x Request Quote

Screen Printing Inks

We mainly use 2 types of ink for screen printing. 

Plastisol Ink

  • Vibrant colors
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Can be used on a variety of fabric materials, including polyester

Plastisol ink is the most common ink used in the textile screen printing industry. The ink is a made up of PVC resin and a plasticizer. Plastisol does not dye the fabric itself but rather adheres to the fabric’s surface. Once the plastisol ink is cured through a heat treatment, the elements of the ink fuse together and bond with the fibers of the fabric, leaving them permanently attached. With plastisol ink, your screen printed designs reach incredible levels of vibrancy, resistance, and resiliency. 

One of the major advantages of plastisol inks is its versatility. Not only can it be used on a variety of fabrics, including polyester and triblends (with special considerations to avoid issues like dye migration), but we can apply additives to the ink to achieve special prints, such as glow-in-the-dark or metallic inks. Plastisol can also be used for full-color screen printing through CMYK and Simulated Process Printing.

Water-Based Ink

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Soft-to-touch
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

As these eco-friendly inks are water-based, the garment’s fibers are able to absorb the ink directly instead of just having the ink sit on top of the fabric. This makes for a soft-to-touch design (or “soft hand printing” for the technically minded). The softness, light weight, and durability make it ideal for toddler or youth clothing.

Water-based ink works on both light and dark garments. For dark clothing, we first apply a layer of discharge ink which removes the dye from the fabric and redyes it with the color of choice. Certain dyes and fabrics (such as dark blue, dark green, and dark purple) are resistant to the discharge so process, so we can work with you to find the right choice of clothing to use with water-based inks.

Back to Screen Printing Main Page

Talk To A T-Shirt Design Specialist!

Request Quote