Water based and Discharge inks

When it comes time to talk about different types of screen printing inks It’s ok to feel confused, like really confused… So many options and different finishes. Here at Printeez we try and keep things simple, so we've gathered all of our knowledge & experience with Water based inks and simplified it into 2 categories.

Different types of Water based inks

Original Water based inks : AKA OUR BUTTERY SMOOTH INKS


These inks have a very low viscosity level which result in the softest prints you will ever have. They will dye the fibers of the shirt. They work great on light coloured shirts for vector, simulated process as well as 4 colour process printing. Since they're so low in viscosity we're able to achieve very high detail images. Your design won’t be laying on top of the fabric, they will actually soak right into the fabric and dye it, making water based ink super soft and breathable. Even though you won’t be able to feel the print, it will never crack, faded or peel away since it is now part of your shirt. Works great on any type of fabric that is light colour.


When printing onto dark colour garments we need to add an activator called Discharge. This activator is heat sensitive. Once we print your design onto the shirt we can barely see it. The "bleach" process happens while curing in our conveyor oven, evaporating all of the excess moistures, removing the old dye and exposing your master piece.


Unfortunately, nothing is too perfect, even in this magical world of screen printing. This printing method doesn't do well with dark synthetic fibers. (Synthetic fibers that have been dyed) The Discharge activator only works on natural fibers such as Cotton, Hemp, Bamboo, Linen, Wool & Silk. That being said if your shirt is a heather blend & the synthetic fibers are not dyed (White or very light) your shirt will discharge just like a 100% natural shirt and be as vibrant. We have achieved great result on 60/40, 50/50, 65/35 blend & even some Tri-Blend shirts. :)


The new generation HSA Water based inks. : AKA OUR POP INKS


These inks are amazing to print and are extremely vibrant! You can print on any type of fabric and have a consistent printing result. Very similar to plastisol but has a much softer hand and are a lot more eco-friendly. We can match pantone colours accurately & use many different modifiers to achieve different special effects. (Puff, Sueded, 3D, Gloss, Shimmer, Colour Shifting) These inks sit on top of the fabric, blocking the fabric but creating a very opaque soft hand print that will not fade or peel. Very popular on high end brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour, because of these inks meet all of the California eco-tex standard laws.


Take a few minutes and go in your wardrobe and look at the print on your favorite shirt. 95% chance that the shirt you picked out is a high end tri-blend, 50/50 or 100% cotton shirt with a very soft water based print. Why not create your next favorite shirt!


Good news, you can now stop feeling bad about looking good in your shirts, water based inks have the lowest environmental impact of every other screen printing inks. Making it the Eco friendly option, this is definitely our go to inks.




Water based inks are definitely a great alternative to the not so eco-friendly industry standard of plastisol inks. No chemical is needed to clean these inks off of our screens simply mild water does the job. Making them a much nicer product for our team to work with on a daily basis. Make an impact and ask your screen printer to use these inks for your next order. You will not be disappointed, wear the fabric not INK!


Feel free to ask us which one we recommend for your next order.

Published by Printeez.com