WHY SO MANY WHITES?

February 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm 1 comment

White Plastisol Ink

One question always asked by our customers is “Why So Many Whites?”  Why can’t I use one white for everything?   Well, if you only printed on one type of garment that was one color all the time, you could.  As we all know this is not how the industry works.   So here is John Levocz, our North-East Regional Sales Manager with more on this topic:

“In today’s market, printers are being asked to print on a variety of different materials that have different characteristics.  If you walked into a hardware store you wouldn’t ask for one screw that would work for everything.  You also wouldn’t ask for a paint that would work on everything. If you are painting on metal you use paint designed for metal.  Plastic, paint designed for plastic.  Wood, paint designed for wood and so on.  

In screen printing it is no different.  When we print, we need to ask ourselves what are we actually printing on.  No, the answer is not: “A shirt.”  Are we printing on cotton, then use a cotton white which has no bleed resistance or a bleed resistant white and pay for the extra bleed resistance even though we don’t need it.

Are we printing on a 50/50 (50% cotton, 50% polyester) garment?  If so, we need a bleed resistant white to help stop the polyester dyes from bleeding through the white and turning the white the color of the shirt.  If we are printing on 100% polyester we need the best bleed resistant white we can find and sometimes, even that is not enough.  

Does the white need Stretch and abrasion resistance?  If so, maybe an athletic white would be best to use.  There are many whites on the market today but they all have certain specifications and characteristics and are designed for specific products or group of products.  Go through your shop and see what type of garments you are actually printing on and choose the correct set of whites for your shop and applications.  Remember, one white will not work for everything!  Here is a quick list of which whites would best be used:

Nylon – use a nylon white

100% cotton- use a cotton white or a low bleed white

50/50 blends- use a low bleed white

100% polyester –  RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just joking, use a poly white or a bleed-blocking white

 Nylon Athletic Jerseys- Athletic White

After you have compiled your list, do the testing with your white inks. You may find that one white will work on more than one type of material, but one white will not work for everything. If you find a white that works on a few different materials, great, that will save you money. Using the wrong white on a job will cost you money to do a re run. Know the specifications and the limits of your whites and use them for what they are intended for.”

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Entry filed under: General, How-To, Printing Tips. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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