Here are some Catspit tested and approved textile inks for screen printing tee shirts and other garments. We feature plastisol and some water based inks for screenprinting.
For screen printing shirts at home, we can say there are two common types of inks used. There are air dry textile inks and plastisol textile inks. For printing posters and paper type flat work, you would use poster ink which is also an air dry ink. Either of the two textile inks may be used for screen printing shirts but the poster ink is used only for flat work and graphics printed on porous or glossy paper materials. The screen printing process for printing shirts and flat work will be very similar. It is the same process in general but there will be differences in materials used, beginning with the ink.
Plastisol inks are limited to textiles. Most plastisol inks may be used at home when screen printing tee shirts. The biggest drawback for the home use of plastisol inks is that they need to be cured with a belt dryer or at least a flash cure unit. Plastisol inks will never dry even when exposed to air until they are cured with heat. Plastisol ink has to reach a temperature of 320 to 330 degrees Fahrenheit so that it will cure and be dry to the touch. However, this ink is often considered to be easier to work with just because it won’t dry in the screen during printing. Plastisol ink is also known to have excellent color, coverage, and durability.
The air dry inks are made for many different applications and in general will be the most popular for hobby and home applications. These are poster and textile inks often referred to as water based inks. Some of these may be 100% water based. However, many inks considered to be water based are often a combination of solvents including but not limited to water. Many textile air dry inks actually need to be heat set after they dry by evaporation to be wash safe.