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Which black to use for screen print?

1361 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Celtic

I'm looking to get a one colour black design screen printed onto white t-shirts but was wondering, is there a black that is considered the best black for screen printing to garments?

From having read around I understand 100% K, prints as a dark grey and becomes very heavy, can cause smudging and takes a lengthy amount of time to dry. So is a blend of CYMK to create a rich black better, provided I convert it to a spot colour?
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Just use black plastisol ink (not 4c K) Any brand will work fine.
Thanks ripcord. I don't actually print myself, so how would I set the colour in the artwork so the printer knows to use that ink? Or is that something I would just note to them? The printer I'm using is experienced.

Sorry, this is my first time getting something printed and I fear I've read to many things from too many different sources and confused myself with how to set up a file for print.
Use spot black from your color palette. In Corel Draw it's just called "black" (Don't use R0 G0 B0. It looks the same on the monitor but won't output dense enough.)
I'm using Illustrator. So should I create a rich black (50% CYM 100% K) and convert that to a spot colour? In Illustrator my appearance of black on screen settings is set to accurate, and this blend shows a deep black as opposed to 100k alone displaying as a dark grey.
Sorry, just to add, for a one colour design, is it better to use spot colour or CYMK? Are there added costs for one or the other?
Sorry, just to add, for a one colour design, is it better to use spot colour or CYMK? Are there added costs for one or the other?
Always design in RGB. Swap your work-space to RGB and then just use black.
I think what you might be confused about is the actual printing process. If you supply the artwork as black, the printer can use any color ink he wants on the shirts. It's a one color job on white shirts, so the print can be any spot color (in this case it will be black.)
Yes if you supply the art the experienced screen printer should be able to change what he needs to to print your design. Then you just tell him what color ink on what color shirt and they will do it that way...
Thanks for the info everyone. I went away and watched a number of videos of the actual screen print process and it all makes much more sense. I can't believe I hadn't thought to do that already instead of just reading words lol.

Thanks again.
Also, I'll add that CMYK inks are transparent inks, not opaque.
And, if a black print is coming out really heavy, as you mentioned, then it's a poor printer at work.
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