Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Here you can discuss any issues related to working with water based screen printing inks. This would include curing, heat setting, mixing colors, additives, brands, usages and much more.

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Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby Catspit Productions » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:38 pm

Water based inks are often the most appealing ink to use for beginning screen printing because they learn that water based inks are environmental and they can create very soft prints that feel like the tee shirt. A print that feels just like the t shirt is called a “soft hand” print. The softness of a print may be referred to as the “hand”. The biggest down side to water based inks is that they dry by evaporation. Therefore they can be much more difficult to work with than plastisol inks. However new inks and innovations to discharge printing have made the effort most worthwhile in many cases. Printing on posters or papers of any kind will require a water based ink and plastic or metal signs would too. A basic understanding of working with air dry inks like water based textile inks is a good thing to have even when you run a plastisol ink screen printing shop.

Water based textile inks differ from plastisol in that they are heat set instead of cured. First you let them air dry and then they are set with heat at a temperature ranging between 150 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the brand or type of ink.

Here are a couple of articles that should help you out with working with water based inks:

http://catspitproductionsllc.com/intro-to-inks.html

http://catspitproductionsllc.com/waterbasedinks.html

Here is a video about working with an air dry ink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfGtAd-Lzg8

Have you worked with water based inks? Do you prefer water based ink or plastisol and why? How do you heat set your water based textile prints? Do you have any suggestions for printing white water based or discharge inks on black tee shirts?
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions


biet
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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby biet » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:44 am

mann i am still learning in screen printing, and i used the waterbased inks as i study
i work with a rotary press and when i use the waterbase,, its dried so fast so its clogging down the screen
i really frustrated with this,, since the waterbased inks is kinda too thick and its hard to print when its dry so fast
do u have any tips for this?

or shud i move to the plastisol based inks?
thanks :D

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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby Catspit Productions » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:50 am

That is interesting because in general water based inks should be thinner than plastisol inks. Water based inks are the more difficult ink to learn with but they require less equipment in regards to curing.

I would look for a “retarder” from the manufacturer of your water based inks. This is an additive that will slow down the drying time a bit and it should thin the ink out some. Remember to back flood when using water based inks.

Check out this video for an example of how to work with air dry inks:



I hope that helps out, good luck!
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions

biet
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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby biet » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:54 pm

Catspit Productions wrote:That is interesting because in general water based inks should be thinner than plastisol inks. Water based inks are the more difficult ink to learn with but they require less equipment in regards to curing.

I would look for a “retarder” from the manufacturer of your water based inks. This is an additive that will slow down the drying time a bit and it should thin the ink out some. Remember to back flood when using water based inks.

Check out this video for an example of how to work with air dry inks:



I hope that helps out, good luck!


whaatt??
in here,, ppls tell me that the waterbased ink is thicker than the plastisols
thats why i have to use a larger mesh so the waterbased inks will printed well,, they said >_<

yeah i used the 'retarder' once called the "printgen" u know bro?
its good,, but still hard to found the right mix so i can manage the thickness of the inks,, cuz once its just still thick,, its keep on gumming hahaha :p

a lil about the backflood technique
i still have a question for it,,
when i did the backflood, its good and covering all the printing side,, but the ink is flooding in the backside,, i mean,, the ink is entering the print side,, and gathered there thick,, and my next print is a lil bit messy :(

any tips? hehehe

sorry for the long questions and complaints,, am still learning hehehhe
since my house is kinda remoted,, and the local SPS is just tooooo faaarr
this forum is the best place for me to learn hehe :D

thankyouuuu ^^

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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby Catspit Productions » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:59 pm

No problem, it’s my pleasure to help out anytime!

LOL, that’s odd because here in the States water based inks tend to be much thinner than that of plastisol inks. So I don’t know what the deal is there. There may be different standards where you are, I do not know. That is not to say there are not plastisol inks that are as thin as water based because there are some that are pretty thin. But for me water based inks are most often thinner than plastisol. I have yet to see a water based ink thicker than plastisol ink.

The retarder should have instructions for the proper mixing ratio and I would suggest using that. As far as your back flood I would guess you are just flooding with too much pressure. I assume since your ink is thick you are using a more open mesh count. Therefore with the thick ink you are probably using too much pressure when you back flood. That combined with a more open mesh is probably what is causing the bleeding as it were.

