Setting up a small textile screen printing shop — #8 in series

The thumbnail version:

  • Ink is a critical element in your shop.
  • Better-quality inks result in better quality-prints.
  • There are different ink systems e.g. plastisol vs water-based.

The full version:

The first decision you have to make is whether you’re going to print with plastisol or water-based ink. You have research to do.  However, regardless of the system you choose to print with, just know that the better the ink quality, the better your prints are going to be.

Make any colour with an ink mixing system

And generally “cheap” means poorer quality; don’t be seduced by the per-gallon price. If you calculate the cost per print (which takes into account variables such as rejects, ease of printing, and how much ink you have to put down) you’ll find that the so-called expensive inks are not that much more expensive than the cheaper inks; usually just pennies.

And while you’re considering ink, consider a mixing system. It makes a lot of sense for a small shop. Not only can it ensure accurate, repeatable colours, but you’ll be making only as much of a particular colour as you need for a job, thus not investing in a stock of left-over ink.

There’s a lot to consider about in ink. The crew at all four of Stanley’s branches can help you with advice.