Screen Printing Embroidery Environmentally Friendly Graphic Design

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stop and Think About the Ink!

In the digital age, it's easy to forget about ink - yes, ink! But it's everywhere, all around you; from the membership cards in your wallet, to the milk carton in your refrigerator, and on the front of your coffee mug. It's in the pictures on your walls, the upholstery on your furniture, and the carpet on your floor. You're even covered in it from head to toe - from the hat on your head to the shoes on your feet!

But did you ever stop to think that there are different kinds of ink? You'd be excused if you haven't! Sure, you know the ink in your printer and the ink in your pen aren't identical, but you use them both for more or less the same thing.

But what about the ink in your clothes; in the emblem on your baseball cap, or on the back of your favorite shirt? What kind of ink is that?

Well, in textile printing, there are two main types of ink that are most commonly used; water-based ink, and plastisol ink. Both types are very popular; however water-based inks have some distinctive advantages over other kinds.

Plastisol ink is a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) based system - in other words, plastic. In graphic screen printing, it's referred to as a 100% solid ink system. Most plastisol inks are solvent based, meaning that they use one or more chemicals to keep the color part of the ink suspended during printing operations, which is then solidified - or cured - at a very high temperature. Because of its complex properties, highly toxic and hazardous materials are produced in the manufacture of these inks.

Water-based ink, on the other hand, is practically all-natural; it consists of little more than dyes or pigments dissolved in water, and is cured by simply allowing the water to evaporate at room temperature.

Graphic Perspective proudly uses water-based inks whenever possible to produce high-quality, environmentally-friendly screen printed apparel and accessories. Not only is our use of water-based inks cleaner and safer, but it also makes our garments softer and more comfortable to wear. Is the emblem on the back of your favorite shirt soft to the touch? Does it move with you, iron well, and breathe easily? Then you might be wearing water-based ink!

So next time you order apparel - whether for your company picnic, team event or a special occasion - stop and think about the ink! And remember that at Graphic Perspective, our environmentally friendly-textiles and a water-based ink screen-printed designs produce a finished garment that feels great and will minimally impact our planet.

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