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Discuss the different plastisol screen printing inks and curing methods on the market. Share tips on getting the best results with the different ink manufacturers.



Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

 
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Old August 3rd, 2015 Aug 3, 2015 9:10:12 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

After doing a ton of research, I've looked into mixing inks to get the exact pantone colors and thought "great so these X number of standard colors is all I need in order to create every possible color that a client may want." So I went to union inks (since I see them mentioned the most), and noticed that they got a TON of colors.

So this question applies to every plastisol ink supplier.....why buy other colors when they have standard colors available that can be mixed to create anything?
 
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Old August 3rd, 2015 Aug 3, 2015 5:37:30 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

For me it's because I always bought the standard colors to begin with... And those last a while.. And to mix a standard color you may need 2-4 of the mixing colors just to make 1 standard color.

You'll find if you get into mixing ink and letting the customer pick a PMS then you'll eventually have hundreds of different colors that you have only used for that one job you mixed it for.. Most customers are fine with a standard color... I will eventually get the union mixopake kit, but up until now every customer has been fine with the stock colors. The first time I get a request for a pantone match I'll pony up for the kit and mix it..

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Old August 3rd, 2015 Aug 3, 2015 10:11:42 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

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Originally Posted by jeron
For me it's because I always bought the standard colors to begin with... And those last a while.. And to mix a standard color you may need 2-4 of the mixing colors just to make 1 standard color.

You'll find if you get into mixing ink and letting the customer pick a PMS then you'll eventually have hundreds of different colors that you have only used for that one job you mixed it for.. Most customers are fine with a standard color... I will eventually get the union mixopake kit, but up until now every customer has been fine with the stock colors. The first time I get a request for a pantone match I'll pony up for the kit and mix it..

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Well the reason I even asked this question is because recently, we had a client come in and ask us to sew their product (my family runs a sewing contracting business), and they asked us if we can screen print their logo onto the bag. The logo had very specific colors and it made me wonder how that can be done. I've never screen printed so I'm a long way from doing this, but many clients have asked us. I figure in order to get their logo accurate, we need to match their colors spot on.

At first I thought, "wow imagine the millions of different shades of colors possible...how can we, or any company, possibly have all of those tubs of inks." Then I came across these mixing systems and I'm thinking it may be the way to go when looking for specific colors. I basically created this topic to find out if my thinking is off with this process...can the mixopake kit or similar kits from other companies be enough?
 
 
Old August 4th, 2015 Aug 4, 2015 6:11:28 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

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Originally Posted by Mdrake
Well the reason I even asked this question is because recently, we had a client come in and ask us to sew their product (my family runs a sewing contracting business), and they asked us if we can screen print their logo onto the bag. The logo had very specific colors and it made me wonder how that can be done. I've never screen printed so I'm a long way from doing this, but many clients have asked us. I figure in order to get their logo accurate, we need to match their colors spot on.

At first I thought, "wow imagine the millions of different shades of colors possible...how can we, or any company, possibly have all of those tubs of inks." Then I came across these mixing systems and I'm thinking it may be the way to go when looking for specific colors. I basically created this topic to find out if my thinking is off with this process...can the mixopake kit or similar kits from other companies be enough?
Yes to match colors a mixing kit is the only way to go. Unless they request a stock color. You can also mix most of the stock colors using the mixing kit also.

Yes, a mixing kit would be enough to mix any color you would ever need. The mixopake kit uses ready to use inks also. So there are like 8-10 inks that make up that kit. You can use those colors all by themselves if that color is what you need. Other kits use pigments and your not able to use the mixing colors by themselves, they need to be mixed first.

You basically put whatever Pantone color you need into the program that comes with the mixing kit. You tell the program how much ink you need in that color. Then the program tells you how much of what mixing colors you need to add to get that color.
 
Old August 5th, 2015 Aug 5, 2015 12:18:48 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

We use the Rutland mixing system and I can tell you it's a double edged sword. While it's great to be able to mix every color under the sun, it can also be a real pain in the *** having 20 different shades of red. Our artists can get so hung up on having a particular shade of a color when we have something extremely close and no customer would ever notice the difference. I've even put our stock color on before and told the artist it was the new color they had picked, 9 times out of 10 they don't even notice. I personally like the mixing system because you can make just as much as you need to do a certain job without having a ton of buckets of ink laying around.
 
Old August 6th, 2015 Aug 6, 2015 8:10:43 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

Thanks for your responses.

I wouldn't be surprised that there are customers like that. That's mostly why I looked into these mixing systems.

Now I just need to figure out which system to go for. It's looking like most are anywhere from $500-$800 and each standard color comes in 1 qt. Is there something to look at when deciding on one system vs another? I see mixopake, rutland, international coatings, and union everywhere. I'm wondering what makes one better than the other.
 
Old August 6th, 2015 Aug 6, 2015 8:44:17 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

I've only ever used Rutland's mixing system so I can't tell you if one is better than the other. I can tell you that with the Rutland system and their mixing software it's very easy. They have a database to mix every Pantone color and you can also create a database to save your own custom formulas. The software will also allow you to enter your inventory for the pigments, bases, etc. and if you have your scale connected to the computer it will automatically keep track as you use your inventory. Also with Rutlands system you can use their M3 mixing system or you can use the C3 Color Booster system. Both use the same colors for mixing but the C3 system uses concentrated pigments mixed with different bases. This is great if you use different types of bases for different garments. You can mix a poly ink using the same pigments as you would to mix inks for use on regular cotton shirts but mix it into the poly base.
 
Old July 13th, 2019 Jul 13, 2019 10:58:15 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfike
I've only ever used Rutland's mixing system so I can't tell you if one is better than the other. I can tell you that with the Rutland system and their mixing software it's very easy. They have a database to mix every Pantone color and you can also create a database to save your own custom formulas. The software will also allow you to enter your inventory for the pigments, bases, etc. and if you have your scale connected to the computer it will automatically keep track as you use your inventory. Also with Rutlands system you can use their M3 mixing system or you can use the C3 Color Booster system. Both use the same colors for mixing but the C3 system uses concentrated pigments mixed with different bases. This is great if you use different types of bases for different garments. You can mix a poly ink using the same pigments as you would to mix inks for use on regular cotton shirts but mix it into the poly base.
I'm printing on some tri-blends and had some bleed through - I was wondering if I'm using too much ink, my contact is off or it's because the M3 is for 100% cotton.
have you had this issue with the M3?
 
Old July 14th, 2019 Jul 14, 2019 3:23:02 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ink mixing systems vs regular inks? (complete beginner question)

Pantone mixing is important for some
Brand requirements. Most buyers aren’t that specific but I did a job of a few hundred shirts and was provided with the brand guidelines with the pms colors. I also had to do a production sample before they would approve the rest of the order. I just called up t&j supply and gave them the Pantone colors and they sent them to me. Didn’t cost any extra to have them do it and to be sure I had enough, I bought a gallon of each color. I still have plenty of a couple of colors left but they were 4 shades of green so I know I’ll use them up eventually but it’s one of the few cases where I had to have the specific color to run the job. I’ll also note that while I made some money on the screen printing, I was really only doing that part because I wanted the embroidery part of the job which I contracted out and made the lions share of the profits.


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