The two most common types of inks used in apparel printing are water-based inks and plastisol inks. Water-based inks are a popular choice because they are environmentally friendly, but they do not always create a design as bright and bold as plastisol. A lot of print shops prefer to use plastisol ink because it has a strong bond to fabric to create a bright bold design that won’t chip, peel, or fade over time. In this blog post, we will go over what plastisol ink is, why people choose plastisol, and whether it is toxic.
What is Plastisol Ink Made Of?
Plastisol is an ink that is PVC based. It is made of PVC resin mixed with plasticizer fluid. When these two substances are mixed together, they create a very flexible yet sturdy material that works well on t-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel.
Why Choose Plastisol Ink?
Since plastisol ink is one of the most used inks in screen printing, it’s important to know why print shops use this kind of ink. There are many reasons why, either having to do with how the ink turns out or how it is able to last. Find out more by taking reading about the different benefits of plastisol ink.
Creates Vibrant Colors
Waterbased inks can absorb into the fabric, creating lighter, almost pastel, colors in the design that don’t always show up on dark colors. Instead of soaking into the fabric, plastisol ink bonds with the fabric to create brightly colored designs on any color fabric.
It is Cured, Not Dried
Plastisol Ink designs have to be cured at a high temperature because the ink itself doesn’t dry. This creates a stronger bond between the material and is what prevents the design from cracking or peeling away from the shirt.
Plastisol inks can be used to create designs on almost any type of fabric, including polyester and nylon. This makes them a more popular choice than waterbased inks, which work best on cotton materials.
Once the plastisol ink is cured on the t-shirt or apparel of your choice, it won’t crack, fade, or develop other wear. This is because the material that is used is very sturdy and can withstand a lot.
Out of all of the ink that can be used for printing, plastisol is one of the more cost-effective inks.
Can Wash Regularly
Because of the PVC resin that is used, you don’t have to worry about the ink becoming damaged when you wash it. You can wash the apparel as directed on the tag without having to worry about the plastisol ink getting ruined.
Plastisol Can Be Easily Altered
By adding different types of additives to the ink, you can change how the plastisol ink feels and looks. This is good if you are wanting to create special effects on your apparel.
Is Plastisol Ink Toxic?
The actual PVC resin and plasticizer fluid are not toxic, but the phthalates are. Sure there are is not a lot of Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in plastisol inks, but phthalates are a concern because they can be bad for people’s health and the environment. In order to still use plastisol inks, manufacturers create phthalate-free plastisol inks. This is a way to still have the vibrancy and durability of plastisol but without any presence of phthalates.
Plastisol Ink Vs Water-Based Ink
As stated before, the most common types of ink that are used for printing are plastisol and water-based inks. Plastisol is made from PVC resin and plasticizer fluid, whereas water-based ink is made of a base and pigments. The benefits of water-based inks are that they give you a more vintage look, so the ink ends up giving your apparel a more smooth look. Another thing that is great about water-based ink is that they are eco-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about the environment when using this type of ink for screen printing. The biggest downside of using water-based ink is that the colors are not going to be as vibrant, especially when you are using this ink on darker colored shirts. Another thing to note is that it can only go through mesh counts that are open.
Plastisol ink is the most used ink because the colors come out vibrant and consistent. This type of ink works great on light and dark colors and it can be used on a wide range of products. Unlike water-based ink, plastisol can work with a lot of mesh counts. Plastisol has some disadvantages, like the use of phthalates, but another thing that people might not like about plastisol is that you are able to feel the ink on the apparel or item. With water-based ink, seeps into the fabric so there is no visible rise or minimal or soft hand, but with plastisol ink, you can feel where the design begins, or no hand. Choosing which ink to use is going to depend on what kind of look you are wanting for your particular product.
If you are looking for a printing shop in Joshua, Cleburne, and Burleson, TX, Mallory Print is here to help. We offer professional services to print banners, stickers, hoodies, polos, and t-shirts for all your special events. Give us a call at 800-433-2220 to learn more about our services, as well as the different ink types we use.