A textile printing glossary

Ink bleeding
Within textile printing, the expression ‘ink bleeding’ describes two different inks mixing with each other before drying and being absorbed by the substrate. Except for when it for effect is done intentionally, color bleeding reduces print value. The amount and extent of color bleeding is determined by many factors, including the fabric type, the fabric’s color absorption and capillary action, the ink type, and accompanying traits such as how quickly the ink dries as well as the printing technology (such as nozzle design and color spacing). When printing on polyester, the phenomenon is called “dye migration.” Dye migration is what happens when a polyester fabric’s color bleeds into the clothes’ screen-printed ink. A typical example of this is when white ink turns pink after having been printed on a red polyester t-shirt. Within digital printing, the phenomenon is often triggered by the high temperatures typically used for curing.

Visit our ColorStop-page to learn more about how our excellent heat transfer application setup minimizes color bleeding and produces exact and durable transfers of maximal quality.

Water-based ink
Water-based ink is ink made with water instead of plastic or PVC. Water-based ink can be divided into two main categories: Water and pigment. Water-based ink does not contain plastic, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than plastisol ink. In the absence of a bonding agent, the ink will seep into the clothing and dye the material instead of settling on top of it, yielding more consistent results and a vintage look after just a few washes. Water-based ink can produce some of the industry’s softest and lightest prints, in some cases with almost no difference in ‘feel’ between the printed and non-printed elements of the final product. By using a bonding agent that bonds water-based ink to the fabric, rather than letting the ink be absorbed, producers can offer the organic, no-toxin advantages of water-based ink without sacrificing graphic detail, color clarity, and versatility — areas where plastisol typically is the superior performer.

Visit our transfer pages to learn more about how our water-based inks deliver clear, accurate, and durable prints while guaranteeing clean, green manufacturing processes that adhere to the industry’s most stringent quality and sustainability demands.

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