Be it the funny face of Goofy or boy-band BTS singing away, screen printing can add that extra glamour to any plain white T-shirt.
The process of screen printing basically involves using a mesh screen to transfer ink to a substrate and using heat to escalate drying of the ink. Both water-based and plastisol-based inks are available for screen printing—however, plastisol based ink is less expensive and leaves brighter imprints on the fabric.
If you are interested in this line of business, you need to keep certain things in mind to purchase the best plastisol ink.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
5 Best Plastisol Ink Reviews
Printing your favorite design, your favorite pop-group or a celebrity’s face, on your most comfy white T-shirt is a very interesting thing to do! It could make a great souvenir or a gift item for your friends.
If you are planning to make one for yourself, check out the 5 best screen-printing plastisol ink kits below:
1. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
Make the screen-printing experience even more interesting by the vibrant colors of Speedball!
Available in red, pink, green, yellow, white, and black, among others, Speedball screen-printing colors could be used on fabric, paper, as well as cardboards. Not only that, but the colors can also be mixed together to create shades!
Want to gift your friend a T-shirt with his favorite music band’s picture on it? Speedball colors would be the best choice because not only can you use them on cotton and linen, but also on blend fabrics like polyester, rayon, and other synthetics.
Once used for printing, the color feels soft to the touch, taking time to slowly get absorbed by the fabric, thus producing an ever-lasting effect. You can accelerate the drying process by heating or curing.
For best results and for the colors to really show themselves, use them on light-colored fabric and other materials. Speedball fabric colors contain no offensive chemicals or odors.
- Available in various colors
- Can be used on fabric, papers, and cardboards
- Usable on different types of fabric
- Efficient coverage, less wastage
- Available in fluorescent and glow-in-the-dark
- Easily removable by soap and water
- Does not come with instructions
2. Ecotex PLASTISOL Screen WASH
If you long to have fun with colors, at the same time being responsible for the environment, then eco-friendly screen-print colors would be to your liking!
Consider the ecotex dyes by Screen Print Direct that are available in both quarts and gallons and come in the form of a bottle and a nozzle. It’s ready as it comes, no fuss—just fit the nozzle and you are good to go.
The most important feature of this product by Screenprint Direct is its biodegradability. The agents used by this manufacturer are non-toxic because the dyes are soy-based.
Soy is a plant product, therefore, once discarded, the organic agent breaks down easily and goes back to nature without polluting the environment.
Screen Print Direct dyes are plastisol screen wash products that can be easily dissolved at the sink, simply with soap and water. These colors can be used on different varieties of stencils including emulsion and capillary ones.
- Eco-friendly product—soy-based and biodegradable
- Nontoxic—easily washable with soap and water
- Easy to use—fit the nozzle and start spraying
- Can be used on a variety of stencils including mesh, capillary, and emulsion
- Removes plastisol and prevents ghosting images from appearing
- Does not smell very nice—wear a face mask while using
3. Ecotex Gloss Black Ink for Screen Printing
For screen –printing enthusiasts, dyes by Screen Print Direct would be the best buddy. Want to experiment with different colors first and don’t want to waste any in the process? No worries, because these dyes by Screenprint Direct are available in different sized containers—pint, ounces, quarts, and gallons.
This brand offers a color palette of more than 30 different colors—with such an amazing array of dyes, you can make an amazing portfolio and start a small screen-printing business.
The colors by Screen Print Direct are glossy, bright, and once dried, become opaque—thus gifting your designs a long-lasting finish. The colors have been manufactured using a non-phthalate blend which is an eco-friendly formula—a signature touch of Screen Print Direct.
By using these colors you will not only achieve luscious and creamy designs on your favorite garment piece, but you will also be keeping your environment clean.
You can use these dyes on practically every kind of fabric or textile. The colors are resistant to plastisol curing. After screen-printing is complete, you can easily remove plastisol and emulsion by a ready-made formula like EcoTex Emulsion Remover that comes with the pack.
- Eco-friendly formula
- Available in different sized-packs in over 30 different colors
- Colors have a long-lasting glossy finish
- Can be used on all types of fabric
- Resistant to plastisol curing
- Cannot be used on nylon, wood or glass
4. Ecotex Ink Color Kit – Plastisol Ink 6 Primary Colors Screen Printing
You don’t only want a design imprinted on your favorite white shirt–you want the design to have a personality! When such is your goal, you should opt for the ink color kits by Screen Print Direct.
They are not only available in water-based primary versions, but also in the rapid cure, fluorescent, and tropical colors!
Screen Print Direct is known for creating eco-friendly products and their ink color kits are no exception. They are made using a special, brand-signature non-phthalate formula that not only creates bright and realistic looking imprints but also helps to keep the surroundings clean by being non-toxic.
Screenprint Direct ink set comes in myriads of colors including the ever-so-popular black, white and blue, and in red, green, blue, and lemon yellow.
The creamy-textured colors express themselves with a luscious vibrancy that develops quite quickly under the press, and need no rigorous hand movements, cleaning, or fuss.
The colors are also available in premium inks that have a low cure temperature of 160 degrees Celsius or 320 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be washed off easily using Ecotex plastisol removers.
