Image courtesy PolyOne

Term of the Week: Silicone Inks

Each week Printwear turns to industry experts to learn more about the terms used in the apparel and apparel decoration industry, as well as the business realm. Contact Printwear's digital content editor, Alexandria Arroyo, if you're interested in the opportunity to be featured. 

Silicone ink products offer a separate set of characteristics that pair well with athletic fabrics. This product has taken a real foothold in other countries and is steadily growing in the Americas. Silicone inks offer the highest level of stretch and dye migration resistance for stretch synthetics and poly blends. This ink can be used with traditional print methods and equipment. The silicone finished aesthetic is unique providing a smooth, opaque, and pliable coating with excellent drape. This product line also has a full range of colors and gloss levels available to the market.

The one major difference of this chemistry is that it requires a two-part component system to assure the performance on the garment. Once these two components mix, the ink has a limited shelf life. With this in mind, it is important for the printer to mix just what is needed for the job at hand. 

This performance capability also demands a higher price tag than the conventional plastisol. This ink is about performance and durability on specialty fabrics. It delivers quality and “peace of mind” for printers and their customers.

Source: Ray Smith