- Makes a plastisol ink more pliable and elastic, which improves a print's lifespan on stretchy garments like spandex, leggings, etc.
- Its low cure property speeds up production while decreasing electrical costs.
- Printers can use it as an underbase and/or mixed in with other colors or a base white, giving them options to find the best method for each unique job.
FN-INK™ Stretch is a low cure additive made primarily for low cure plastisol inks, but can be used in standard cure plastisol inks. It’s designed to be used as either an underbase on stretchy garments like spandex or as an additive for colors that need more flexibility. When cured properly, the ink will resist cracking or splitting when stretched beyond an ink's normal limits.
It is recommended to print a thicker ink deposit than normal when extra stretch is needed in any print. Thicker ink deposits have greater resistance and durability to repeated movement.
Thicker ink deposits take longer to cure. Proper wash testing should be performed to ensure cure parameters are optimal before running any production.
FN-INK™ Stretch is a low cure additive, but it’s not a low bleed ink. Adding it to any ink that has low bleed properties will reduce that ink's ability to slow down or stop dye migration.
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- Provides more flexibility, elasticity, and durability to inks printed on stretchy garments
- Easy to print
- Lower cure temperature
RECOMMENDATION FOR USE
When using FN-INK™ Stretch as an additive, add 10%-25% by weight into the color. Depending on the needs of the fabric, you may need to add more than 25% of the stretch additive into a color. If adding more than 25%, consider printing a stretch underbase to improve the pliability of the ink layer.
If you are printing a base white with FN-INK™ Stretch, add up to 50% of the stretch additive into the white ink. It will improve the stretch of the print.
Please Note: While you can add as much FN-INK™ Stretch as you want to ink colors, anything above 20% will begin to cause a drop in opacity.* Please be aware of this fact when mixing and planning your print separations. Test before production.
When using FN-INK™ Stretch as an underbase, use lower mesh screens like 86-110. Print a smooth deposit of FN-INK™ Stretch. Flash until it’s dry to the touch, then print the base white and colors. If you’re printing on a highly flexible fabric, you may need to add 5%-10% FN-INK™ Stretch (by weight) to the top colors. The stretch additive will provide additional stretch and flex.
Depending on the fabric needs and design elements, you may need to print-flash-print the FN-INK™ Stretch base before over-printing the colors.
*Some colors are inherently translucent and any addition of a clear additive will create a loss of opacity or coverage.
STENCIL & EMULSION GUIDELINES
You can use any emulsion with FN-INK™ Stretch. However, using a high solids emulsion is recommended because it will create a thicker stencil with fewer coat applications. A thicker stencil is achieved when you can run your finger over the edge of the stencil and feel the edge of the stencil.
86-110 standard mesh can be used. If you’re using thin thread mesh, select a screen with 110-135 mesh count.
Be sure to stir the product prior to use. Start with adding FN-INK™ Stretch at a ratio of 10%-25% by weight to the ink. Stir thoroughly. Print and perform a wash test before production.
The ink is ready to print right out of the container, no modification is necessary. If desired, you can modify it with a curable reducer at up to 5% by weight.
Set the screen up with a slight, increased off-contact to compensate for the thicker stencil and ink deposit.
Use a 70 durometer or a 65/90/65 squeegee blade. You want a thicker ink deposit, but using a blade that is too soft will not properly shear the ink. Using a squeegee with a stiffer, harder blade will result in a thinner ink deposit.
When possible, do a flood print. The flood stroke will pre-fill the thicker stencil and make it easier to fully clear the ink from the screen. It will produce a smoother ink deposit.
It is recommended to do two passes with the squeegee to ensure a thicker ink deposit.
Since it’s advised to print a thicker ink deposit when using FN-INK™ Stretch, adjust and test the conveyor dryer to find the best settings. Thicker ink deposits take longer to reach full cure. A longer dwell time will be needed to reach full cure.
FN-INK™ Stretch is a low cure product, but it remains stable at higher temperatures. The additive can be used with standard cure inks of 320°F.
TESTING & PRECAUTIONS
When testing cured ink, perform a wash test to ensure proper cure prior to going into production.
Do not perform a stretch test for 24 hours after cure. All plastisol inks go through a settling phase where it continues to crosslink for 24 hours (inks with high elasticity especially need to go through this phase). When performing a stretch test, do not overstretch the print. The purpose of the garment is to give and stretch as the person moves. If stretched too far, the print may become distorted. Stretch the print similarly to how a person wearing the garment would move.
Use any press wash to clean it up.
Keep container(s) tightly closed. Store in a cool, well-ventilated location out of direct sunlight.