a soft, breathable print. However, it is more expensive than other types of inks.
Which Ink is Best for T-Shirt Printing?
The type of ink used for t-shirt printing depends on several factors, including the fabric, colour, design, and printing method. For example, water-based ink is best for printing on light-coloured fabrics, while plastisol ink is suitable for printing on both light and dark fabrics.
Screen printing is the most popular method of t-shirt printing, and plastisol ink is the most commonly used ink for screen printing. It is known for its durability and ability to produce bright, vibrant colours. However, water-based ink is gaining popularity due to its eco-friendliness and ability to produce a soft, breathable print.
Discharge ink is a suitable option for printing on dark-coloured fabrics, but it is more expensive and requires a high level of expertise to use. Solvent-based ink is best for printing on synthetic fabrics but is not eco-friendly.
In conclusion, the type of ink used for t-shirt printing depends on several factors. The printing method, fabric, colour, and design all play a role in determining the best ink for the job. T-shirt printers should choose the ink that best suits their needs while also considering the environmental impact and safety of the ink.