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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is better, using a white under base or using a high opacity ink, on dark shirts?

I am sure there are pros and cons to both, but I just don't know.

My personal thoughts are that it is much less risky to use a HO ink, any thoughts?
 

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I would think it depends on exactly what you are looking to accomplish.
We've run into some HO inks, that actually look okay on a black or even a dark, but not pop out like the color chart sample appears. We had a yellow that 2 hits on a black came out okie dokie. The white definately perks up the overcolors though, just like our DTG inks react.
I always say try it. We got bags of garments today at the thrift store for .40 a garment. Fleece, 50/50. etc. Enough to play with for a while, and then cut into decent rags.
When we went to Vastex University, they had Union ink and it was all HO maxopaque stuff, and it seemed to work on an assortment, but the white under still changed the look.
Have fun experimenting!:)
 

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True, there are a few pros and cons of each.
Using a white underbase, you need to be a little more precise with your registration or you may have a little white peeking out where you don't want it. If you over flash(cure) the white, your top coat may not adhere properly and flake off. Your color will usually be a little more true with a white underbase. A thin layer of white and a thin layer of color goes a long way.
The opaque inks can be a lot more convenient, making it easier to output faster. Opaque inks are thicker, so they can be a little more difficult to work with. The thicker inks tend to have a bit more of a hand to them as well. Also be mindful of your off contact and stencil thickness. Too little and you may have trouble getting proper coverage, making your print look splotchy. Too much off contact and you'll be fighting with downward force and a thicker ink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replys, with a white under base is it easier to choke it by 1 or 2 pixles, and trap the actual color? Makes for an easy way to knock out the white outline, I think.

Also, is it better to use a white ink for an under base or (a new thing I heard) was to use a light grey ink for an under base?
 

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Choking 1 or2 px is fairly common practice, but it can make some og the edges look softer (or give it a tonal outline.
The light gray underbase works very well for bolder colors, but can slightly mute some of the more transparent color (like yellow).
I like to play with the saturation of my white underbases to use the garment color in the design. I agree that you'll need to play around with both to figure out what works best for you.
 

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And the underbase (white or other wise) can be effectively done as a halftone as opposed to a solid layer.
I did grey awhile back. The graphic had grey in it so I halftoned part of it to print as an underbase for two other colors, one of which was yellow. Worked very well. Single pass on all colors with flash in between.

When doing dark on light, using HO inks, and considering an underbase or no, don't discount the importance of print technique in achieving sufficient opacity with minimum hand and ink layer thickness. Single pass, light on dark can be done (think Bill Hood's "One Hit White"TM).

And yes choking a bit is common and can work. But be careful if you do. It could possibly be construed as somewhat akin to "trapping" and subject to harsh criticisms :D
 
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