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Screen Printing on Nylon – 4 Frequently Asked Questions

Spotlight on supplier International Coatings

We have many high quality screen printing inks on our website. In this article, we feature one of our favorite product suppliers, International Coatings and their expertise and experience with the right product for every project. With the cooler weather upon us, we thought nylon ink for jackets, umbrellas and windbreakers would be a good topic.

Let’s look at some frequent questions about printing on nylon.

Frequent question #1: “Can I use 'regular" plastisol based ink to print nylon clothing or should I use special inks?”

What we tell people is regular plastisol ink is not the right product to print on nylon jackets. Adhesion to nylon is difficult at best with regular inks. Of course there are conditions where regular plastisols might work, but most likely it would require the addition of an adhesion catalyst to the ink. International Coatings Nylon 900 series inks are specifically formulated for nylon jacket and woven materials with their excellent adhesion and are scrape resistance.

Frequent question #2: “The ink coming off the jackets I printed and I used nylon ink. What did I do wrong?”

Well, to answer that question first we need to ask:

  • Was a catalyst used?
  • Was it mixed correctly?
  • Was the ink properly cured?

If you did not check before you started the project, find out if the jackets or nylon materials you used were treated with a water-repellent coating. This type of coatings can prevent inks from correctly adhering to the nylon or cause it to scratch off too easily.

Here is an easy way to find out if there is a water resistant coating on the jackets:

  • Wash an area of the nylon surface with rubbing alcohol
  • Pour some water droplets on the cleaned surface and an area you did not wash
  • If the water is absorbed into the area that you cleaned, the jacket has a coating

Tip: Clean the areas of the jackets that you will be screen printing with rubbing alcohol before you print. Be sure to change the cloth you are using frequently so you don't re-deposit the coating back onto the jacket.

Frequent question #3 - “Can nylon inks be used for screen printing without using a catalyst?”

Sure they can sometimes, but not on most Nylon materials. They can be used on printed on cotton or cotton/poly blends without having to use a catalyst; BUT nylon inks have a tendency to have a much stiffer feel than other plastisol inks so they are not usually the best ink to use unless you are looking for that kind of finish.

Frequent Question #4 – “Is it alright to use a catalyst with another company's ink?”

We do not recommend it although screen printers do it all the time. Using the same company’s ink and catalyst assures that the products are compatible with any or all other their plastisol inks.

At McLogan, we sell International Coatings products with confidence. They stand behind their products, knowing that when their products are used properly, and not intermixed with other companies' ink products, you will get superior results.

If you have any questions about printing on nylon or about any of our screen printing inks, be sure to contact us or stop by any of our four locations. Join us on Facebook!

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