In this situation you are backed against a wall in a way and the only thing I would suggest at this point is using a better ink that is not so thick. But if you have problems getting good screen printing products then that could be easier said than done.
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions

tOnski25
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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby tOnski25 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:32 am

Good day, Catspit Productions!

GREETINGS FROM THE PHILIPPINES! I know this thread is old, but this seems to be the most appropriate topic to post to.

My buddies and I are newbies in the screen printing business and we've constantly turned to your Youtube videos for help - all has been great so far, thanks to your easy to understand videos and invaluable tips!

We're starting out in the business and decided to get our hands on water based printing. When we started out, we did not encounter any problems printing, as we are only printing around 5 - 10 shirts :lol:

We recently got our first big job of a 100 shirts and that's when all hell broke loose. We'll be on our first run printing just fine, then our ink starts to thicken up and dry on the screen. We tried to remove it using a screen opener (from the same local manufacturer, Tulco) but encountered another problem. We're not sure what's on the screen opener, but it smelled so bad - almost similar to a solvent - based paint thinner. It did take out a bit of our ink, but it also ruined our emulsion (SBQ) even if we applied photo emulsion hardener, so we had to start over.

On our second try, we made sure to print and flood the stencil to avoid it from drying up, but as quick as we did our run, we noticed that the ink started to thicken up and when we try to print, the ink deposits course ink to the shirt. Although the ink doesn't dry up on the screen, we noticed clumps of ink on the shirt, and it was not as smooth and clear when we first started.

1. Is there any way to keep the ink consistency without drying up that fast - building up on the squeegee and most especially on screen?
2. Are there any other ways of removing dried up ink on the screen?
3. Does our print stroke (push stroke) affect the ink when passing through the shirt, causing the ink to come out coarse?
4. Would adding an ink reducer slow down the drying time, or will water do?

Thank you very much for taking the time to help!

Catspit rocks! \m/

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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby Catspit Productions » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:56 pm

You're very welcome, thanks for watching my videos! I appreciate your support on YouTube.

1. Is there any way to keep the ink consistency without drying up that fast - building up on the squeegee and most especially on screen?
- Probably the only way is to use a better ink and/or use a "retarder" additive to slow the drying time.

2. Are there any other ways of removing dried up ink on the screen?
- Other than paint thinner or screen opener, no. Especially when it starts drying. Dried water base dink on the screen can ruin it altogether.

3. Does our print stroke (push stroke) affect the ink when passing through the shirt, causing the ink to come out coarse?
- Yes, if the off contact is incorrect and the squeegee is not sheering the ink properly then it can cause imperfections in the print surface. Also string ink across the stencil during or after the print stroke may also cause imperfections in the print texture.

4. Would adding an ink reducer slow down the drying time, or will water do?
- Yes, a reducer would be the best option.

I hope that helps out. let me know if you have further questions I might help with. Good luck!
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions

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nexal
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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby nexal » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:05 am

We're no experts on either type of ink but what we love about the water based inks is how designs "age" eventually; a detail most people don't really consider as we all hope our designs will last forever :D Well printed plastisols will eventually get to a beautiful crackled sort of feel something like tree bark that still adheres to the fabric. But I've seen many prints ending up like "scorched earth" that flakes off, that is not so nice.

We use supposedly water-based but it's actually a hybrid (needs ironing to properly set/cure). The reason we use it though is more to do with the tiny poorly ventilated space we have to work in and our extremely limited resources. Since we can't really gear up, we need to put in the extra work. Fact is we actually enjoy the entire learning side of it, building all the stuff that we can't afford to buy (just found some adjustable tie rods from our old car to use in making our 2.0 DIY print press). Takes time, but in our opinion time well spent.

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Re: Should You Use Water Based Inks To Print?

Postby Catspit Productions » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:26 pm

There are many ways to get a decent print so as long as the print looks good then there is no wrong or right way in most cases.

Usually if plastisol ink is cured properly it will outlast the garment without cracking, flaking or peeling. It's all about the cure ;)
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions


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