Tips for Printing with Water-based Ink

by Wendy Croxford

in Tips & Ideas

4 Dec 2014  | 0 Comments

Soft prints, high resolution, and eco-friendly—these three features will make you want to switch to water-based inks. Although they require a different set of tools and supplies, and also need a separate set of aptitude, coordination and speed, they’re totally worth it.

Before you start producing killer prints using your new set of inks, let us help you with the basics on what you need to know when using water-based ink for screen printing.

Take note of these:

1.    Emulsion

There is a specific emulsion, typically water-resistant, made for water-based inks. Make sure that this is what you use. If you use emulsions that are not compatible with these inks, your stencil will be destroyed as the emulsion melts. When using the right product, also remember to use thinner coats.

2.    Squeegee

When using plastisol ink, you’d need to apply light pressure onto the textile or garment, spreading the ink in an upward angle. With water-based inks, it would be different. You need to apply downward pressure, positioning the squeegee at a 70 or 45 degree angle, with the goal of driving the inks through the screen.

3.    Flood strokes

This will be good to do, especially in between prints, to prevent the ink from drying on the image. You would need a fairly good amount of it (but not too much) to cover the entire image. For the flood stroke, you should pull the squeegee towards you and make sure the stroke always ends away from you. This is to ensure that even pressure is applied when printing. Try to do it in one go and avoid pressing too hard on the screen to avoid bleeding.

flood stroke

4.    Drying and Curing

First, you need to dry the ink and fabric and remove moisture from them. Then you would need to cure the pigment so it fuses to the garment. This can be done by exposing the print to lots of air and some heat. You can use an iron, fan heater, hair dryer or spot curer.

drying and curing

With these basics covered, you’re ready to make the switch and enjoy eco-friendly ink for your screen printing endeavours. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. As with everything else, you just need some time to adjust. And before you know it, you’ll be a master of this eco-friendly printing.

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Permaprint does not contain ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCS or HCFCS. It is also formulated free of aromatic hydrocarbons. Permaprint premium is free of volatile organic solvent and does not contain PVC resin or Phthalate plasticiser