Posts filed under ‘Information’

You Can Make Shiny Ink Dull, But…

you-can-make-shiny-ink-dull-but

In a recent article published by Impressions magazine, Mark Brouillard shares with us some of his knowledge regarding ink and light refraction.

Sheen is the reflection of light from a surface. The smoother the surface, the easier the light reflects, giving it a glossy-sheen look. The more angular or rough a surface is, the harder it is for light to reflect, thus giving it a dull or matte sheen.

Most ink comes in either a matte or glossy finish. You can take a glossy ink finish and add a dulling agent to make it a lower gloss or matte. However, it is difficult to make matte-finish ink look glossy without the addition of a clear gloss coat to smooth out the surface.

So, the real question is how many screens you want to use versus how many additives you want to use. If you have a matte ink and want to make it not so matte, you are going to need an extra screen to overprint clear gloss ink. If you have a gloss ink and want to make it lower sheen, most companies offer a dulling/matte additive (or a puff additive) that can be added to the ink. The dulling additive will, in effect, roughen up the surface of the ink giving it a lower light refraction and thus a lower sheen.

Typically, dulling agents are added to ink at around 5-7% by weight. What is important to note is that when making lower-sheen ink, you should write down the recipe and label the leftover ink. Also note what percentage the dulling agent was used on the job sheet in case of a re-order, or so that it doesn’t get used on another job where that effect is not desired.

Mark Brouillard is our Western Regional Product Manager and has years of experience in the industry.

International Coatings Blog | Forum for Screen Printing Tips, Ideas, Thoughts

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

 

January 31, 2017 at 4:02 am 1 comment

Happy Holidays 2016

ic-happy-holidays-2016-2-sm

We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with health, peace, joy, and prosperity.

Thank you for your support and business this past year.

Holiday Schedule:

International Coatings will be closed over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, from Monday, December 26th through Monday, January 2nd.

We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd.

All the best to you and yours,

From all of us at International Coatings  

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

December 19, 2016 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Ink Market Trends: Part 2

GraniteBaseWFoil

This is an example of International Coatings’ AXEON Non-PVC Granite Base 1811 ink printed on a textured pallet, with foil application

This is the second article in a two-part series examining the screen-printing industry’s ink trends. Part 1 appeared in a previous blog post. This article by Kieth Stevens was published in the recent May 2016 Issue of Impressions Magazine:

Along with the specialty-ink evolution, it’s interesting to see how the advances or applications of other technologies have helped screen-printing industry veterans get where they are today.

With new fabrics available on the market, ink suppliers are stepping up to the plate to offer new, enhanced products that enable decorators to make full use of their skills. Specialty printing has opened the door to innovative printing techniques, with customers enjoying the benefit of having garments with unique prints they previously couldn’t attain. And printers, of course, profit from the diversification they can offer.

Today’s screen printers have many choices to add to their arsenals when it comes to ink, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. Let’s look at two ink types that currently are trending in the marketplace.

Regular-Bleed-Blocker

A regular bleed blocker is printed on problematic camo fabric, resulting in red dye migrating into the white ink circle

Super Bleed Blockers

One of the hot topics lately has been inks that can block sublimated garments (i.e., polyester garments that have been colored using sublimated dyes) from bleeding. When reheated, these dyes will reverse-sublimate and change the screen-printed inks into the colors onto which they have been printed. Most ink companies have been battling problems with this type of polyester fabric for a long time.

Advancements in polyester fibers and sports-oriented performancewear — coupled with higher cotton costs — have enabled polyester to take a larger portion of the market, hence the need for these inks with super-blocking properties.

Experimenting with various sublimated fabrics has revealed that those containing a red dye typically are the most problematic for printing. The new super blockers [such as our new Guardian Gray 7043] have the challenging task of blocking various types of prints and colors on different fabric brands.

UltraBleedBlocker

A super bleed blocker, our new Guardian Gray 7043, was used here to prevent problematic red dye from migrating when printed on the same camo fabric.

Non-PVC Inks

There is a tremendous surge for inks that do not contain PVC resin. Plastisol-type inks that substitute PVC resin for an acrylic resin sometimes are called Acrysol. Silicon inks typically are a two-part system and there are also high-solid (opaque) water-based inks. Although many of the current non-PVC inks have limitations when compared to traditional plastisol, they are evolving quickly to become as easy to print and use.