- Available in different colors, even have fluorescent and rapid-cure versions
- An eco-friendly product, non-toxic formula
- The colors have a creamy, non-drip texture, dries and develops easily
- Can be cured at lower temperatures
- It can be cleaned quite easily using emulsion and plastisol removers
- The while color may appear a little chalky and would need to be mixed thoroughly
5. Ecotex White NP Plastisol Ink for Screen Printing
Screen Print Direct is back again with yet another screen-print ink kit that promises beautiful colors with a responsibility to the environment. These screen printing dyes are available in versatile container capacities- pint, quart, ounce, and gallon, for both enthusiasts and seasoned printers.
The colors are glossy and creamy and the imprints come out vibrant—to add, there are more than 30 different shades available for you to choose from.
Made with non-toxic non-phthalate blends, premium versions of the dyes are also available that cure at low temperatures. The colors dry easily and when they mature, they are bright and glistening just the way you want it!
Plastisol Press Wash product that comes with the pack, could be used for best results. Ecotex Emulsion Removers are also included.
If you want to print on single-prints or dark-colored garments, use a screen with a lower mesh count. Also remember to flash at 105 degrees centigrade, for about 8-12 seconds, and then cure at 160 degrees centigrade.
- Non-toxic formula, eco-friendly
- Available in more than 30 different colors
- Can be found in different capacities—great for enthusiasts
- Can be removed easily using plastisol and emulsion removing agents
- Premium versions could be cured at lower temperatures
- Should not be used on glass, wood or nylon
Buyers Guide to The Best Plastisol Ink
Plastisol-based screen-printing ink or dyes are highly preferable by people in the business because they are quite easy to use and do not dry inside the screen at room temperatures. They imprint quite brightly on both light and dark colored garments and can be used on any form of textiles.
Plastisol ink is not like regular dyes that get absorbed by the fabric—instead, they create a mechanical bond with the fabric. They stick to only porous surfaces, not non-porous ones like glass, plastic, or wood. If you want to use plastisol ink on nylon or wool, you have to use bonding agents separately.
If plastisol ink interests you for your next screen printing project, read more to find out what factors you should consider to purchase the best plastisol ink for screen printing.
- Screen Mesh
Screens for printings have over 400 mesh combinations—therefore it may become a tad inconvenient for you to choose the correct one for optimal results. Mesh count is an important factor to keep in mind which is measured in threads per inch or threads per centimeter.
For imprinting glitters, shimmers, puff, and opaque inks use a screen with a mesh count of between 30-60 threads per inch. For printing on dark-colored garments, nylon jackets, and for imprinting silver shimmer, use 85-125 threads per inch mesh.
For multi-color printing on light-colored garments, process color and overprinting, use mesh count between 180 and 305.
Use stencils that are specifically designed for plastisol ink, such as solvent-resistant dual-core or direct emulsion ones. When you are printing half-tones, capillary emulsions make a reliable choice as well.
- Ink Additives
Ink additives need to be added in careful amounts because an excess of it will hinder proper curing, something that you may not be able to detect while printing. The problem may get detected only when you wash the garment, and the design might melt out or come off altogether.
Therefore, before adding any additive, use the technical manuals rather cautiously. Also, remember never to use mineral spirits to plastisol screen-printing ink because that hardens the ink and creates problems during the curing process.
Water Based vs. Plastisol Ink: Which Works Better?
It really depends on the color of the garment you want to create imprints on, and also the specifications of the design.
If you are looking to print detail-oriented designs on light-colored garments, water-based ink would be more suitable. On the other hand, if you want more-embedded, shinier, glossier and less detail-oriented prints, then you can opt for plastisol-based ink.
Water-based ink also has a softer hand because of its lower plastic content—it readily gets absorbed into the fabric. Whereas plastisol ink has a higher plastic content, and when cured, basically sit on top of the fabric, instead of getting absorbed into the fabric.
While both types create highly durable imprints, plastisol ones create more vibrant and color-accurate expressions. Water-based ink leaves fabric more breathable and they are also more eco-friendly. However, eco-friendly plastisol versions are also available nowadays.
How to Remove Plastisol Ink from Clothes?
Before you start the procedure, you would need to make sure that the surrounding is well-ventilated. Also, ensure that you wear a face-mask and a pair of gloves.
Plastisol or emulsion removers could be used to remove plastisol ink from fabric, and such products are usually included within the package. Rubbing alcohol can also be used, if plastisol remover is not available.
Apply a little quantity of the remover on the fabric where the design is, and leave it for 30 minutes. If by mistake you have poured in excess, use a sponge or a soft cloth to dab off the extra liquid.
Use a brush to gently lift off the design. Wash off any remaining debris with a soft detergent and cold water, and then hang the cloth to air dry. Any further debris could be picked off using tweezers or simply by fingernails.
Screen printing is quite a popular trend these days, holding a lot of business potential. Not only is it interesting to embed your favorite designs on your most-loved garments, but you can also sell them online, and they also make amazing gift items.
Screen-printing can be done using water-based or plastisol-based inks, each possessing its own merits and demerits. However, if bright and glossy prints are what you are looking for, look no further than plastisol based inks.
Before you go on to purchase the best plastisol ink, you need to keep factors like the mesh-count of the screen you would be using, the stencil type you would need, and the additives you can or cannot add to the plastisol-ink. This is because the same specifications do not fit for water-based inks.
In short, carry out plenty of research and experiments before you aim for the real deal.