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Topic: Which ink to use...is fabric paint ok?  (Read 885 times)
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« on: November 12, 2007 11:44:33 AM »

I'm hoping you guys can help me...

I'm new to screen printing...I've mostly just been doing stenciling thus far and that's worked out pretty well for me but I'm working on a more complex design right now so I'm going to give it a shot. I'm actually only making one shirt (it's a gift for a friend) so I really don't need anything too....industrial. I'm just wondering if I can just use regular fabric paint, or if I need to buy screen printing ink? And I keep hearing about how awesome plastisol is, but do you need to get one of those super expensive flash dryers to use it? Or is there a down and dirty DIY method you can use (I'm thiking of the oven but I don't want to set my house on fire!  Embarrassed)
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007 09:17:42 PM »

for just one shirt, if you aren't going to screen print again, you can use acrylic paint with fabric fixative add in. that is going to be the cheapest route, less than 8$. if you plan on printing again, i would go with at least a water based ink like speedball, which dries overnight and you heat set it with a clothes iron. if you are serious about screenprinting, the nazdar water based or union waterbased inks are nice too.

plastisol would be the longest lasting, and best for opacity, but you are going to have to buy at least a quart of ink, which is around 20$ and that isn't very economical for one shirt. at the very least it takes a heat gun to cure plastisol, which you can get for around 10$ from harbor freight and is basically a super heavy duty hair blow dryer (you can't use a blow dryer). you can use an oven, but with plastisol it releases VOC's which are bad so keep very good ventilation. To really get the most out of plastisol you need a press (homemade will do) and a good squeegee and tensioned frame, so if you dont have those, go with water based or acrylic.
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