Curing Shiny Inks

February 25, 2014 at 6:00 am 3 comments

Axeon-crystalina-shimmerWe receive several calls a month from printers who have issues with glitter, metallic, or shiny inks.  Here is Kieth Stevens’s recently published tip in Impressions, on how to best deal with these types of inks:

When glitter or shimmer inks fade after washing, it’s easy to blame the ink, but lack of curing often is the culprit.

Inadequate curing is one of the biggest underlying causes of print issues, and this especially is true for shiny inks, such as metallics, glitters, reflectives and shimmers.

Why do these inks need special treatment? The metallic flakes or coatings on the beads that are mixed into these inks’ base actually reflect heat. As such, the underlying ink may not reach the required curing temperature.

It is important to remember that time is your friend when it comes to curing. Slow down the dryer belt and run the print through the dryer a bit longer. Be sure to set the temperature no lower than 320°F when curing plastisol inks. However, don’t set the temperature too high, as that may scorch the fabric as you slow the dryer speed. The extra time in the dryer will allow the ink to absorb more heat and cure correctly.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

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

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

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Aubrey  |  July 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Is it possible to leave the heat on too long or too high?

    • 2. International Coatings  |  July 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Hi Aubrey,
      yes, the possibility does exist that if the heat is too high, your garment might get scorched, especially if it’s a light-colored shirt. However, it’s not a higher heat that is ideal but the duration of the curing time. just increase the dwell time in the dryer.

  • […] best way to cure a reflective or metallic ink is to reduce the speed the dryer conveyor and let the ink absorb the heat it needs to cure. This […]


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