Screen Printing Tip: When is Plastisol Ink Ready?
Good Thursday morning to you! Let’s chat about plastisol ink. We use it… you use it, but are you sure you know when it’s really ready to use? Do you find yourself pulling out a glob of ink thick enough to rival cement? If so, this tip just might make your day… read on, good friends!
As logic would suggest, proper ink use is a huge factor in determining the success of your screen print. There are a few misconceptions regarding inks. The most common mistake people make happens when ink is used straight out of the container. Maybe you’re thinking, “But the ink manufacturer says the ink is RFU (ready for use)!!!” To that we say this: if you want arms that look like Popeye’s, then go ahead and disregard this tip…
Most plastisol inks off the shelf tend to be a little too thick. The first thing you’re going to need to do when you pull the lid off any ink container is give it a nice stir. Plastisol has a lot of body (it thickens up) when it sits dormant for awhile. After you’ve stirred your ink, you may determine that it’s still too thick. Try standing an ink spatula up in your ink container. Does it stand at attention? If so, you’re ink is still too thick. When used sparingly (typically between a 5-15% mix ratio), an ink reducer such as Ryonet’s IC Curable Ink Reducer makes your printing easier, even through a high mesh screen. When your goal is to achieve a softer hand feel on your prints try adding a soft hand additive such as Ryonet’s IC Soft Hand and Fashion Base to your ink.
So start your job off right: stir that ink and add in what you need… your arms will thank you for it (and so will your prints)!!!