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Solmu said:
Obviously plastisol inks are the industry standard, but I'm seeing more and more water based inks in use (especially here in Australia).

What do the more experienced printers think about the merits (or lack thereof) of different types of ink?
The biggest problems with waterbase inks are as follows.

#1. They dry out in the screen real fast so once you start printing you cannot stop. You will also need to do about 1 imprint every 6 seconds to keep the screen from clogging. There are retarders you can use that will help but it's still nothing like plastisol.

#2. Waterbase inks take a combination of heat and airflow to dry properly on the garment. This means you will need a more expensive dryer with forced air or air knives. The other option is to flash dry and fan or set the ink with an iron.

#3. When printing waterbase inks on 50/50's you need to use discharge ink and this is a lot trickier to use.

Now theses are not insurmountable obstacles and waterbased printing can be done with very good results. It's just you need to be aware of the issues I listed above.

On a side note. Most all ink manufactures are coming out with pvc free plastisol inks and other inks that offer a wide range of looks and feels. Rutland now has a chino base which when ued with their pigment ink will give you the look and feel of a retro ventage t-shirt.
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