Screen Printing Ink Breakdown

Screen Printing Ink Breakdown


Screen Printing Squeegee

A lot goes into apparel printing. Picking the right garment, print locations, color separation…the list goes on and on. Choosing the right apparel ink for the job is a crucial step in making the final product look exactly how you want it to. The pros here at Jakprints are here to break down your options so your apparel can look its best.

screen traditional


Traditional ink, or Plastisol, is the most durable and cost effective ink option. This ink looks great on any color garment and produces bright, vivid colors. It’s a high quality ink that can be used for the widest variety of screen printed apparel. This ink option is most likely what comes to mind when you think of a screen printed shirt.

  • PVC, oil based ink with superior opacity
  • Great for PMS matching
  • Can be used for inside tag printing
  • Suitable for any fabric
  • Feels heavier than a water based ink
  • Plastisol ink sits on top of the garment


Soft Inks

This alternative to traditional ink lets you keep the natural feel and softness of the garment you choose. We offer two kinds of soft inks: Soft Vintage and Soft Vibrant.



Soft Vintage ink lets you achieve a vintage look without having to alter your image. This ink allows the color of your apparel to show through and creates that worn out look of your most beloved t-shirt.

  • Soft-to-the-hand feel with varied results
  • Available on all garment colors and blends
  • Recommended when printing over seams
  • PMS matching not available
  • Cannot be used for inside tag printing






Soft Vibrant ink lets you print bright colors on both light and dark garments without losing the feel of the fabric. This ink uses a range of water base inks and pigments to stain the garment instead of sitting on top of the fabric like Plastisol. This makes the print about as soft as your apparel.

  • Only 100% cotton garments can be used
  • The print process causes some variation in the color of the final print
  • Soft-to-the-hand with vibrant results
  • Cannot be used for inside tag printing
  • PMS matching available



Natural Discharge Ink

The softest ink around for black and dark garments, this ink creates an off-white, bleached color. When discharge agents are combined with heat, the graphic area is entirely void of any ink left on the garment.

  • 100% cotton garments only
  • Nature of the process allows for some variation in the color of the final print
  • Some colors react better than others to the process




eco inks 2

Eco Inks

Eco Inks are the perfect choice for clothing lines that have the environment in mind. These water-based inks print with the lowest impact on the environment and produce a soft, natural feel.

  • Can be used on any fabric but is recommended for lighter colored garments
  • Prints well over seams and zippers
  • Because of the consistency of the ink, it works best with minimal detail
  • Not recommended for run-off prints
  • Cannot be used for inside tag printing



Trying to print green? Looking to pull off a vintage vibe? There’s an ink for that. If you’re looking to jazz up your design then check out our Screen Printing Effects to take your apparel to the next level.



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