Can You Screen Print On Polyester [Top 5 Tricks]

Do you like printed shirts or things to wear? There is a wide range of variety for printed products. If you are familiar with the customization of clothing or other accessories, then you may familiar with the screen printing process. You also may not hear this even though you are using a customized printed shirt or jersey.

If you are already familiar with the screen printing arena, then can you screen print on polyester? Screen printing on polyester has extensive use and benefits. But there are some barriers to do it. If you can gather knowledge on it and follow some tricks, you will benefit. Follow this page and get the best idea about screen printing on polyester.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing creates a printing design in which a squeegee presses ink to transfer through the mesh on a flat surface. The flat surface can be fabric or paper. Some specialized inks in modern times can be pressed on the metal, plastic, glass, and even on wood. You can select your design based on your choice and print on your desired surface by this process.

Can You Screen Print On Polyester

Screen printing is the most famous printing method, especially by industrialists or business owners. You can also make your customize shirt or jacket by the screen-printing process at home. This method perfectly works faster than any other way to make bold designs or creative artworks on canvases or posters.

Can You Screen Print on Polyester?

Screen printing was a decorative method on clothes, walls, and some limited objects after its development. Within time, the system is modified to use it on several other items. That’s when the popularity has started to increase.

Can You Screen Print On Polyester

Polyester is famous since it was invented. The polyester is water-resistance, durable, and hypoallergenic material. It does not even shrink. That’s why people liked polyester clothing or backpack. But for this water-resistant feature, polyester printing has some challenges. Polyester is, as usual, resistant to stain or paint or ink.

There are several formula that fits for polyester printing. Polyester printing has variation while working on blends like polyester on cotton or polyester on viscose. Each of them has different issues to resolve.

Reason Behind Problems to Polyester Printing

The primary cause of the challenge on polyester printing is dye migration reaction. It occurs when the printed product is curing. Curing is one of the steps of screen printing that set the ink on the surface firmly. In this process, the polyester surface is kept on the conveyor belt and then heat it at 320 degrees. Bur the heat more than 300 is responsible for the dye migration.

Can You Screen Print On Polyester

For the dye migration reaction, small dye particles movement between ink and polyester fabric. It changes the ink color properties. This means the color changes totally. However, the high temperature used in the curing process can also burn or shrink the polyester fabric.

Polyester products have great popularity to customers, and printing is also a must needed process to cope with customization trends. That’s why industrialists were searching for tricks to overcome the barrier and make adorable polyester products.

5 Tricks to Screen Print on Polyester

While screen print on polyester shirts or other garments, taking proper care is a must. Besides, several tricks work better to make a subtle finish and perfect printing. Let’s know those tricks.

1. Choosing the Right Polyester

There is a difference in polyester blends, and each blend has different challenges. It depends on the fiber, mixing ratio, and materials of other fabrics with polyester. If you can choose the right polyester, you can eliminate the dye migration. Screen print on 100% polyester is good to avoid dye migration. If the fabric has 65% polyester, there is the possibility of color destruction. In the case of a 50/50 polyester blend, color bleeding potentially appears and changes the color.

Can You Screen Print On Polyester

2. Use of Catalyst

You can use a specialized catalyst to minimize the curing process’s temperature during screen print on polyester jersey or t-shirts, or other things. Then you can avoid dye migration. During the procedure, carefully follow the direction provided by manufacturers. After printing, let the printed product rest for a whole night and then wash it to check any color change.

3. Choosing the Right Dye

You will find several types of inks, and each of them has a unique feature. People use two types of inks broadly- water-based ink and plastisol ink. Plastisol ink is stiff, synthetic, whereas water-based ink is softer. The water-based ink can defuse to fabric, and plastisol ink stays stick on the material. Before choosing the dye, take a small polyester fabric and test inking if it sets correctly.

4. Correctly Stroke Ink

During applying ink, be careful so that the ink can get perfect coverage. For securing the ink absorption, apply a single stroke of one-color ink. In the case of more than one color, check before using if they mix.

5. Use Under-base When Needed

Your fabric can be dark or light. Depending on the brightness of polyester, various inks work differently. You have to use an under-base to prevent dye migration. The under-base is white or grey. Grey under-base works better on plastisol ink.

Following these tips, screen print on plush polyester is possible with great success. As the need for printed polyester is at a high level, we must continue to make polyester garments.

Also Read: DTG Printing vs Screen Printing: Choosing the Right Apparel!

Final Words

Can you screen print on polyester? We are sure that your answer will be, yes, after reading this article. There are challenges and obstacles while printing on polyester. But you can overcome those barriers and get your desired things if you are confident.

If you are already working on screen printing but having trouble printing on polyester, this article will enable you to face all challenges. Follow instructions and continue your deals.

About Author


Alice covers platforms, policy and big tech at Printer Reviews. Prior to rejoining here, Alice was Senior Technology Editor of the TechDen. Alice first joined PrinterReviews in 2021. Before joining, he was the Tech Editor of the Daily Dot and a reporter and deputy editor at ReadWeb.

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