Plastisol Ink Printing
When it comes to screen printing the most commonly used ink universally is most likely going to be plastisol ink. Why is that the case? Well for starters it is very user friendly, has good screen life and its almost impossible for it to go bad aside from it curing, and it adheres (sticks) to almost anything that can withstand the curing temperature.
Sounds awesome right? Well everything in this world has its ups and its downs. So you just read how awesome this stuff is. It wont ever dry out, easy to learn with and it sticks to pretty much anything that can take the heat. Well now the down falls of plastisol. It leaves a little thicker feel on the shirt, people complain about it being hard to mix at times and you need to use stronger chemicals to clean your screens.
So now let’s talk about a few tips that will help you when printing with plastisol since there are complaints of it getting hard to mix and causing fibrillation sometimes. So plastisol will not dry and a lot of the times when printers complain about the ink being hard to mix it has normally sat on the shelf for a while and the oils have separated from the ink. Before you think that the ink is a goner the first thing you need to do is mix that ink. A lot of the times when people are saying their plastisol ink is ruined it’s an issue of mixing. MIX MIX MIX! this will get the ink back to its normal state of a nice creamy body that is easy to work with on the screen.
In cooler areas meaning colder climate, your inks can get all stiff making it hard to mix. Don’t worry your ink isn’t messed up, in this situation all you have to do is warm up the ink temperature and mix it a little to get it back to its creamy printable texture. Plastisol can put up with a lot which is why it makes itself an easy base to learn on.
Oh yea! And another thing to know about plastisol ink is plastisol ink will work for pretty much any fabric but when you start to print on 50/50 or tri-blends that contain polyester and other fabrics you can run into issues with dye migration. Meaning if you take a normal white for your standard cotton shirt and you print on a polyester it might look fine at first but little but little that color from your shirt is going to start tinting your white ink. So if you printed white on a red poly shirt the inks going to start turning pink. Yes, it does happen we are not making this up, and it’s not worth finding out when you have a print job for a customer.
Ok that's it for now but in the future we will cover the soft hand that plastisol can have as well. Your plastsiol print doesn't have to feel rough and thick like everyone says. so keep your eyes peeled for that blog post in the near future.
For a lot of us screen printers (hobbyist, small shop etc.) a quart of emulsion can go a long way. Now we all know that emulsion is one of those products that needs to be used or you will eventually have to dispose of it.