June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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stretch additives can be combined to increase the ink film's ability to elongate as the fabric itself stretches. SPECIALTIES For many years, emphasis from manufacturers was creating PVC-free inks that could withstand wash test- ing, meet chemical testing requirements, and be pro- duction-friendly. The industry had not focused on the specialty product side of the market until fairly recently. As apparel decorators become more proficient in pro- ducing water-based products, the demand for unique specialty inks has started to grow. Producing garments with added value is becoming the emphasis. Ink manu- facturers now dedicate resources to specialty inks in or- der to provide unique looks. One such specialty is reflective inks, which are cur- rently trending. Retailers are utilizing colored reflec- tive inks on performance products to meet customer demand for fashionable athletic wear, and the look can easily be recreated by apparel decorators. The prints are not only driven by the safety aspect of the reflective but also have to look good from an aesthetic viewpoint. Self-cracking prints are also extremely popular and in high demand. Once printed, vintage, worn looks are derived from products like these during the drying/cur- ing process. Printed ink films self-crack and separate, resulting in an old distressed look. Other popular special effects are metallic and pearls. Most metallic bases can be tinted to create colored metallic effects or printed over flat colors resulting in a wow factor. Pearls are utilized to add a foiled or reflec- tive look. Impressive results can be achieved by printing numerous flat colors and then overprinting with a pearl base. With the wide variety of water-based products avail- able, determining the look, performance, regulatory, and environmental impacts of the end product helps in the selection of the correct chemistry to use. The next time your customer asks for water-based inks, you will be bet- ter equipped to ask the right questions to ultimately meet your customer's needs. 2 0 1 6 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 59 - - 305-512-2222 Waterbase and Discharge Inks Emulsions Additives Color Matching Training Classes Water-based inks are becom- ing more and more popular at retail so it's important to learn the basics of the formulas. (Im- age courtesy Adobe Stock)

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