Screen printing projects use either water-based or plastisol inks. If you want your designs to be more vibrant and you want to have greater working flexibility, then plastisol ink is definitely up your alley.
Working with plastisol inks gives you more time to work with as it won’t dry up easily. This is especially important when you’re working in hot and dry climates that tend to take away moisture.
Plastisol inks are also easy to apply using a screen mesh. With the vibrant colors, your designs look vivid and full of life on t-shirts, athletic gear, and casual garments.
If you’re new to screenprinting, then this blog is what you need as the basic guide to choosing the best plastisol ink. If you already know the materials on which you want to print designs, the next logical step is choosing plastisol inks that would work to give the optimal color.
List of Top 10 Plastisol Inks
Comparison Chart For Top 10 Plastisol Inks
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
Ecotex White Plastisol Ink For Screen Printing
Eaglestar 7 Primary Color Plastisol Ink Kit
TRIANGLE Screen Printing Plastisol Inks
Rapid Cure Standard Plastisol Ink
Ecotex White NP Low Bleed Plastisol Ink
Ecotex Plastisol Ink Kit
Rapid Cure White Plastisol Ink
Ecotex Scarlet Red NP Plastisol Ink
Best Plastisol Ink Reviews
1. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set – Best Plastisol Ink For Screen Printing
Are you looking for an ink that can be applied to a great variety of materials?
Try Speedball Fabric Screen printing Ink Starter Set. Great for beginners, it can help you to figure out which direction your hobby or business should take. It’s suitable for not only paper and cardboard but also on fabric types including cotton, blends, linen, rayon, polyester, and other synthetics.
Thus, you can experiment on various substrates before you find your niche. The softness of fabrics won’t be compromised with this product. It will have the same softness. Plus, you can make the ink permanent by heating it properly at the right temperature for the right duration.
The set of six colors is enough to get you started. Black, red, blue, white, yellow, and green colors mix to give you vibrant and sharp results. Just make sure to choose light-colored fabrics so that the designs stand out well.
With the AP seal on the product, you can use it safely in the studio or the classroom. No harmful chemicals or unpleasant odor are released when in use, making it safe for the environment too.Just use a soapy water solution to clean up after use. Each jar contains 4 ounces of plastisol color.
- 6 vibrant colors in 4-ounce jars.
- Applicable on a wide variety of fabrics and also paper and cardboard.
- Doesn’t affect the softness of the fabrics.
- AP seal for safe use in the classroom and studio.
- Easy clean-up with water and soap.
2. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink, 8-Ounce, Black
Does your screen printing project need more black than any other plastisol ink? Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink that’s black and comes in an 8-ounce jar is cost-efficient for you.
It doesn’t become dry when you’re working, making it a more convenient option as it gives more working flexibility. In addition, it provides excellent coverage and consistently bold prints that won’t fade away.
You can use this plastisol ink on many types of fabrics like cotton, linen, polyester, and others as well as paper and cardboard. Therefore, it gives you a wide variety of materials to work on, rendering the product versatile.
Even after you make the ink permanent with correct curing, it won’t feel hard on the fabric. The fabric will keep feeling soft as it was before being screen printed with this ink.
The AP seal on the pack of the product is verification of it being safe for use in the studio or classroom. Thus, both beginners and professionals can use it without any damaging effects.
You can clean up easily after use with some soap and water solution. To make the product stand out well, use light-colored fabrics.
Besides black, 14 other colors are packed in the same 8-ounce convenient jar.
- Black plastisol ink in an 8-ounce jar for cost efficiency.
- Excellent coverage, working flexibility, and consistent results.
- It will not make the fabric feel hard after curing.
- Seal of safety for use in the studio and classroom.
- Easy cleaning with soap and water.
3. Ecotex White Plastisol Ink For Screen Printing - Best Plastisol Ink Brand
A pint of Ecotex Plastisol Ink for screen printing is exactly what pros need to create unique prints.
Even beginners can use this product without any inconvenience. The high opacity of this ink is credited to its thick and creamy formula. As a result, the prints are consistently bold, making your design stand out well.
What’s more, the ink doesn’t leave a rough feel on the fabric. You still get the same soft feel after curing the ink to make it permanent. As the curing temperature needed is 320 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure to choose a fabric that can withstand this temperature without buckling under it.
Besides fabric, this ink is not suitable for any other substrate like wood, glass, paper, etc.
Another reason this product is highly recommended is due to the non-phthalate formula that makes it eco-friendly and safe for use in a closed space like a classroom or studio.
With a long shelf life and great workability as it doesn’t dry out, this plastisol ink provides good value for money.Besides white, this brand offers 30+ different vibrant colors. Some prep is needed before you can use this product. Your screen needs to be de-hazed and all the grease removed. After use, apply an emulsion remover to clean up.
- Thick and creamy for high opacity.
- One pint bucket for high-volume projects.
- A non-phthalate formula for being eco-friendly.
- Long shelf life and exceptional workability.
- Not suitable on other media besides fabrics.
4. Eaglestar 7 Primary Color Plastisol Ink Kit
If you’re looking for more than the usual set of four colors in your plastisol ink kit, then this is the right choice for you.
There are seven colors included here besides black and white – royal blue, brite orange, brite red, Kelly green, and lemon yellow. So, you can use these on fabrics of all mesh counts and all colors without worrying about your designs standing out or not.
There are quite a few factors that make this product highly recommended. Firstly, its high opacity makes it a great plastisol ink for great coverage. Secondly, the creamy formula makes the screen printing process easy and less time-consuming.
In addition, the ink cures fast with a flash dryer. Last but not least, its low-tack property maintains the soft feel of the garment and resists any build-up.
