Plastisol Screen Printing

Plastisol is the most common type of ink used for screen printing. It’s a thicker, oil-based ink that lays on top of the fabric. It’s most known for its ease of use and long-lasting opacity and vibrancy. Since plastisol adheres to the surface, it can be printed on virtually any fabric and blend. Sounds pretty awesome, right? It is awesome, but some may not love the feel of it. Others may not love the vibrancy. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of this ink.

Plastisol Ink on a shirt

Advantages

  • Unlike water-based ink, plastisol has the ability to remain opaque and vibrant over a long period of time.

  • Plastisol can be used on all fabrics, like cotton, polyester, and blends, alike. Because it lays on, and adheres to, the surface area, it can be used on a multitude of materials.

  • Plastisol ink doesn’t dry under normal heat, so it can be stored for long periods of time. This makes it an economical option for screen printing shops. The ink won’t gel or elasticize until it’s heated at the proper temperature, which is around 320 degrees.

Disadvantages

  • Plastisol can feel thick on a shirt, especially when there are multiple ink colors or a white underbase needed in a particular design.

  • Plastisol can look thick, layered, and shiny, unlike water-based and discharge inks.  

  • While plastisol can last a very long time on the garment, it will begin to crack.

  • Solvents are often needed to clean it up.

Is Plastisol Screen Printing Right For Your Project?

Plastisol is the go-to ink for most screen printing shops. It’s easy to store, can be used on virtually any fabric, and is easy to get an opaque, vibrant final product. It’s biggest advantage over water-based ink is its ability to adhere to synthetic and blended fabrics. If you think plastisol is the best option for your project, or have any questions about this traditional ink, let us know!

Find Out if Plastisol is the Best Ink for Your Custom Apparel