May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M AY PRINTWEAR | 85 PLASTISOLS (PVC-BASED INKS) The introduction of plastisols changed the face of textile screen printing for the better, allowing for advancements in printing tech- niques, products, and services. We now had an ink that would not dry in the screen and could be printed through extremely fine monofilament meshes. Few realized that, at the time of its in- troduction, the leaded pigments being used in plastisols were harmful. The one advantage that leaded plastisols brought to the table was a level of opacity that has not been seen since. You could print a single color red, green, or blue onto a black garment through a 230 mesh with- out an underbase. However, the harmful effects of lead far outweighed the need for higher opacity. Even though leaded pig- ments have been removed from all plasti- sol for more than 25 years, ink manufac- turers still boast of the current lead-free technology. Today's plastisols are manufactured with not only lead-free pigments but phthal- ate-free plasticizers as well. The Consumer Products Safety Information Act (CPSIA) listed products containing phthalates used in the manufacturing of plastisols and other consumer goods under its ban. Al- though you can still purchase plastisols not considered "phthalate free," a majority of the plastisol ink manufacturers today offer strictly phthalate compliant ink lines. NEW ALTERNATIVE INKS Today, the tables have turned and the new technologies are allowing for all manner of graphics to be reproduced in most all ink formats. PVC-free inks are gaining popu- larity throughout the industry, driven pri- marily by the large athletic garment man- ufacturers who are striving to stay ahead of the environmentally-friendly drive. Al- though the technology is in its infancy, it is advancing rapidly. The same holds true on the water-based front where high solids water-based inks are now more opaque and user-friendly than any water-based product made in the past. The new water-based technol- ogy is another outlet that printers are offered in regards to changing to a PVC- free technology. The key to success in regard to any of these ink lines is to know the products and technologies that are available and to place the time and research into those products to thoroughly understand their applica- tion abilities and limitations. pw ™ Seeing spots? Does your screen opener or on-press color change have you Switch to our and see clearly again! 1 . 8 0 0 . 5 3 8 . 5 0 6 9 W W W . F R A N M A R . C O M PW_MAY14.indd 85 4/17/14 12:43 PM

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