Let's begin our first post with our print methods here at Extreme Screen Prints. We offer a wide variety of methods including plastisol, water based, discharge, discharge underbase/plastisol hybrid, 4 color process, and simulated process.
Plastisol has been used heavily since the 1970's for textile printing, and is often the go-to ink for its opacity. Plastisol achieves bold, vivid colors with minimal ink. We can lay down more ink to achieve a durable, bold print, or less ink to create a soft, but vivid print. At Extreme, we use an on-press iron to smooth out the base layer of ink, in order to produce a better printing surface for the following colors. The on-press iron makes a WORLD of difference between prints, and you will find that it is one of the many steps we take in order to attain better quality prints. You can see more about the inks we use in the following post.
Water based ink is one of the first types of ink used in screen printing, and excels in leaving behind a much softer print on textiles. However using water based ink on dark garments can be tricky, since it is much less opaque. Water based ink is great for soft hand prints or vintage designs, but can be quite vivid on light colored garments. However, it is much more difficult to achieve color accuracy, it is not impossible, and at Extreme we do our best to skillfully mix consistent and accurate colors for our customers.
Discharge ink acts a little like bleach, but leaves behind pigment on the garment to create soft, bright prints on light or dark garments. It is often the best or only option for customers who want vivid, but soft prints on dark colored garments, however once the ink is activated it can no longer be used after the run, and it can sometimes react unpredictably with the dye in the garments. For these reasons it is not as good for color accuracy or consistency.
DISCHARGE UNDERBASE/PLASTISOL HYBRID
At Extreme we specialize in hybrid printing, we like to think of it as a compromise between these other print methods. You get the opacity benefits of plastisol, and the softer hand of water based and discharge. However there are still some disadvantages, the print is often a little duller than plastisol, and the unpredictability of discharge can make it difficult to match colors 100%. But in general it is a solid compromise, and often necessary for high color count, or simulated process jobs.