Dye Discharge Printing Tip

November 8, 2012 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Tinted Discharge distressed with water

This printing tip on Dye Discharge was recently published in Impressions Magazine:

Dye discharge has experienced a comeback in recent years. The trend toward soft-hand prints has catapulted discharge back into the limelight. Discharge is used mainly on dark cotton garments and works by bleaching out the dye of the fabric.  The resulting discharged color is not a pure white, but rather a beige color, similar to the color of the natural cotton fibers.

When working with discharge, it is important to note that there are different kinds available on the market. Generally, discharge consists of a base and a powdered activator that is mixed into the base right before printing. The activated discharge ink does have a pot life — usually six to eight hours — so mix only enough for the job. Although discharge has come a long way with regard to safe usage, there are some precautions to note:  Be sure to wear gloves when handling discharge and use it in a well-ventilated area. In addition, keep the activator in a sealed container when not in use.

Once the discharge ink is printed, the action happens when the fabric is heated in the dryer. The heat activates the discharge and the bleaching process starts. The resulting print will have virtually no hand, as there is no ink deposit on it.

Discharge also can be tinted to obtain colorful prints. Again, be careful to use pigments or colored inks that can be used with the particular discharge system you have. Some discharge systems are water-based for example, so you need to use water-based pigments or inks to tint the discharge.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

For more on International Coatings’ discharge system, check out our online flyer at:  http://www.iccink.com/pdfs/Discharge%20Brochure.pdf.

To view a video demo of International Coatings’ discharge system, check out our YouTube video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzP4fCaLweU.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

    International Coatings:     The Intelligent Choice

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

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