The History of Plastisol Ink

Posted by Jeffrey Gononsky on

Plastisol ink has played a massive role in taking the screen printing game to the next level. Discover more in this blog post.


The History of Plastisol Ink and How it Revolutionized the Screen Printing Game



Over the years, there have been many different types of inks that have been used for printing purposes. We started with water-based inks, then moved to plastisol inks, which completely changed the game. To better understand this, continue reading to discover everything you need to know about plastisol ink and how it revolutionized screen printing. 


The Challenges of Water Based Inks

Before we can understand how revolutionary plastisol inks have been, we first need to look at water-based inks and their challenges. Water-based ink first came into the scene in the early 1900-period. Screen printers needed ink to bring their vibrant artworks to life, and water-based ink proved to be that thing. 


Interestingly, this type of ink was a bit of an industry secret. Many people only learned about it when working with a master screen printer.


However, water-based ink presented several different challenges. For example, these sorts of inks were difficult to use. They dried quickly on the screen, and they were very thin, almost to the point of being transparent in a lot of cases. 


Because of this, water-based inks were rather frustrating, but their functionality was also limited. This meant that only those who had perfected screen printing would really get involved in this craft. However, this all changed when plastisol burst onto the scene


Plastisol Revolutionized Screen Printing

As soon as plastisol inks were introduced, they changed the screen printing industry. In comparison to water-based inks, plastisol inks were a lot thicker. They could be stacked with ease, and they did not dry onto the screen. 


In simple terms, plastisol made it much easier to generate complicated pieces, produce more in larger quantities, and print on whatever. In fact, it was the ease of use associated with these inks that made them as big and significant as they are today. 


However, many in the printing industry feel that we could be on the verge of the tides turning once more. Brands are looking into the prospect of working with water-based inks again, discovering how they can be more user-friendly. The eco-friendly element is one of the main reasons why there is a push toward this. Whether or not we see it come to fruition is another discussion entirely. 


Final Words

It is not an exaggeration to say that it was plastisol inks that managed to make screen printing mainstream. The water-based inks of the past were simply impossible to work with in a lot of cases, especially as the ink had a tendency to dry on the screen. Luckily, this is not something you have to worry about if you use plastisol inks for your projects.