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The thumbnail version:

  • Discharge printing offers a great print with a beautifully soft hand
  • There are technical issues to take into account

The full version:

A common misconception about discharge printing is that it is a bleaching process. But bleach damages fibers and discharge inks do not. According to Paul Woodward of Magna (now an Avient company) quoted in Images Magazine, discharge inks “work by removing the dyed areas of reactive dyed garments to create a different colour in its place.”

Before proceeding with a discharge printing job the garments have to be tested because not all fabrics can be discharge printed. According to Woodward, “only cellulosic fibers like cotton can be printed with discharge inks and they need to be dyed with reactive dyestuffs.” He does however point out that printing poly blends can create interesting effects when the poly doesn’t discharge.

The full article is well worth a read and may prompt you to revisit discharge printing. It give you an edge on the competition. Talk to the crew at Stanley’s for more information on discharge printing.