Top Tips for Using Water Based Ink

Top tips for using water based ink from the team at Screen Print World

  • Use a heavy flood to lie the water based ink on top of the screen instead of a heavy push in the screen.
  • If printing on a manual press, leave the image with a thick flood if you leave it for any time, or between printing other colours (if printing on a manual press) to prevent blocking.
  • Instead of misting, find yourself a spray bottle which will help you distribute a fine mist of water over the screen. Try not to drench your screen with water.
  • If printing on an auto, set the press to finish the print cycle on a flood stroke and raise the flood bar slightly – Use a winged flood bar.
  • Always have clean water and clean rags available for cleaning.
  • Don’t use fine mesh counts for solid areas (43T is ideal for most images).
  • Use a retarder to slow the drying of the ink on the screen.
  • Use a water mist sprayer to help keep the mesh open.
  • Use less off contact and a softer squeegee.
  • Use an additive like cold cure if you don’t have sufficient curing facililties to aid curing at room temperature.
  • Warm up your platens before printing, Doing so will allow the heat to rise through the garment, resulting in a shorter flash time.
  • A smooth underbase is key: clean your platens, used good quality ink and screens, sharpen your squeegee blade, ensure the correct off-contact.

With ANY ink wash test each order and keep the test as proof.

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