In this type of industrial or commercial printing, the technique used to print full-color images, such as color photographs, is referred to as four-color-process printing, because four inks are used: three primary colors plus black. The “subtractive” primary ink colors are cyan (a bright blue), magenta (a vivid red-purple), and yellow; which are abbreviated as CMYK.
We use this process for photographs or designs that that have more than 8 spot colors in them.
A process of printing direct to a garment using an inkjet printer. Our brand new inkjet printers allow us to print to any color shirt with the capabilities of now being able to print light colors on dark garments, a relatively new process. Digital printing to garments is a great advantage for printing low quantities of shirts or shirts that have many colors in them such as a photograph. It allows for a digital art file to be rasterized much like how banners and signage are now printed in the industry, no longer requiring the burning of a screen to create the image.
Discharge ink is a water based product that is formulated to deactivate the dyes used on natural fabrics. Discharge screen printing can be used to print colors on dark garments that in the past would have required an additional layer of white ink in order to achieve proper opacity of top colors.
In its basic form, discharge is a clear ink with an activator added. The activator is zinc formaldehyde sulfoxylate, and this is what causes the dyes in the fabric to be deactivated. Printing a straight discharge ink typically “bleaches” the fabric down to its natural color, a slightly off white. Discharge inks work well on fabric that is dyed with reactive dyes, although some dyes are more resistant than others, often those colors are in the Kelly green, purple and royal blue families. When discharged, these resistant fabric dyes yield a more muted print that is usually a lighter tint of the base fabric color.
When we need to print a color rather than clear discharge ink we will add water based pigments to the ink in order to essential re-dye the fabric with the color of our choice. This allows us to maintain tight registration and bright prints on dark fabric without the use of an under-base. For the ultimate in soft colorful prints, pigments discharge is the way to go.
Plastisol ink is a type of ink used for silkscreen printing on to textiles. Plastisol inks are the most commonly used inks for printing designs on to garments, and are particularly useful for printing opaque graphics onto dark fabrics. Plastisol inks are not water-soluble. Because the ink is made up of PVS particles suspended in a plasticizing emulsion, the ink will not dry if left for extended periods of time. Plastisol inks are recommended for printing on colored fabric and on lighter fabric; plastisol is extremely opaque and can retain a bright image for many years. Plastisol inks will not dry, and need to be cured as a result. Curing the inks can be done with a flash dryer, or a belt oven. Most plastisol inks need to need to reach a temperature of about 350 degrees F before being fully cured. They tend to sit on top of the threads instead of soaking into them, giving the print a raised, plasticized texture.