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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm new to this, and was just wondering if I could get as much advise as possible on which inks to buy.

I will be screen printing/stencil printing single colours on 100% cotton T-Shirts. I need high opacity inks as I will be printing on dark and black shirts (aswell as light shirts).

I do not want to use inks that need heat oven type treatment...

But I do need very durable high quality prints.

What are the main types of ink and which is best for me?
Also can you recomend any brands or places to order from online. (I'm in Australia)

Thanks heaps for any help,

Jasper
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think that I might also need inks that will be easy to work with/apply. Cheers
 

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For starters, all inks need to be cured one way or another. You don't necessarily need to use an oven, but you will need something.

The main thing you need to decide is whether you want to use waterbased or plastisol inks. Waterbased can be cured with a hand iron (not recommended, but possible - it works, but it's a pain), plastisol can't. Plastisol inks are very opaque, waterbased inks less so (there are opaque inks, but they're not as solid as plastisol). Waterbased inks dry out in the screen if you don't print quickly enough, plastisol doesn't dry until it's heat set (which is a mixed blessing). Plastisol is probably easier to work with, but harder to clean up if you have a small home based setup.

Both are best cured in an oven. Failing that, plastisol can be fully cured with a flash dryer, and waterbased inks can be cured with a heat press (or iron).

Durability shouldn't be an issue with either ink type, so long as they're properly printed and cured. Both print fine on 100% cotton.

The majority of home printers use waterbased inks, and the majority of commercial printers use plastisol inks (there are exceptions in both directions, obviously).

Online ordering is overrated. The industry still hasn't really modernised, and a quick phone call can go a long way. The only supplier with online ordering I can think of off the top of my head is fairly expensive. Whereabouts in Australia are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there much price variation between the two ink types (including setup cost)?

I need high opacity, so I'm considering plastisol ink. Would you recomend an oven or flash dryer? What does the oven consist of? Is there many makeshift methods for curing plastisol inks (that people have practically used before)?

Sorry, I'm rather new to this... I've got everything else set up (shirts, designs, site, ect) but I still need to find out the best ink and curing method.

Thanks for your help! Oh, by the way I live on the Sunshine Coast QLD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was actually planning on using a vinyl cutter to cut "stencils" that could be stuck directly onto the shirt or onto a screen and then I'd print through it.

However, I've been reading about heat transfer vinyls. Can these be cut and then directly pressed onto the shirt? Is it simply a different type of vinyl that can permanently attach to the shirt?

Do you buy the vinyls in the colour you want your design to be in or do you have to print on it too (like those iron on prints you can do with an inkjet printer)? If you have to print on the vinyl, it would not be suitable...

I've read many, many forums and am still a little confused about this. please correct me if I've read something wrong,

All my designs are one colour and could easily be vinyl cut... If these vinyls exsist.. what are they called, does it work well and look good? Where can I find it?

Please give me as much information about this as possible,

Thanks heaps! - Jasper
 

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JS said:
Is there much price variation between the two ink types (including setup cost)?
I don't know actually. There's probably a difference, but I can't imagine it's that significant (I could be wrong).

JS said:
Would you recomend an oven or flash dryer?
I'd recommend both if you can afford it.

JS said:
What does the oven consist of? Is there many makeshift methods for curing plastisol inks (that people have practically used before)?
Curing ovens are conveyer belt driven. I have heard of people using a home oven (not the one they cook in!), but it's generally not considered a good idea.

JS said:
Oh, by the way I live on the Sunshine Coast QLD
I figured if you were in Melbourne I could give you the names of a couple of suppliers. I know of one in Queensland but have no idea if they're any good or not, so you'd do just as well with the Yellow Pages as with anything I turned up, sorry.
 

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JS said:
I was actually planning on using a vinyl cutter to cut "stencils" that could be stuck directly onto the shirt or onto a screen and then I'd print through it.
That should work, although not as well as a proper photo sensitive emulsion stencil.

JS said:
However, I've been reading about heat transfer vinyls. Can these be cut and then directly pressed onto the shirt? Is it simply a different type of vinyl that can permanently attach to the shirt?
Yes, and yes.

JS said:
Do you buy the vinyls in the colour you want your design to be in
Yes.

JS said:
All my designs are one colour and could easily be vinyl cut... If these vinyls exsist.. what are they called, does it work well and look good? Where can I find it?
That information is available on these forums, try doing some searches for vinyl, etc. and browsing the appropriate section.
 
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