Understanding The Unique Advantages And Challenges Of Water-Based Inks
At Gellner Industrial, our team of experts can promote the benefits of water-based inks indefinitely. But it’s not just because we’ve been making the acrylics that produce them for over a quarter of a century. It’s also not because our products have served countless ink-manufacturing clients over the years. It’s because the advantages of water-based inks are numerous and significant.
Inks made from water, as opposed to solvents, are used for a number of processes, including digital printing of fabrics and garments. Obviously, water is the main solvent, keeping the pigments in their liquid form. Some of the many advantages of these inks include:
• Thinner, softer printing (meaning no thick, bulky print on fabric)
• More environmentally-friendly
• Significantly more breathable
• Many varying aesthetics available, including vintage and hand-sketched looks
• Ink integrated into the fabric, rather than on top of it
• Less pressure needed when printing
Of course, for printers who are used to solvent based inks some challenges can arise when switching to water-based inks. This is simply due to the different approaches of printing and can be easily addressed once the printer is accommodated with the new process.
If you’re making the transition, it’s important to keep in mind that water-based inks have the potential to dry on the screens and clog them, so this should be monitored. At first, the process can seem more labor-intensive as well, but the better aesthetic quality of the garment will lead to higher selling prices, which will more than make up for the extra time.
It’s also important to keep in mind that due to the nature of these inks, they are better suited for lighter colored fabrics. If you desire to print on black fabric, you’ll want to use discharge water-based inks, for which some extra tools, such as an activator, are necessary.
However, once you’ve commanded the process, the many benefits of these inks will be evident, and the results will be delightful.