Determine Per Print Ink Cost in 6 Steps

July 30, 2014 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

WeighingShirtHere is a tip from John Levocz, International Coatings’ North East Regional Sales Manager, on how to determine ink costs per print.  This tip was recently published in Printwear:

Many screen printers complain about ink costs, referring to the price per gallon. But the cost per print is truly the number that matters. Follow these steps to figure out what your ink costs per print:

1. Weigh a full gallon of ink and get the weight in grams.

2. Divide your cost for that gallon by the grams in the gallon. This gives you the ink cost per gram.

3. Weigh an unprinted shirt that you will be using on the job.

4. Weigh a printed shirt before sending it through the dryer. (The dryer removes moisture, which will give you an incorrect ink weight if weighed after curing.)

5. Subtract the unprinted shirt weight from the printed shirt weight to get the actual grams of ink printed.

6. Multiply the grams printed by the ink cost per gram and this will be your actual ink cost for that print.

You will see that the ink costs are very low compared to other costs incurred in the screen printing process. On smaller runs, you may throw out almost more ink than is actually printed on the job. The overall largest cost for screen printers is labor. Do everything in your power to streamline production, and your overall costs will go down.

John Levocz is North East regional sales manager for International Coatings. John has more than 35 years of screen printing and industry experience.

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


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