Screen Printing Onto Polyester: Suggested Protocol

Screen printing onto polyester

Screen Printing Onto Polyester: White Ink

Screen printing onto polyester - white inkWhen it comes to screen printing onto polyester, we have been asked many questions about the steps to follow to avoid dye migration or “bleed” from the polyester garments into the ink. Here is the short version of the steps to follow –

1. Use Excalibur Miracle White ink on it’s own as a first test. This white ink is ideal for screen printing onto polyester products and in many cases can be used without any of the steps that follow.

If dye migration or bleed occurs you can choose to either –

A. Add Low Cure Additive to the ink following the instructions provided

OR

B. Print a special underbase using SportPro Defender first. Please note that SportPro Defender is available in both a phthalate-free Plastisol version and a PVC-free free version to use with the Evolution range of inks.

How to decide which route to follow

When screen printing onto polyester, you may want to avoid having to print an underbase. If this is the case, the obvious choice is to go for adding the Low Cure Additive to the Miracle White Ink. This lowers the curing temperature of the ink and lessens the likelihood of dye migration or colour bleed from the garment to the ink. Unfortunately, underbase does invariably add to the hand feel of the print with the overall effect being a heavier print. While this may not be an issue for every user, it is certainly worth keeping in mind.

Read our comprehensive blog post about screen printing onto polyester by following the link or looking for the article called How To Print Troublesome Polyesters under the heading of Techniques and How To.

Screen Printing Onto Polyester: Coloured Inks

Screen printing onto polyester coloured inkYou can use either our standard opacity plastisol inks (500 series Excalibur) or high opacity plastisol inks (550 series Excalibur) for this application.

Add both Low Cure Additive and Low Bleed Additive as per instructions provided to the plastisol ink colour of your choice. If the garment is quite stretchy, you can also add High Stretch Additive.

Follow up and wash tests

If you are wondering how well this suggested protocol for screen printing onto polyester works, read our follow-up article Printing 100% Polyester: Wash Tests Done to Nike® Standards and see actual wash test results. The demanding standards set by Nike® are easily met.