When You Should Use Discharge Ink (and When Not To)

Extreme Screen Prints
October 20, 2023
When You Should Use Discharge Ink (and When Not To)

Discharge ink is nothing short of magical when you see it in action. It has the incredible ability to create vibrant designs on dark garments while maintaining a soft hand feel. If you’ve ever wondered about the right time to use discharge ink in your printing projects, you’re in the right place. We’re here to teach you when you should use discharge ink—and when not to.

The Perfect Partnership: Discharge Ink and Dark Garments

If you’ve ever printed on a dark-colored garment, you know the challenges it can pose. Plastisol inks may not yield vibrant colors, and multiple layers can lead to a heavy, uncomfortable feel. This is when you should use discharge ink!

Discharge ink works especially well on dark, 100-percent cotton garments, where it essentially bleaches out the original garment color to create a receptive canvas for your design.

The Limitations: When Not To Use Discharge Ink

Despite its amazing capabilities, discharge ink may not be the ideal choice in certain situations, such as these:

  1. Blended or synthetic fabrics: Discharge ink doesn’t work as well on polyester or other blended materials. It can yield inconsistent or muted colors.
  2. Precise color matching: If you need exact color matching for your design, discharge ink may not be your best option. Colors can sometimes appear slightly different than you anticipated due to the bleaching process and varying fabric reactions.

Expert Tips for Success With Discharge Ink

If you want to make the most of your discharge ink printing endeavors, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Always test print: As a good rule of thumb, always test print your designs on your chosen fabric. This will help you determine if you need to make any adjustments to the colors or design before moving on to the full production run.
  • Consider a hybrid approach: If you’re printing on blended fabrics, a hybrid approach—combining discharge ink with plastisol or water-based inks—might be the perfect solution for vibrant colors and a soft hand feel.

Knowing when you should use discharge ink can make a world of difference in your screen-printing projects. The magical effect of discharge ink on dark cotton garments is hard to pass up, but always remember its limitations with blended fabrics and precise color matching.

Looking for a professional touch on your next printing project? Check out Extreme Screen Prints and our special effects screen-printing service, which can help you unlock your project’s full potential. Our team of experts can guide you in choosing the best printing options for your unique needs, ensuring a successful and standout result.

Extreme Screen Prints
Last Updated:
October 20, 2023