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Discharge printing has been around a long time but has been becoming very popular once again and the trend is growing when clients see the amazing end results! One of the biggest advantage of water-based discharge printing is the “soft hand” feel it leaves which means when you touch the fabric, you get an amazingly soft “hand” or feel. The “discharge” process effectively bleaches or removes color from the fabric of a colored  t-shirt in the design area and then prepares that area of the fabric to be filled back in with water-based inks. Water-based inks actually “dye” the design in the fabric, as opposed to standard Plastisol inks, which is printed “on top” of a garment and leaves a slightly feel the print. Doing a “Dye-Discharge” like shown in the above video accomplishes this at the same time!

There are things to consider when choosing Dye-Discharge printing. For starters, discharge really works on 100% cotton tees because polyester in some fabrics don’t react the same to the chemical process.  Also thinner ring spun cotton tees also work well cause the ink penetrates the garment better allowing the process to take effect faster

Also with dye discharge inks, the colors will vary when printing on different colored shirts which makes pantone matching quite difficult especially with greens and purples. With plastisol inks, its pretty cut and dry with color but with discharge, you don’t know how the color will  turn out until after its full cured and the discharge process has taken effect.

This process is slightly more expensive because of the inks and chemicals used as well as a slightly more difficult process but the end result leaves that super soft feel that everyone wants! Works great for oversize designs with a lot of coverage so when wearing the shirt, you’re not wearing that extra unbreathable ink since the discharge print is actually part of the shirt! Next project you want to place with Four Ambition, ask yourself if discharge ink would work well for this order!

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2 responses to DISCHARGE PRINTING!
  1. J. Johnson says:

    I saw a demonstration of discharge printing at Ryonet at about two years ago. It looks very interesting but it was very stinky. I would have to install and air exchange system in my small shop.

    • Shannon Thomas says:

      Its not too bad with the discharge inks they have now. It does help to have a little bit of an exhaust fan just at the end of the dryer tunnel which would suck up any fumes and smells

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