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Screen print focus – Water-based ink

As the name might suggest, water-based inks are screen printing inks which are produced using a water base instead of using a solvent.

To get to grips with water-based inks and discover the benefits of using them when printing, we sat down with Dixon, our Garment Production Manager.

Water-based inks, screen printed, t-shirt, custom t-shirt

What is water-based ink and how does it differ from Plastisol?

Simply speaking, water-based ink is an ink where the base of it is made up of water. This makes them a much more eco friendly printing option. It differs from Plastisol ink as it dries very quickly and the end prints are a lot lighter on the t-shirt.


Water-based inks, screen printed, t-shirt, custom t-shirt


What are the advantages of using water-based inks when screen printing?

As I mentioned before, it’s a lot lighter than Plastisol. Technically you would call it a softer handle (the feel of a t-shirt).

As it’s not as heavy, you can put a lot more ink down and you don’t end up with a build up like you can get with Plastisol. It’s for this reason that you tend to see more water-based ink prints on retail t-shirts.

When would you advise looking at using other types of ink?

This is just personal preference but I think that Plastisol inks look nicer on hoodies and sweaters as they are heavier garments, they suit the heavier looking print.

Water-based inks, screen printed, t-shirt, custom t-shirt

Any tips for people thinking of using water-based inks on their next order?

Remember that you can be a little bit heavier with the colour you use because it’s softer than Plastisol.

Ready to get printing? Head to our website to discover our extensive range of garments waiting for you to customise.

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