What is Silicone Ink?
Silicone ink, also called screen printing silicone or silicone-based ink is a kind of environmentally protective screen printing ink that is used for printing on fabric and leather. for example, on T-shirts or Shoes. It is mainly used in the textile printing industry. It is a very good substitute for traditional oil-based screen printing ink.
Why do people use Silicone ink?
According to the global environmental protection sense enhanced, the printing materials need to conform to the latest environmental standard, and can not have lead, benzene, and formaldehyde these harmful substances. The oil-based ink no longer reaches the standard. And The more environmentally protective water-based ink and silicone ink becomes the mainstream, especially the silicone screen printing ink.
As silicone is a kind of substance that is insoluble in water and any solvent, non-toxic tasteless, stable chemical properties, in addition to strong alkali, hydrofluoric acid, and no reaction with any substance. It is a kind of new environmental material used in many industries. For example Construction, electrical and electronic, textile, automotive, machinery, leather paper, chemical light industry, metals and paints, medical and pharmaceutical.
Silicone ink, as a kind of silicone application, is now widely used in the textile and fabric printing industry. XG silicone ink has high environmental protection, soft feel, good washing effect characteristics, applied for Top brands’ garments and shoes like Nike, Adidas, Fila, H&M, etc.
What are the different types of silicone ink?
There are various kinds of different silicone inks out there.
XG Silicone has two different series, one series is natural drying silicone ink that to mix with 10% catalyst can dry by low temp or room temp. Natural drying silicone is used for shoelace dipping.
Another series is the Heating silicone ink series that have to heat by 120degree to get ink dry, catalyst mixing ratio is 2-3%, if want to dry faster then mix with more percent catalyst. Heating silicone used for screen printing.
Some of the most common ones are listed as below:
High-Density Silicone ink, Good smooth for cotton and cotton blended fabrics, easy pigments, easy flash, easy to get a high-density effect, suitable for silicone hand printing. To print glossy or matte for top coating to get supper glossy and matte effect. Or adjust the size of the mesh to get the half matte effect.
It is used for undercoating high-density printing, color layer printing, CMYK printing. It can be used to mix with Round silicone ink for pulling stone printing.
High-Density Soft Silicone ink, Super soft hand feel, and good washing test results for cotton and cotton blended fabric. If for other types fabrics should print elastic silicone ink or round silicone ink for under coating first.
Heat Transfer Silicone ink, used for heat transfer printing. Mixing with glitter and other special effect powders very suitable for heat transfer by crossing linker glue, and transfer agent hotmelt powder.
Embossing Silicone ink, used for Printing on the back of fabrics to get a high-density sharp effect by an embossing machine.
Glossy Silicone Ink, used for fabric that printed transparent silicone or silicone color layer for glossy top coating printing. Suitable for machine and hand printing with excellent glossy and faster leveling with no bubbles problems. Suitable both for machine and hand printing.
Matte Silicone Ink, Smog smooth matte with good hand feels and elastic for top matte effect coating. No need to mix with pigment, transparent for top coating, the dark print does not become grey white when pulled.
Anti-slip silicone ink, Soft hand feels, easy high-density and glossy effect, super anti-slip effect for socks, and knitting gloves.
Silicone ink for Shoelace dipping, for Shoelace and rope tape dipping, easy dry, easy pigment with good fastness and washing test. For screen printing for the printing factory with no heating machine, not suitable for tropical areas. Catalyst mixing ratio 10%, and four types catalyst: Fast dry, mid dry, slow dry, and Extra slow dry for choice.
Flocking Silicone ink, for cotton, cotton blended fabric, and polyester flocking with the good washing test result. Used together with Flocking silicone catalyst and Flocking Silicone Hardner.
Molding Silicone ink, To fill into the metal mold by heat-mold after high-frequency embossing machine. Easy to release from the mold, high transparency, good softness with good washing test results.
It is used for heat transfer printing and sportswear undercoating and color layer printing with good fastness and elasticity.
It can mix with HD silicone together for printing to get easy HD and smooth effect and pulling stone effect.