The 4-ounce containers of this set of plastisol ink are convenient and ready to use. It’s the perfect ink for wet-on-wet screen printing. The superior performance of the product consistently delivers on bright and bold prints.
5. TRIANGLE Screen Printing Plastisol Inks – Cheap Plastisol Ink
The batman black Triangle Screen Printing Plastisol Inks are just what you need for a direct wet-on-wet printing method.
Packaged in a one-quart container, use this ink to screen print designs on athletic and casual wear. For direct prints, you can use bandana materials, sweatshirts, jerseys, fleece, woven, and knit t-shirts.
Both hot-peel and cold-peel plastisol transfers are also possible with this product.
Besides the reflective plastisol ink, this product series also includes in its portfolio primary and secondary colors, both fluorescent and non-fluorescent colors, metallic and glitter effects so that your creativity won’t hit a dead end.
If you want to use a stencil, then use any type of solvent-resistant emulsion for etching your design.
The curing temperatures range between 315 and 330 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will depend on the type of garment, the color of the plastisol ink, and the efficiency of the dryer used.
100% cotton fabrics will take more time to cure so a 50-50 polyester and cotton mix is recommended for optimum results. Similarly, curing will be faster on dark-colored materials as these absorb heat and will be slower on light-colored ones. Clean up requires the use of mineral spirits.
- One-quart container for wet-on-wet printing.
- Applicable on all casual and athletic garments.
- Curing temperatures between 315 and 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allows both hot-peel and cold-peel plastisol transfers.
- Woks better on 50-50 polyester and cotton mix materials.
How To Choose The Best Plastisol Ink
Good plastisol ink should be flexible in terms of workability. It means that it shouldn’t dry up while you’re working with it. Any plastisol ink that tends to dry up fast hampers your focus on work as you want to work fast, which may affect the quality.
If you are buying large quantities of plastisol ink, make sure they have a long shelf life. This would ensure these won’t expire before you’ve had a chance to use them up in your screen printing projects. Look for a good quality plastisol ink brand that guarantees a long shelf life.
With a ready-to-use plastisol ink, you need no prep time and can save time. You won’t need to spend time stirring and mixing with modifiers. Check for low-temperature cure plastisol inks that don’t need any additives to be mixed. It will be both time and cost-saving.
A plastisol ink that provides good coverage makes sure you don’t need to use too much of the product. Plus, it should get absorbed by the fabric properly to prevent repeating the printing process. Choose a low-bleed plastisol ink so that you don’t need to repeat the process of printing and flashing.
This will also save your time and make you more efficient as you can print more t-shirts in less time. Moreover, the low-bleed plastisol ink won’t let the fabric color show through it.
Curing Temperature And Time
A good plastisol ink needs less curing time and lower curing temperature to become permanent on the substrate. Look for a low-temperature option so that you can produce a higher volume of projects in less time.
Moreover, when it takes less time to cure, there is a lower chance to burn the material.
Before you buy a plastisol ink, check to see if it leaves a hard feel to the fabric or if the fabric still feels soft to the touch. Because t-shirts are meant to be comfortable for the user, it wouldn’t do to use a plastisol ink that becomes hard and uncomfortable after it’s cured.
Screen Mesh Count
Another important factor to consider before you buy a plastisol ink is the screen mesh count. The mesh count for screen printing is measured in threads per inch or centimeter. Different mesh counts apply for different fabrics so you should check them before starting your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is The Best Plastisol Ink To Use?
One of the top plastisol inks in the market is Ecotex although it’s closely contended by Speedball. Most product and user reviews seem to favor either one of these two brands to occupy the top spot in the category.
Both the brands have some unique selling propositions that make them stand out in the crowded market of plastisol inks. They are better than other brands in terms of vibrancy of colors, non-bleed formula, eco-friendliness, fast curing at low temperatures, workability, and soft-hand features.
2. What Is The Difference Between Plastisol And Water Based Inks?
Water-based inks contain water whereas plastisol inks contain PVC or plastics. That’s why water-based inks are better in terms of eco-friendliness as they don’t contain any chemicals.
Moreover, unlike plastisol inks, water-based ones get absorbed by the fabric and don’t leave a top layer. As a result, the treated part feels as soft as the fabric. Water-based inks produce great results on light-colored fabrics.
Plastisol inks create a great vibrancy of colors on dark-colored materials. These resemble most closely to the PANTONE color swatches, unlike water-based inks.
Moreover, it’s easier to work with plastisol inks as they don’t get dry and retain fluidity.
3. Are Plastisol Inks Dangerous?
If plastisol inks have been cured or treated properly, they are not considered dangerous. If you have leftover plastisol ink that you don’t need to use, heat it along with the container to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the plastisol ink has heated throughout for the necessary amount of time. One gallon of plastisol ink requires one hour to be fully cured.
4. How Do You Treat Plastisol Ink?
Plastisol ink won’t cure or dry in normal conditions. It needs a high temperature – 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit – for at least a minute to be treated properly.
You can use a conveyor dryer or a flash dryer to treat plastisol ink. Such a dryer has various options – adjustable temperature and heater heights, a hood that can be removed, and belt speed.
You can have more flexibility with a flash dryer as you can control the heat. All you need is to hold the flash fryer and remove it when it’s done.
A heat gun is also another way to treat plastisol inks but with this type of dryer, you can’t be certain whether you’ve under- or over-cured certain parts of the garment.
Selecting the right plastisol inks for your screenprinting projects should not be a dilemma anymore. Choose a couple of brands from the list provided here and experiment to see which comes closest to your expectations. Take care to keep an eye on the curing time as that can impact your efficiency.With the best plastisol inks in your arsenal, you can become a pro at screenprinting t-shirts and other materials. Not only would these last long but they would also secure more orders for you. In no time, you can build your reputation as a supplier of unique screen-printed garments.