Been looking at FN-INK™? Did you just get it? You probably have a million questions about the plastisol ink: what’s different, best practices for using it, and more. Well, fasten your seatbelts folks. We’re going to guide you through everything you need to know about using FN-INK™.
WHAT IS FN-INK™?
First of all, let’s talk about the name. While it may sound like a popular four-letter-word of choice, “FN” actually stands for “Financially Necessary.” Why? Finding great products that won’t break your budget is important. That’s why FN-INK™ was manufactured to be a great ink at a great price, day in and day out. FN-INK™ gives printers the peace of mind that their hard earned dollars are getting the best return on investment.
FN-INK™ is a high opacity, creamy, short bodied plastisol ink that’s made for printers, by printers. This ink hits many of the needs that screen printers require for successfully printing t-shirts. It’s a low cure ink, curing at 260°F. Printers experience shorter flash times, sped-up production, and less energy usage. It’s the best plastisol ink that has the highest ROI.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable features of FN-INK™.
FN-INK ™ DOUBLES AS A READY-TO-USE INK AND AS A MIXING SYSTEM
You can use FN-INK™ straight out the bucket, but did you know that it’s also a mixing system? It’s a two-for-one! There’s no need to have several different ink lines taking up room on your shelves. With FN-INK™, you just need one line to unlock an endless amount of colors.
FN-INK™ IS LOW CURE
Not only is FN-INK™ less expensive than other ink brands, it's a low cure ink as well. Once the entire ink layer reaches 260°F, it is cured. This means a couple of things for your production:
- You can potentially run your dryer faster allowing you to print more shirts per hour.
- You can run your dryer at lower heat settings. This will allow you to save some cash on electricity and potentially keep your shop a bit cooler since you can run your dryer at a lower temperature.
- If you only have a flash unit and you use it for cure, it is now far easier to achieve full cure of the ink.
TESTING FOR PROPER CURE
Cure is attained when the entire ink layer reaches 260°F (that means the ink hits 260°F all the way to the bottom of the ink deposit). Using a laser gun to read temperature is misleading. A laser gun only reads the surface temp of the ink, so you need to read a surface temp as much as 60°F- 80°F above actual cure temp. This is due to the rate that plastisol ink absorbs heat, the length of dryer tunnel, and the thickness of the ink deposit.
RELATED: ENSURING PROPER INK CURING
Thinner ink deposits heat up faster than thicker deposits. A good example is printing black ink versus doing a print/flash/print of white ink. White ink will be far thicker and take up to twice as long to reach full cure compared to the thinner black ink deposit. When changing conveyor dryer to low cure temps, do wash testing to make sure the new dryer settings are helping the ink achieve full cure.
Photo by Press or Dye
FN-INK™ HAS POTENTIAL TO BE A LOW BLEED INK BECAUSE IT’S LOW CURE
If you’re able to keep temperatures low in the dryer and cure temperatures closer to 260°F, you can keep the dyes in the polyester fabrics from bleeding into your inks. If your print shop is dialed in, FN-INK ™ can reduce the possibility of dye migration because of its low-cure properties.
Most polyester fabric’s dye temperature is set between 270°F and 300°F. When the polyester thread hits that temperature again, the dyes return to a gaseous state and are absorbed by the plastisol inks. This is why low bleed inks are so important. If you’re printing on polyester or poly-blend garments. A low bleed ink is almost essential.
To further prevent dye migration, you’ll want a blocker base. Barrier Black is a specially-made blocker base ink designed to stop dye migration on polyester garments from the shirt up. When printed and cured correctly, Barrier Black will give you the best chance of stopping dye migration from happening on difficult polyester and polyester-blended garments.
FN-INK™ HAS HIGH OPACITY
There’s no need to worry about opacity with FN-INK™. You can achieve bright colors on dark garments with a print/flash/print. As always, not every color is reproducible on dark garments. Some of the more translucent colors—like Navy Blue or magenta—will have some shirt showing through no matter what. But colors like Golden Yellow, Bright Red, and Light Royal Blue are remarkably bright.
Pro Tip: Want your prints to be even more vibrant? Print over an underbase. Colors will always show up brighter when printed on top of an underbase.
Want to preview the vibrancy of FN-INK™? Download the digital color card here.
FN-INK™ PRINTS WET-ON-WET
You read that right: not only is FN-INK™ low-cure and high opacity, it’s also formulated for wet-on-wet printing. Wet-on-wet printing can save you time, and when done correctly, can be a great service to offer.
Use 230 mesh screens or higher for the best wet-on-wet performance. While you can get decent wet-on-wet performance through 200 mesh, the possibility of laying down too much ink increases in lower mesh counts. At a certain point, you are unable to control your ink deposit.
FN-INK™ IS CREAMY
FN-INK™ is a shorter-bodied ink, which cuts and shears easily when an ink knife or a squeegee passes through it. What does this mean for your printing process? Here’s what a creamy ink does for you on press:
- Less dot gain, because you can use less pressure to clear the screen.
- Greater perceived opacity because of the ability to back off on the pressure needed to clear the screen.
- You can print the ink when it's cold and still create a great looking print.
- The ink is more consistent from beginning to end.
Photo by Salt & Pine Co.
There’s no question about it. FN-INK™ is a well-rounded, ready for use ink that will look great on your prints and on your shelves.
Want to check it out? You’re in luck! From Feb.1 to Feb. 14, enter to win our FN Love You giveaway. Simply enter to win here. We’re giving away 10 gallons of White FN-INK™, plus an FN-INK ™ Mixing System Kit with Barrier Black at the end of the two weeks.
If that wasn’t enough, all FN-INK™ is 20% off until February 14. Why? Because we FN Love You.