Water-Base vs. Plastisol Printing at B-Unlimited
demonstration

Water-Base vs. Plastisol Printing at B-Unlimited

  Many people don’t know, but there is more than one type of screen printing method! If you’re a details person, you should totally read below about why we try to use discharge water-base over plastisol when we print your shirts. If you’re more of a visual person scroll down to watch a video we put together showing how printing with water-base ink can be the best decision for you and your organization. What is plastisol? If you’ve ever worn a printed T-shirt when you’re running or working out and the big print on your shirt sticks to you like a back-sweat magnet, chances are, that is a shirt printed with plastisol ink. The way plastisol ink is printed, it is laid down on the top of the garment almost like icing on a cake. You can definitely feel that it’s there and sometimes so much so that it feels similar to that of sand paper because it’s such a thick ink. After many washes this type of print can crack and even end up peeling off of the shirt. A positive trait of plastisol ink though, is it can print on anything & can give you more accurate color results. At B-Unlimited we print with plastisol when absolutely necessary. An example of this would be if a company contacted us to print a logo on their shirt and it was important that colors were a match for their branding! What is discharge water-base? This type of printing really depends on the material of the garment! It prints really bright and clean on 100% cotton garments. It can give fun and faded looks on tri blends and 50/50 garments, but unfortunately won’t print on polyester garments. With discharge printing the ink is printed into the fabric and actually replaces the pigment in the fabric of the garment with the pigment of the ink, thus actually becoming a part of the shirt for as long as the life of the shirt. It’s actually pretty magical. As this ink is laid into the shirt and cured through the dryer you won’t even feel that there’s a print on this garment. It’s just as soft as the original product the ink goes on and gets better with every wash. So what does that mean for you? We’ve got a short video at the bottom of our blog post here giving you an illustration on the breathability difference between plastisol and discharge water-base. The plastisol holds in all water and moisture, but the water-based discharge print allows the water to flow through very easily. An example would to be to imagine yourself walking across campus on a hot day and feeling shirt sticking to you, and not having breathability – this would be a plastisol printed t-shirt. At B-Unlimited we print with lots of different kinds of ink. But we specialize in soft, environmentally friendly water-based discharge ink. Ask your Account Manager for your next design to be printed with the softest ink we have and see the difference for yourself. Water-Base vs Plastisol Breathability & Water Test from B-Unlimited on Vimeo.  
Origins - A Journey in Water-Based Screen Printing
custom greek apparel

Origins - A Journey in Water-Based Screen Printing

It’s no surprise that our schedule is influenced greatly by that of an academic calendar due to the amount of universities we work with nationwide! We use our summer season to strengthen all facets of who we are. From team culture to production systems, we take a lot of deep breaths preparing for undoubtedly our busiest time of the year, fall! With that in mind, we are over the moon about all that’s going on at B-Unlimited this summer! (Don’t worry. We plan to keep you in the loop - always.) July 10th – 12th we will be hosting a conference, Origins - A Journey in Water-Based Screen Printing, alongside some of the best partners in the screen printing market. At first glance water-base screen printing sounds new and revolutionary, but in reality it’s where screen printing all started. Along the way new methods emerged, but only leading to harmful effects and diminishing quality. We arrived at the name Origins for our conference to dive in and get back to where screen printing all started, water-base screen printing. This will hopefully be the first of many events like this for us! We believe every person has a responsibility to uphold as we occupy this planet and consume it’s resources. With the apparel industry being one of the largest contributors to our Earth’s pollution issue, we feel that a step in the respectable direction is to print with water-based ink to reduce the use of harsh chemicals and the need for more petroleum-based products. This responsibility lead us to investigate the world of water-based printing.  So, back to Origins! That’s the academy we’re hosting this summer… just in case you’ve forgotten. Alongside our sponsors: MagnaColours, Graphic Solutions, Kiwo Coatings, M&R Print Company, and Newman Roller Frames we will be educating companies from all over about a future printing with water-based inks. When it comes to screen printing, there are two major options: water-based and plastisol (PVC). Plastisol screen printing is a type of screen printing in which a layer of ink is printed on top of a garment. This method lacks breathability and will eventually lead to cracking and peeling. Unfortunately, we all have that one shirt that we love that we can no longer wear because the design has begun to peel off.  Alongside these effects, plastisol screen printing has an unfortunate effect on the environment and the user. The clean-up process of plastisol ink releases fumes that have a negative impact on the environment and production employees. On the back end, the disposal of excess ink and waste of all petroleum-based products can cause harm to the environment. Good news - there’s another option, and that’s why we are hosting Origins! It has taken us many years of investment, but we are proud to say that we are close to 100% transitioned to water-based screen printing. We have to admit, it has not been an easy journey. For this reason, we want to bring other companies alongside us so that we can pass along all that we’ve learned about water-based screen printing. Investing in the future of our environment and the success of other screen printing operations is important to us. By lifting others through education, we believe that Origins Academy will be a great success.Registration and purchase of tickets can be found at b-unlimited.com/origins. Early registration pricing ends on June 1st. If you have any questions about us, or our journey drop us a line at hello@b-unlimited.com.