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Printing Water based ink on stretch fabric??

10497 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tozier9
I have a customer who is wanting cheerleading outfits printed. They are lycra, spandex and polyester blend.

I use waterbased and discharge inks, all matsui. Can i print on these? will it have good adhesion? there is a stretch clear base that i can get, would that be the best option? if i ran these through the conveyor dryer, are they going to shrink or disfigure in anyway?

any info would be greatly appreciated!!:)
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I can't speak to Matsui specifically, but most waterbased inks are for printing on natural fibres (cotton, etc.) and don't print on polyester. To print on polyester, spandex, etc. you would need to get a poly additive for the ink (which does exist).

The bad news is from what I've been told (I've never had cause to use it myself) it bonds with the nylon in the screen, making it quite difficult to print with.

It's not my area of expertise, but from what I do know, I would rather use plastisol ink for this job or, speaking as a waterbased printer, outsource it to someone who does.
Permaset might work for you. It will bond with a number of man made fibers such as nylon, but if you will be printing on dark fabric it might not be stretchy enough. If the fabric is light it would probably work. There is a video on you tube that shows permaset ink used to print some fabric that looks like it was made for bathing suits, it's so stretchy, but I think the ink was used to dye the fabric during the manufacturing process, not screen printing, and the original fabric was white.
Permaset might work for you. It will bond with a number of man made fibers such as nylon
Unless they've changed the formula (I haven't bought any ink lately), Permaset requires an additive for printing on man made fibres.
I found that Matsui makes a stretch binder in their line. On their website it says:

Stretch Clear 301 Base - A base binder formulated for use on stretch fabrics such as Lycra-Spandex, athletic clothing etc. Add any of the Matsui 301 Eco-Series pigments for unlimited color matching capabilities. Screen mesh recommendations up to 150.

Does this sound like it will work for what i need?? I am a little worried about curing them. do these materials scorch easily? should i send them through at a lower temp twice? Makes me nervous as these are pretty pricey items.
So I just got off of the phone with Matsui Intl. and got the informatino that i needed, so i will share with you guys in case you ever run into this.

first you need to print the 301 Undercoat binder that they sell.(Under Coat Binder 301 - A high opaque under-base used to prevent dye sublimation on polyester fabrics. Screen mesh recommendations up to 100.) flash, then print you color on top. the color will be mixed with the stretch clear with pigment added or the premixed stretch white. then cure slowly, because the fabric cannot take extreme heat for too long.

so i am a happy camper for now. i hope that this helps anyone that ever has this problem, as soon as i get the items in, i will let you know my experience with it!~
Excellent. Thanks for reporting back so this thread can help others with the same question.
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Thanks for reporting back! I had this question as well. How'd it go?
Thanks for reporting back! I had this question as well. How'd it go?
i am waiting on the outfits to come in. i have everything ready to go to print. keeping my fingers crossed! i ordered two extra outfits to test on. i will record all of my tests and when i get it done and wash test it i will post back on here!! :)
How did the tests go. I am about to order wilflex epice performance white. But have been looking at other options
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