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What is the difference between pigment/binder and ready to use inks for screen printing?

9390 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  JantexInks
Hi everyone,

I am looking into starting to do water-based printing and had a couple questions about the difference in inks:

1. Is there a fundamental difference between a ready to use ink in a certain color and using a pigment/binder to reach the same color?

I would assume the pigment binder system just allows more flexibility. Also, would seem easier to change colors as needed since you only need a little bit of pigment for a lot of binder. Is that a good assumption?

2. Discharge printing seems to be possible with and without adding a pigment?

From what I've read discharging will remove dye when done alone, but will also re-dye the shirt if used with another pigment - true?

3. What is the difference between a clear, matte, and white binder? Or for that matter clear and white discharge? Is it just the outcome color? Clear will provide more opaque results while white is less opaque?

Sorry for the blast, so many questions that aren't clearly addressed in the forums yet as far as I can tell... Thanks.
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these are great questions and I have very similar concerns myself. I do not know the answers at this point, so I am excited to see what answers come about...but, I had a question for you.

1. which pigment brand are you using?..or planning on using, if you haven't purchased anything yet?..and
2. which binder do you plan on using?

I live brooklyn & was planning on trying out the pigment from this location (i have already bought some pigments, but no binder)
Guerra Paint and Pigment| Suppliers of Artists Pigments, Binders and Materials | Introduction
...but, their staff does not cater specifically to screen printers, so they lack any insight on their products being used in screen printing application...but, i am under the impression that they're materials are of TOP quality...

again, thanks for asking this question!
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1. which pigment brand are you using?..or planning on using, if you haven't purchased anything yet?..and
2. which binder do you plan on using?

I actually picked up the Matsui PRO COLOR starter kit from screen and digital supply (Charles Jessup). It was sent not as advertised but Kazoo was really nice and actually sent me an extra gallon of emulsion for free due to the mix-up. Will definitely be buying from them again.

Anyway, to answer the question, I'm using Matsui products at the moment for the bases (which are the binders). I've heard these are high quality and will report back with my results. The kit provides the clear, matte, and opaque versions
Sorry, I haven't been posting on the forums for a while. These are some good questions. Let me try and explain.

1.) The only "fundamental" difference is one is premixed and one is not. You have to pay someone to mix the inks. You can pay a company to mix them or do it yourself. Since garments greatly affect color value we recommend mixing in-house for best results. This of course is a bit more difficult, but if you are going to learn, you should learn right!

2.) Correct, Discharge by itself simply strips the dye hopefully leaving a close to white image area. Adding pigment strips the dye and then deposits pigment in its place in one step. Technically it isn't "re-dying" but your concept is right.

3.) When talking about products semantics matter. Some people call their "base" "binder" so I am not sure on that. But on discharge, clear discharge has NO pigments and will leave a discharge only, greyish off-white print where white discharge contains white pigment which is designed to leave a bright white print on your garment.

I hope this helps your understanding. Great questions, if you have any more just ask!
Good luck,
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