Plastisol or waterbased ink???

Your average customer will have no idea that there exists a choice of finish for your artwork when being screen printed onto a T shirt.

There are a number of special effects such as glitter, puff additives, mock suede etc…. but the basic consideration is whether to go for plastisol or water based.

Now, plastisol is made of a PVC resin which is oil based and when screen printed onto cotton T shirts, gives a vibrant, colourful result which is extremely durable and the most popular ink system for printers and customers alike.

The downside of plastisol is that it can have a ‘heavier’ feel than water based inks, however, this is required to obtain the vibrancy which is often a requirement for the customer.

Water based inks offer a much softer feel but on dark shirts will lack the brightness that plastisols will give.

Water based inks are great for white shirts or light tones but will only offer a ‘faded’ or ‘worn’ look on dark shirts.

This ‘faded’ look is often what the customer is looking for so water based inks offer a good solution. Fashion brands in particular prefer the feel of water based inks and often design their garments with the ‘faded’ look as part of their appeal.

Water based inks also offer the ecologically responsible customer with an alternative to the oil based plastisol product and it is not uncommon to print water based inks onto organic or Fair Trade garments where the overall product requirement must conform to a set of ethically sourced and decorated criteria.

Shirtworks has worked hard to establish its accreditation in this area by becoming the worlds only Soil Association accredited screen printing and embroidery company.

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