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Home » News » Discharge Screen Printing

News :: Discharge Screen Printing

Monday 6th December 2010

Discharge Screen Printing *Please contact us for a price quote on custom discharge screen printing* 


Discharge Screen Printing is a printing method that uses a special chemical to remove the color from a 100% cotton t-shirt. Discharge screen printing has gained populartiy over the past several years and is now very popular in retail markets. Many major high end brands use discharge screen printing to achieve a soft hand (no feel) print on their shirts and these shirts are selling for well over $100.00 each in major department stores. The main difference in discharge screen printing is that you are changing the color of the fabric not piling ink on top of the fabric. Dischage only works on dark color shirts-not white shirts. 


How Discharge Screen Printing Works. 

Discharge screen printing is a water based screen printing style. A water based gel (discharge base) is the main component. Zinc formaldihyde powder is added to the discharge base to create what we call discharge or discharge ink (it is not at all ink ther is no color to it). The discharge is then screen printed throught a special made screen onto 100% cotton garments. At that point the garment looks like it has been printed with water and no chemical reaction has occured. Once the shirt is printed it is ran through a conveyor dryer, this is where the chemical reaction we call discharging occures. As th garment is being cured in the conveyor dryer at around 400 degrees the dicahrge chemical evaporate and while it evaporate it "bleaches" the shirt to it original color. This does not mean that the discharge print comes out white, most shirts are a natural or tanish color before they are dyed so the print will ussually return to that color. 


Types/styles of discharge screen printing 

The print method described above is a standard discharge screen print. The standard discharge print can be used as a stand alone print or as an underbase for other colors to be printed on top of. 

Pigmented discharge screen printing is another method of discharge printing, this is where we discharge the shirt as described above but rather then turn the shirt to its natural color we are removing the shirt color and replacing it with another color. 


Advantages of Discharge Screen Printing 


* Soft print 

* vibrant colors 

* high end look and feel 

* great durability 

* higher percieved value 


Disadvantages of Discharge Screen Printing 


* only works on certain garments, 100% cotton only, dyed with reactive dyes 

* does not work on royal blue or purple shaded shirts 

* higher spoilage rate during production 


Unlike most print shops T-Shirt Charity has done extensive research with discharge screen printing and we are experts in producing high quality discharge prints. If you are ready to take your t-shirts to the next level consider discharge screen printing.