Plastisol Ink - Pros vs. Cons
Plastisol ink is one of the most commonly used screen printing ink types and has been around for decades. It has been the primary ink until fairly recently as more and more companies have been converting. Plastisol is a much more user-friendly ink, as it is more accurate for matching Pantone colors. It does not have a shelf life so you can mix extra ink for the job to use at a later time.
The viscosity of plastisol ink is much thicker making for a more opaque print. Making the coverage much better, especially on dark garments.
Since there’s no fabric dying involved in the printing process, plastisol can be used for most fabric types. The ingredients of the shirt do not have much effect on the outcome of the colors. This is a preferred process from a production standpoint, as it is a standardized ink that works across a multitude of different garment substrates.
The downside is that the ink has a much thicker feel to it. Since it is sitting on top of the fibers versus soaking into them, it is a noticeable hand and can often feel similar to rubber or plastic if not based down.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the thickness of the ink. By using a soft hand or fashion soft base, we are able to eliminate the thickness and give it a much softer feel. However, it is very difficult to achieve the same results as what you would get with water-based ink. Plastisol is not the way to go if you are looking for eco-friendly screen printing options.
PROS FOR PLASTISOL INK
- Good coverage
- Little to no ink waste
- Very few fabric limitations
- Additives can be used to offset the thick feel
CONS FOR PLASTISOL INK
- Thicker feel
- Doesn’t let the skin breathe through the fabric
- Less sustainable ingredients