Elastic Silicone Ink, Excellent elastic and fastness with soft hand-feeling.
For the fabrics and ribbons with high elastic for under-coating or color layer printing. If it is CMYK printing, print glossy silicone or matte silicone for top coating to get supper glossy and excellent matte effect.
Natural Dry Silicone ink, easy dry, easy pigment, and high density with good fastness and washing. Catalyst mixing ratio 10%, and four types catalyst: Fast dry, mid dry, slow dry, and Extra slow dry for choice. For silicone screen printing for the printing factory with no heating machine, not suitable for tropical areas.
Round Silicone Ink, For silicone heat transfer printing and sportswear undercoating and color layer printing with good fastness and elasticity. It can mix with HD silicone ink together for printing to get an easy HD and smooth effect and pulling stone effect.
Anti-Migration Silicone Ink, special for migration fabric for mid-layer print, to avoid or reduce dye migration problem.
According to printing methods, it can be divided into below two kinds:
Machine Printing Silicone ink, it can used for octopus screen printing machine or oval screen printing machine.
Manual Printing Silicone ink, it mainly used for common manual screen printing or called hand screen printing on fabric.
Tip: usually, machine printing silicone ink can be used for manual printing, but manual printing silicone ink can not be used for machine printing.
Except for common silicone ink, there is also some kind of silicone printing Additives and silicone pigments.
The Silicone printing additives include Silicone Ink Crossing linker, Silicone Nylon Agent, Silicone Agent for Waterproof Fabric, Silicone Thinner, Silicone Fast Dry Catalyst, Silicone Slow Dry Catalyst, Silicone Slow Dry Catalyst, Flocking Silicone Hardner, silicone transfer glue, and Anti-slip silicone catalyst, etc.
How do I use silicone ink correctly?
Different Kinds of silicone ink, there are different printing methods. Even the same kind of silicone ink, but from different manufacturers, also need to make printing test according to the manufacturer’s printing guide before bulk printing.
Every kind of screen printing ink can get some slight difference may just because of the climate and temperature. sometimes, different humidity may affect the printing and get different printing effects.
Then you may consider some factors, experienced printing masters know these can use different kinds of silicone ink smoothly and skillfully.
Where can I buy silicone ink?
If you buy some for your own use with not big consumption, you can buy silicone inks at a local distributor in your country. If you need bulk consumption, you may go to check and find some professional and strengthful silicone ink manufacturer to import in bulk.
What are the differences between Silicone-based ink, water-based ink, and oil-based ink?
First of all, these three inks are all the most commonly used screen printing inks that are used for textile and garment printing. Especially T-shirt printing.
Silicone-based ink has much more solid content compared with water-based ink and oil-based ink. It is easier to get to 3D printing effect on the fabric. We can get a high-density printing effect by less printing times than usual, it saves labor costs.
Compared with other kinds of textile printing ink, silicone ink is the most environmental and softest textile printing paste.
It is mostly suitable for doing the High-density (3D) glossy printing effect on the fabric.
Advantage of Silicone-based ink:
It is the most environmentally protective, it is non – toxic, tasteless, and high-temperature resistant. It is easy to get 3D, high density, embossing, and glossy fabric printing effect.
Water-based ink is a textile printing ink that becomes popular in the last ten years. Along with the global environmental protection standard enhancing, the high polluted oil-based textile printing ink is limited and even forbidden to use. Then more environmentally water-based ink gets huge development and market in the fabric printing industry.
Advantage of Water based ink:
First, It is more environmentally protected than oil-based solvent ink and plastisol ink. And it has a soft hand printing feel on the fabric. It is also suitable for high-speed bulk printing for T-shirt fabric pieces both in manual and machine printing.
Oil based solvent ink & Plastisol ink
Oil-based ink, in the textile printing field, is also called plastisol ink. It has been the primary screen printing ink until recent decades. It is also a kind of textile printing ink, but now it is not commonly used any more due to the environmental protection requirements.
Advantage of oil based solvent ink & plastisol ink:
A good advantage of oil-based ink maybe is that it is more accurate to matching pan-tone colors and could get a vivid color printing effect.