One of the drawbacks of many non-PVC inks is that they typically cannot be printed wet-on-wet like most production-friendly, opaque PVC inks. Thus, they must be flashed between each color.

Second, non-PVC inks often cost more money, sometimes as much as five or more times the price of traditional plastisols. The high price is due to the cost of the raw materials — typically the non-PVC resins.

Many water-based alternative inks also have comparative issues. Most are not as opaque as their PVC counterparts and dry in the screen easily, making long production runs seemingly impossible to complete in one swoop. It also has been a struggle to find the same bleed resistance in non-PVC inks as in their water-based counterparts.

Another problem with non-PVC inks is the lack in variety of specialty inks. Most water-based systems have puff additives, but lack glitter, high-density, glow and other types of specialty products that printers need to enhance a garment and make it more appealing to some purchasers.

Other issues being discussed relative to non-PVC inks include hand and drape. Prints executed with this type of ink may feel different than plastisol inks and printers may not be aware that there can be differences. In terms of hand, some users prefer a soft, rubbery feel while others desire no hand at all.

Similarly, some customers request a matte look while others prefer a shiny print. Depending on which non-PVC ink you use, each type or brand may have different characteristics, so it’s important to test your ink to ensure you can meet your customers’ needs.

“Drape” is the way the print’s weight pulls the fabric down when the garment is being worn. The lighter and more elastic the garment, the more a print’s weight can affect the way the decorated shirt will drape. For example, this problem may become apparent when trying to keep a dyed polyester/Lycra spandex blended fabric from bleeding. It may take many layers of bleed blockers and overprints to achieve a decent final print, and all the additional ink layers will affect the drape.

Most people would prefer a garment decoration that doesn’t make them feel hot and uncomfortable, or as if they are wearing a bulletproof vest. Therefore, research the inks that are available for your needs and test as many as possible.

Finally, don’t get discouraged by the hurdles that you will undoubtedly encounter in the non-PVC ink world. Manufacturers are overcoming these challenges and costs surely will drop as the demand increases.

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. For more information, visit iccink.com.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate 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.

May 24, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Ink Market Trends – Part 1

Lion505-507This article by Kieth Stevens, recently published in the April 2016 issue of Impressions Magazine is Part 1 of a 2-part article.  We’ll publish Part 2 later:

When it comes to screen printing — specifically inks — I am often asked, “What’s new?” or “What’s trending?” My initial thoughts are, “What has been forgotten?” or “What hasn’t the customer seen?”

Then, I reflect on discussions I’ve recently had with customers, what I’ve seen in stores and what I’ve discussed with our research-and-development department.

The answers often are easy, but sometimes they’re not, because as soon as I think I have an understanding or clue of what’s ahead, I’m blindsided by what I see on the streets or retail racks.

Reflective Inks

Reflective products (such as International Coatings’ Optilux® 505 Reflective and 507 Enhanced Reflective) have been trending, something predicted to continue throughout 2016 if fashion indicators are to be believed. Glittery and shiny fabrics have recently dominated the runways and red carpets at Hollywood awards events.

Along with the standard reflective inks on the market, which usually feature a dark grey print (due to the glass beads being coated with a silver-type backing), are the enhanced reflectives (such as the Optilux® 507 Enhanced Reflective) that may include some type of shimmer to give the print a silvery look and more fashionable appeal. Some printers try to add curable pigments to give the reflective ink a color tone, but I recommend shying away from warmer colors like yellow and red, and sticking with cooler colors like blue and green. The warmer colors do not blend well with the silver tint of the reflective ink and the resulting mixed color tends to look muddy or brownish.

Other types of reflective inks include clears and whites, which typically are water-based. However, the reflectivity of these beads are limited since they do not have the silver-type metal backing. Printing with these inks also may take an advanced understanding of screen printing with water-based inks and additives.

One reason of why reflective inks has been successful, is partially because of how fine the reflective glass particles are and, thus, how fine of a mesh you can use. This, in turn, allows for tiny details and halftones to be printed, which are difficult to achieve with water-based ink or other types of reflectives.

