Screen Print Waterproof Apparel

Screen Print Waterproof Apparel
June 16, 2019

Waterproof and water resistant apparel will require an additive for your plastisol ink. This was simple in the “old days” as we had a nylon catalyst that would work with any ink. Simply add 10% nylon catalyst to 90% plastisol ink by weight and the ink would adhere with no problem. The idea today is much the same but it has become complicated as chemicals have changed over the years. Today you must be picky about which ink you add nylon catalyst into.

If you add nylon catalyst to most plastisol inks, they will immediately thicken up. It will not be a printable mixture. Luckily, we know what your best bet is to combo with your nylon catalyst:

ELT Series
ELT-S Series
ELT-X Series
222 Series
Nylostretch Series

That is your short list of guarantees to work with nylon catalyst. There may be more inks that will mix well with nylon catalyst but you will have to try them out to see. If it doesn’t immediately thicken up, you are likely in very good shape.

I realize that I have been talking about “nylon” catalyst. Unfortunately, not all waterproof or water resistant items are nylon. What about polyester? What about blends? The nylon catalyst will help plastisol bond to any of these materials. Simply use a catalyst friendly polyester ink listed above which will be one of our ELT Series inks.

How do you know if something is waterproof or water resistant? The tag is an excellent place to start but it isn’t always obvious. Simply drip some water onto the material and see if it beads up or sinks in. If it sinks in, all of our inks will adhere. If it beads up, you are back to the 10% nylon catalyst by weight. It is as simple as that.

Robb Mears
Director, Product Development
rmears@osinks.com

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