discharge inks

Discharge inks

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Discharge inks – used to print lighter colours onto dark background fabrics, they work by literally ‘discharging’ the dye in the garment, and replacing it at high temperature with a pigment. Yes, it’s doctorate level Chemistry, at Cleverclogs College Oxford….imagine that it’s almost, but not quite, like using a bleach…without the inevitable getting a small splodge on your favourite jeans and shouting ‘bastard’, very loudly. Discharge inks are not often readily offered screen printers as they are a tricky thing to work with, but don’t let that put you off asking for them, as for a great many clothing brands, they are the only way forward.

Discharge inks and a soft texture.

Discharge inks will leave a very soft texture, especially once the garment has been washed.  Texture is of great importance when wearing a print as we know, so especially for larger designs onto darker fabrics where there is a great deal of ink coverage, the discharge inks are often a must. There are some advisory notes to attach to discharge inks. As they are more fabric penetrative they are slightly less graphic in nature than plastisol inks for example, and although they will look great, if we’re being super technical, they will not hold quite as clean a graphic line. In addition,  exactly absolute pantone colours are difficult to control (it’s called colour shift, although in real terms never a problem). Discharge inks are especially good for distressed and vintage printing, and our favourite worn in, heritage look As you wander the high street from River Island to Top Shop, or if it’s pay day with a quick swerve into All Saints, this is a technique you see and feel quite literally, all over the shop. In spite of its slightly unsavoury name, they’re a fashion favourite, and with no need for a trip to the clinic.

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