Water Based & Discharge Screen Printing
- Dye Sublimation Printing
- Screen Printing
- Woven Fabric Labels
- Custom Cut & Sew Manufacturing
Water based screen printing, known as discharge screen printing when applied to dark garments, is a choice production method for many high-end and fashionable brands. Water based screen printing creates a soft, light print layer that blends in perfectly with the fabric of the garment. Water-based and discharge printing produces comfortable, wearable garments — perfect for those seeking a stylish alternative to plastisol screenprinting.
Stylus Apparel has completely dedicated itself to mastering water based printing because of the comfort and wearability it gives custom printed shirts. Water based screen printing more of an art than a science and Stylus Apparel’s results speak for themselves. We are one of the few and the top discharge and water based printers in New Jersey.Water-Based and Discharge Screen Printing Quote
Why Choose Water-Based Screen Printing
Breathable, Comfortable, Quality Fashion
Because water based ink seeps into the fabric of the screen printed shirt instead of laying on top (as with plastisol-based printing), it allows the skin of the garment-wearer to “breathe” more easily, increasing the overall comfort and wearability of the garment. If you’re looking for a soft, vintage feel on your shirt, water based and discharge screen printing is the way to go.
Water-based and discharge screen printing can also achieve effects that screen printing with traditional plastisol ink cannot. This is an example of the 'tie-dye' effect achieved with water-based and discharge printing.
Water-based and discharge screen printing can also achieve effects that screen printing with traditional plastisol ink cannot:
- A feathered tie-dye look. The “tie-dye” look produced by water-based garments is not as stark or as strongly-contrasted as classic, traditional tie-dye — but it can provide an interesting look, all the same.
- Distressed styles. Distressed, faded, vintage, worn-out, and other “destroyed” style designs look great in water-based or discharge prints. This is because water and discharge screen printing leaves behind an extremely light, low-opacity print that is generally transparent enough for the garment color to be seen beneath.
- Seam and zipper printing. While plastisol can be printed over zippers and seams in some applications, the results are tough to achieve with consistency. Water-based and discharge printing excels at these tough-to-print spots — and, unlike plastisol, will not interfere with zipper function.
- Water-based and discharge inks are excellent for super-soft, super-lightweight fabrics. These garments often just feel “wrong” with heavy printed plastisol sitting over the lightweight, breathable garment.
- Water-based and discharge inks are eco-friendly. Water-based inks generally do not have harmful chemicals. When retailing your water-based and discharge printed garments, you may find labeling your garments as “produced in ecologically sustainable and friendly ways” can be a huge selling point for many brands.
- Unlike plastisol prints, water based screen prints can be even ironed without melting!
Limitations of Water-Based Screen Printing
Water-based and discharge screen printing sinks into the fabric of the garment, as opposed to sitting on top of it. The result is a luxurious, soft print that is comfortable and easy to wear.
Artwork Limitations of Water-Based Screen Printing
The best artwork for water-based and discharge screen printing is different from the best artwork for plastisol printing. In water-based and discharge prints, because the end result can have minor variations, it’s best to avoid very precise artwork. Soft-edged artwork, artwork with distresses and fades, and sketched or hand-drawn artwork generally looks best.
General Limitations of Water-Based Screen Printing
- 100% cotton is recommended for the best results; however, cotton is not a hard requirement of water-based printing.
- Water-based and discharge printing works by removing dyes — garments must be direct or reactive dyed.
- Plastisol screen printing provides a more vivid, bold look than water-based and discharge screenprinting.
- Some color-changing may occur — for instance, using light blue ink over a deep gold shirt. This may result in the ink turning slightly greenish in the end product. Water-based and discharge printing is not recommended if you have very strict color precision requirements (e.g., a corporation with specific and required Pantone colors). Precise color matching is not possible to achieve in water-based screen printing.
- Water-based printing is generally a more expensive process than traditional plastisol-based screen printing.