July '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 1 3 a waste of substrates, and lost time," say Meghan Rodenhouse and Jimmy Lamb of Sawgrass. "Lower-quality inks may also require larger amounts to be used to achieve proper coverage of the surface, which results in higher printing costs." This isn't just the case with apparel and textile printing. Methods like sublimation and UV-LED are often used to print on rigid or semi-rigid items. Shops shouldn't From signage to home decor, and everything in between, technologies such as UV-LED, sublimation, and even screen printing utilize ink to create colorful products. (Images courtesy Epson) Mark Suhadolnik, GSG 1. PLASTISOL INK: Plastisol ink is the most widely used ink in apparel screen printing. It is made up of PVC particles suspended in a liquid plasticizer. Plastisol is durable, flexible, and easy to use in the screen-printing process. 2. WATER-BASED INK: Water-based inks use wa- ter as the solvent carrier for the pigments, which lends to prints that are soft and breathable be- cause the ink penetrates into the garment rather than sitting on top. When printing and following proper print parameters, the results are a bright print with little to no hand. 3. ACRYLIC INKS: Acrylic inks or HSA (high solid acrylic) are water-based inks, but with a chemical formulation that makes the ink a higher viscosity than traditional water-based inks. They have similar characteristics of plastisol inks and print in the same manner but are completely PVC free. 4. SILICONE INKS: Silicone inks are PVC free and have superior elasticity and dura- bility when printed on demanding fabrics like performance wear. They are the go-to ink for 100% polyester garments requiring exceptional elongation; however, they do require a catalyst. They also feature low cure temperatures, which greatly reduces the chance of dye migration. All of these inks can be used for printing on 100% cotton, 50/50, tri-blends, canvas, poly- ester, and polyester blends with the exception of silicone, which can only be printed on 100% polyester in most cases. Seen-Printing Ink Optis

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