Adding gold sparkle to a design is a surefire way to attract attention. With FN-INK™ Metallic Gold, you can make jaws drop without any extra hassle in your print process. There are a few nuances to using this ink. Want to know more? Let’s dive in.
WHY USE FN-INK™ GOLD?
FN-INK™ Gold is a low cure plastisol ink that creates a gold shimmer effect on garments when printed correctly. There are a few ways to print FN-INK™ Metallic Gold, depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. Here are three popular ways to add this rad ink to your prints.
PRINTING DIRECT TO FABRIC
FN-INK™ Gold can be printed directly to fabrics. Use lower mesh counts like 86-110 standard mesh if you’re printing this ink directly to a shirt. Lower mesh counts allow more of the flake to flow through the screen, which helps create an opaque, sparkling print.
While you can print FN-INK™ Gold directly to fabric, it might not show up as brilliantly as you’d like. If you want a more vibrant gold shimmer, printing FN-INK™ Gold over a white or clear underbase is your best option.
PRINTING OVER AN UNDERBASE
A white base always helps colors appear more vibrant. It’s the same with FN-INK™ Gold. Printing the gold plastisol ink over a clear or white underbase will increase its vibrancy and make a brighter-looking print.
To print FN-INK™ Gold over an underbase, use 156 mesh counts or higher. Some designs will require higher mesh counts: FN-INK™ Gold will print through mesh up to 230 thin thread. Make sure you take into account the parameters of the design and test thoroughly before production so you know the outcome you’ll get.
ADDING COLOR TO FN-INK™ GOLD
Want to give the gold some color? You can add FN-INK™ colors to FN-INK™ Metallic Gold to create color-tinted versions of the ink. Be aware that the amount of color you add depends largely on the ink color you’re working with. More translucent inks—like magenta—allow you to add more color to FN-INK™ Gold. Adding too much of a color will eventually cover the gold pigment, reducing or eliminating the gold effect. Take care when adding white or black, or inks with a lot of white or black in them as they may cover the gold flake after a small addition.
Testing is important when adding colors to FN-INK™ Gold. Always do a test print (or two) to make sure it’s the shade you’re looking for before you head to production. A great way to test colored inks without committing to a large batch is to make a small sample—50 to 100 grams—to use for testing. That way, you’re not wasting precious ink.
MODIFYING THE INK
FN-INK™ Gold can—and should—be modified with a FN-INK™ Curable Reducer at up to 5% by weight. If you need more stretch in the ink, add FN-INK™ Stretch starting at 5%, and add more if the greater stretch is desired.
PRINTING TIPS WITH FN-INK™ GOLD
Even though there are a few different ways of printing FN-INK™ Gold, there are some best practices when printing the ink no matter which method you choose.
First, use a 70 durometer or a 65/90/65 squeegee blade when printing FN-INK™ Gold. You want an even print with enough flake deposit. Using a blade that is too soft will not properly shear the ink while a squeegee with a stiffer, harder blade will result in a thin ink deposit.
When possible, do a flood print. The flood stroke will pre-fill the stencil and make it easier to fully clear the ink and flake from the screen. You’ll have a smoother ink deposit. Do two passes with the squeegee to ensure a thicker ink deposit.
Now that the design has been printed, let’s talk about curing.
CURING AND TESTING RECOMMENDATIONS
Even though FN-INK ™ Metallic Gold is a low cure ink, the flake in the ink can reflect heat, which results in the print taking longer to reach full cure. If you’re using FN-INK™ Gold with other FN-INKs, you may notice that the standard colors reach full cure before the gold does. As a result, you will need to either increase your dwell time (retention time in the conveyor dryer) or increase the temperature you cure at.
When testing cured ink, perform a wash test to ensure proper cure prior to going into production. If any parts of the image wash out or crack, then the print is undercured. Tweak your dryer settings until you find what properly cures the ink.
Gold inks look super cool in any design. With just a few tweaks to your production flow, you can add shiny new inks like FN-INK™ Metallic Gold to your shop in no time.