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is plasicsol the same as screen printing? for example, if i order a tee on threadless.com - what technique is that? does plastisol seep into the fabric or is it like a plasticy feeling that is stuck on ?
 

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Plasticol is the type of ink used for most traditional screen printing. The ink is PVC based,. Depending on how it is printed will determine how the print feels on the shirt. You can print using plasticol and you cannot feel the ink or you can stop a bullet with the prints.
That plastic feeling that is stuck on is more than likely vinyl or heat transfers. Transfers are a lot better than they used to be and usually its hard to tell if it is a transfer or actual print.
 

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is plasicsol the same as screen printing? for example, if i order a tee on threadless.com - what technique is that?
Threadless t-shirts are screen printed directly onto the garment from the screen (with plastisol ink)

Plastisol transfers are printed with plastisol ink (same ink) but then printed onto release paper (transfer paper). This allows you to use a heat press to adhere the design to the t-shirt.

The end effect is very similar.

does plastisol seep into the fabric or is it like a plasticy feeling that is stuck on ?
Lou has posted a few examples of his plastisol transfer here:
www.ljrobin.com/plastisol.htm
 

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ok, great! thanks. that clears things up a bit.

one question though, plastisol ink. is that something you can buy for your inkjet printer, do youneed a plasitosol printer or is it exclusovely something for a third party company to take care of (meaning that the set up costs would be rather big) ?
 

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s that something you can buy for your inkjet printer, do youneed a plasitosol printer or is it exclusovely something for a third party company to take care of (meaning that the set up costs would be rather big) ?
No, plastisol ink can't be printed with a regular printer.

It would need to be printed with screen printing equipment (like from a screen printer).

The setup costs are usually not very significant with plastisol transfers, since many times you can put multiple images on one "sheet" of transfer paper.

Most people here that do plastisol transfers get them done by a company that specializes in printing those type transfers. Here's a short list of companies that provide that service:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=4095&highlight=custom+plastisol

Here's a good thread for learning more about plastisol transfers in general:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=3770
 

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Plastisol ink is really just basic screenprinters ink. Instead of directly screenprinting your shirt blank.....they are doing the same exact operation in reverse on a coated piece of paper. So....you can order directly from a screen printer 100 copies of your design on the garmants you choose or 100 copies of the design on transfer paper that you can apply one at a time. Same printing method same quality...what works best for your sales is the key. Research the posts within this site and you will find many questions and so many answers. If you dont see the info you are looking for...just post up again and we will be there for you!!!!
 

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monkchild said:
one question though, plastisol ink. is that something you can buy for your inkjet printer,
Plastisol Ink has the consistency of Margerine that you put on your toast in the morning It is mixture of PVC and Oil....thus the thickness of Margerine.... In the curing proccess the Oil is evaporated out leaving just the linked Pvc's on the Shirt...
 

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Wow, you explained the process of plastisol transfers in a few sentences and using only margerine. Thanks! Valuable lesson learned!
 

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Plastisol Ink has the consistency of Margerine that you put on your toast in the morning

It is mixture of PVC and Oil....thus the thickness of Margerine....

In the curing proccess the Oil is evaporated out leaving just the linked Pvc's on the Shirt...
This is incorrect.

There is no evaporation in the curing process of plastisol ink. A true plastisol ink is made from 100% solid products, has no solvents and does not release volatile organic compounds into the air. If a mixture contains volatile solvents, it's known as an organosol.

Plastisol inks must be heated, or they will never cure. They never dry. They must be changed/cured with heat. PVC resin and pigment are added to a plasticizer liquid that has a very high boiling point of 500 to 600°F. This is why there is no evaporation at earth temperatures.

In the curing process the PVC resin absorbs the plasticizer (oil), as their temperature rises. At around 310°F (depending on the manufacturer), all the plasticizer is absorbed by the resin, forming a flexible film.


Once fused, like a hard boiled egg, the change is permanent.
 

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Okaaaaaaay, now that's so not Margerines. So that's why Plastisol inks can work on dark coloured tees eh?

What happens if we set the heating mechanism of the press to higher than normal? Will it cause evaporation, thus loss of graphix/colour?
 

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Plastisol at higher temperature

What happens if we set the heating mechanism of the press to higher than normal? Will it cause evaporation, thus loss of graphix/colour?
Any plasticizer used in plastisol inks only start to boil around 500 to 600°F. This is why there is no evaporation at earth temperatures.

Around 450°F your shirt turns into a small campfire.

If you heat the ink and shirt above 330°F, you are wasting energy - more temperature has no further beneficial effect.

Above 350°F the dyes sublimate and stain white ink is perhaps the most important reason to control high temperature.

Low and slow is the best plastisol curing advice. Longer time so the heat can penetrate for a 'well done' imprint that doesn't go above 350°F.

Water Base Resins
Since water based inks can have 60 to 70% water, only 35% remains on the shirt and the pigments used with water are not as good 'film formers'. They work great on bedroom walls, but poorly on stretchy dark shirts. On light colored shirts, the soft stain they leave is fantastic!
 
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Very informative indeed. Double thanks! I didn't get the message of not requiring to increase the temp, untill you mention about shirts turning mini campfire - and that got me hard.
 
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