What Type of Inks Are Available For Printing on My Apparel?

There are several types of inks used in apparel printing, each with its own unique characteristics and applications. Some of the common types of inks used in apparel printing include:

  1. Water-Based Inks: These inks are environmentally friendly and provide a soft feel after printing. They are ideal for light-colored fabrics because they are not very opaque. Water-based inks are absorbed by the fabric, which results in a more natural look.

  2. Plastisol Inks: Plastisol inks are PVC-based inks that need to be heat-cured. They are versatile, opaque, and work well on both light and dark fabrics. Plastisol inks sit on top of the fabric rather than being absorbed, providing a vibrant and durable print.

  3. Discharge Inks: Discharge inks are water-based inks that are formulated to remove the dye of the fabric they are printed on, leaving a natural, soft feel print. They work best on dark-colored, 100% cotton fabrics. Discharge printing is often used for achieving a vintage or distressed look.

  4. Silicone Inks: Silicone inks are known for their elasticity and durability. They are ideal for stretchy fabrics and sportswear, as they can withstand repeated stretching without cracking. Silicone inks have a glossy finish and are often used for special effects or raised textures.

  5. Eco-Solvent Inks: These inks contain eco-friendly solvents and are commonly used in digital printing processes. Eco-solvent inks adhere well to various fabrics and are suitable for detailed and high-resolution prints.

  6. UV-Curable Inks: UV-curable inks are dried instantly using ultraviolet light. They are commonly used in direct-to-garment (DTG) printing and offer vibrant colors and high-resolution prints. UV-curable inks work well on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and blends.

  7. Dye Sublimation Inks: Dye sublimation inks are used for printing on polyester fabrics. The ink sublimates, meaning it turns into a gas under heat and pressure and bonds with the polyester fibers, creating a permanent, vibrant, and smooth print. Dye sublimation is commonly used for sportswear, banners, and promotional items.

Each type of ink has its advantages and is chosen based on the specific requirements of the apparel printing job, such as fabric type, desired print effect, and intended use of the garment.

At Umbrella Printshop, we will help you select the best in to go with for your particular job.  If you have any other questions or need a more in depth explaination, feel free to contact us!

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