When talking about reflectives or other types of shimmers, metallics or glitters, it is important to understand the dwell time required in the dryer for the complete ink film to reach a full cure. Typically, ink that is metallic or reflective in nature reflects not only light, but also the heat needed to fuse or cure. Some screen printers raise the oven temperature and this can work, but often will expose the garment to a level of heat that may scorch or distort it if the ink is printed on polyester or a polyester blend. The added heat also can activate bleeding or dye migration.

The 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 may involve reducing an electric dryer’s temperature — but not below 320°F — to avoid overheating the garment.

Glow-in-the-Dark Colors

Most recently, I’ve heard talk of the development of reflective inks that “glow,” an effect resulting from adding a phosphorescent glow-type powder to the ink.

This warrants mentioning the other hot trend gaining strength in the marketplace today: glow-in-the-dark colors. What’s more, these aren’t the traditional yellow-greenish glow-in-the-dark hues we are accustomed to seeing. Rather, they include blues, pinks and greens. The cost of these powders can be alarmingly high; thus, the addition of the glow to the reflective inks can dramatically increase costs.

When looking at these glowing colors in the dark, it can take many minutes for your eyes to adjust; as this happens, the glow may even diminish. If you can stay in the room and wait for the adjustment, you will see the glow more clearly.

To test this, I’ve “activated” a shirt (exposed it to a light source) printed with glow-in-the dark ink before going to bed. After waking up before sunrise — and not turning on any lights — I noticed I could see the print glowing from across the room because my eyes had been shut for many hours and were adjusted to the dim lighting in the room. If I had turned the light on and off, or tried to view the print immediately after coming home late at night, I wouldn’t have been able to see the print.

I often discuss costs with customers who ask me about new and trending special effects when it comes to ink. Sometimes, after such discussions, they decide to shy away and revert to tried-and-true ink products like puff, suede or glitter.

Many times, it’s not just the ink’s price that determines a print’s cost; production speeds also can put the brakes on a design or special effects. Many of these specialty inks require a slower squeegee speed to get the desired effect. They also can require additional flashes that, in turn, could require a slower throughput.

Sometimes specialty inks also can require longer cure or dwell times in the oven and higher cure temperatures, which can be problematic with heat-sensitive substrates.

However, I encourage screen printers to delve into using special-effects inks because the rewards often outweigh the initial cost factor. The benefits are twofold: First, the shop can become a go-to option for customers searching for extraordinary prints. Special-effects printing can be very lucrative and customers often don’t mind paying more for what they want.

Second, when printers play and interact with specialty inks or additives, they often will improve their skills and have a more complete understanding of the available tools and ink products. Thus, they gain a better understanding of the production costs and aim to execute prints in the most economical way. The result is that these printers become more versatile and profitable.

Kieth Stevens has been a screen printer and industry representative for more than 35 years, and has been teaching screen printing for more than 12 years. In 2014, he won a prestigious Golden Image Award for screen printing from SGIA. Stevens is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate 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.

May 12, 2016 at 5:00 am 1 comment

NEW AXEON™ 1505 Optilux® Reflective

Axeon-1505-Reflective-Moon1Introducing a New product from our AXEON™ Non-PVC, Non-Pthalate Inks line –  Reflective 1505.  Reflective 1505 adds visual dimension and increases nighttime visibility of a printed design.  Use it as a unique decorative tool on any print design to achieve a “wow” effect. Use it to only outline letters or create an entire print using  reflective ink. Either way, the print will stand out!

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate 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.

#internationalcoatings #iccink #textilescreenprintinginks #creatingperformancesolutions #screenprintinginks #screenprint #newproducts #axeon #nonpvc #nonpthalate #optilux #1505optiluxreflective

 

May 4, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Happy Earth Day!

EarthDay-1

Happy Earth Day!

Let’s work to keep our planet healthy!

Here’s a tip on how you can help:

Proper Ink Disposal Methods

April 22, 2016 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Which White Ink Should I Get?

WhitesInfograph3-16

With the choices of white inks in the market, it’s understandable that there is a lot of confusion as to which ink to use and what the differences are between each white.

Obviously, we cannot break down the differences of all the white inks on the market, but we’ve created a couple of tools to help differentiate the white inks that International Coatings manufactures.

The first is our updated Infographic (see image above), basically delineating which white ink to use for two main substrates – cotton vs. polyester.

The second tool is our White Comparison Chart, great for a quick reference, as it lists temperatures, and other ink characteristics.

Check both of them out!

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate 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.

March 22, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

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