Short answer — yes. If you’re mixing custom colors and incorporating white in designs, you need both a standard white plastisol ink and mixing white ink. Each ink is designed to do different things. It’s possible to use them interchangeably, but it ends up being a lot more work for the screen printer. Let’s go through it.
WHAT’S A STANDARD WHITE PLASTISOL INK?
Regular white plastisol ink is meant to be the white color or underbase of the print. It’s opaque and bright—white plastisol ink mattes the shirt’s fibers, making a vivid print.
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WHAT’S A MIXING WHITE INK?
Mixing white plastisol ink is designed to mix Pantone colors. Chemically, it’s different than regular white ink. Mixing white inks are meant to color balance, which is necessary for any ink mixing system. To recreate colors consistently, screen printers need to have a mixing white ink in their arsenal.
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DO PRINTERS NEED BOTH TYPES OF INK?
If you plan to print white ink onto a shirt and mix custom colors, you do. Standard white plastisol inks and mixing white inks are different in their uses.
Let’s start with mixing Pantone colors. A mixing white is meant to color balance, helping to recreate an exact match. Regular white ink is meant to be bright and opaque. If a printer used a regular white to mix colors, it’s not going to produce the same outcome. You won’t be able to follow the ink mixing software instructions since the whites are different, and you’ll have to guess how much white ink is needed to reproduce the color.
The same idea goes towards printing white ink on a t-shirt. Standard white ink is meant to be printed as a standalone white, making the print eye-catching. Since mixing white ink is meant to color balance, they’re not opaque and vivid. If printed onto a shirt, the mixing white ink will be more transparent, creating a vintage look.
There’s a reason why regular white ink and mixing white ink exist. Every screen printer should have both inks on hand to ensure they’re producing the best prints possible. Besides, it gives printers more options to bring their art to life. Unlock the possibilities today.