Water Based Screen Printing Ink: 3 Tips You Need to Know

Posted by Jeffrey Gononsky on

water based inks for screen printing

Many screen printers don’t use water based inks simply because they think that screen printing with waterbased ink is tricky and complicated. 

But do you know these inks can be a joy to use and printing with water based inks can give you a smooth result? If done right, your prints will be softer to touch, more detailed, more environment-friendly as compared to other inks. The result will also be more durability when compared to the plastisol ink. 

All you need is to learn some key tips and tricks about using waterbased inks for your printing process, and you can print like a pro.

However, before that, let us answer a few questions that will give you a clear understanding of why you should use water based ink for screen printing.

Which water based inks are the best?

Everyone claims to be the best in the market when it comes to supplying water based ink colors. And the question is just like asking which ice cream you like the most. But the truth is very simple, if you want to choose the best water based printing inks, it should fulfill 2 criterias:

  1. It should work in your screen printing machine
  2. You should have a proper supplier for it.

Don’t worry about the supply part, because Holden’s screen supply corporation will supply you all kinds of screen printing supplies.

What type of water based screen printing inks are there on the market?

Water based inks are basically any kinds of ink that has the water component to it. The traditional water based inks did not have the ability of sitting on top of the printed apparel. But the plastisol printing easily sits on the textile.

Why would I want to do the screen printing with water based inks?

This is because plastisol is very easy and convenient to use. And in addition to this it has the following benefits:

  • Clean and environment-friendly product
  • They are popular all over the world. Thus you can send your printed product lines in any part of the world
  • They have a superior hand as compared to other inks. For example the screen printing with water based inks feels much softer and smoother.
  • The water based prints are breathable. It means the inks allows the garments and fabrics to breathe properly. 
  • The water based inks are long-lasting and the prints will last as long as your garment. 
    What to do when the inks are drying in the screen?

      To make sure that your ink is not drying in the screen, just add any kind of a retarder. For example, glycerine will work best to prevent your water based ink from drying.

        What to do when water based ink break down your screen?

          Many textile screen printing shops face this problem with water based ink. But to keep your screen away from breaking away just add any kind of emulsion to your water based ink. But now you might get confused about which emulsion to choose. So don’t worry choose any ink supplied by Holden’s Screen Supply and you won’t face the problem of screen breakage.

          Top Three Water Based Screen Printing Tips 

          Since most of your queries regarding your screen printing is resolved, we are presenting you with three water based screen printing ink tips, and we guarantee that these will change your experience with water based inks:

          TIP 1: Choose a finer mesh

          As compared to plastisol inks, water based inks have a lower viscosity. This means that they are generally thinner as compared to printing plastisol. And the water based inks have the capability to get easily soaked into the fabric of your choice. Thus, you need to choose a finer mesh when you are using water based ink. 

          Most screen printing presses choose a mesh size of 150 and 160 if they need to use the water based inks. If you want to choose an emulsion for your water based ink printing, be careful to use an emulsion that is suited for the ink. For more information, it is better to get a proper knowledge from the company that is best rated for screen printing supplies

          TIP 2: Use an underbase or try permaset supercover ink

          If you prepare well, water based ink has the ability to give you amazing results. They can produce amazing vivid colors. If you are printing dark garments, it is 100% sure that the water based ink will be less opaque as compared to plastisol inks. And thus you may need to apply an underbase such as permaset’s supercover ink for a better result. These are the opaque range of water based inks used for printing darker fabrics.

          TIP 3: Complete with heat

          To get a long-lasting impact of the water-based ink, you need finishing with a heat transfer treatment. Thus, fire up the heat tunnel of your printing press, or just heat press  or you can even dry in the sun to get an amazing result. If you don’t have any of these options available and you are using the waterbased inks at home for your fabric, you can even bake the fabric at a low temperature in your oven. This will give you a long-lasting effect of the paint. And even after you have used the fabric/garment for years, you will be glad to know that the paint from the fabric has not washed away.

          Water based inks are one of the best opportunities available for the screen printing business to offer the customers long-lasting and softest garments available. This screen printing impresses and adds value to the clothes you offer to your customers.

          Many screen printing businesses are afraid of using this technique of water-based ink but using this technique will definitely provide them with amazing results. The water based ink offers you the opportunity to use something new and create some amazing results for your customers. 

          The transition from plastisol coloring to water based ink technique will no doubt require some new routines and processes. But like all other businesses who have used this water based inks and new screen printing techniques, you will be astonished to get the result.

          Thus, if you want to get better results and more profits for your screen printing business, choose water-based inks today! For more such screen printing business tips and information, keep following this space!