What are water based inks for screen printing?
More and more customers these days have heard of water-based inks; however, many people are still uncertain of what exactly they are. Water-based inks are primarily an eco friendly option to traditional plastisol screen printing inks. They bond to the fabric well and do this without the use of any environmentally damaging chemicals mixed into the ink. Water-based inks for t-shirt printing are becoming more popular and more readily available as a result of more people become concerned about the environment. They are very much a part of today’s green movement.
Besides being environmentally friendly, water-based inks are also commonly used because they have a softer feel to the touch than traditional inks. This gives the design on the t-shirt a less intrusive feel when it is worn and it can also be used to simulate a vintage, worn look. In addition to all of that, since the inks are softer they are also simply considered more comfortable by many people.
Another major benefit to water-based inks that is often overlooked is that they can easily be used on towels or other fabrics that need the ink to settle into the fabric. This is good because it makes the print much harder to crack when stretching the fabric after a print. As we said above they are also softer which makes them more appropriate for items like towels.
There are a few obstacles to overcome with shifting from plastisol screen printing inks to water-based inks. One major disadvantage of using water-based inks is having to acquire equipment that can handle the curing at much higher temperatures. It takes much longer and much more heat to dry water-based inks than it does to dry standard plastisol inks. They have also been known to ruin screens and block up the mesh when the ink has been allowed to set for too long on a screen. Another disadvantage to water-based inks is the lack of ability to reclaim the ink and use it again. It can be done but it can also be very difficult and time-consuming.
At the time of this writing, You Design It is still exclusively uses plastisol ink for all screen printing on t-shirts. However, we are very fascinated by this trend in printing and we will definitely keep an eye on it for future developments. In the meantime, let us know what you think. Do water-based inks sound like something you would want to see available for your order?
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