Touch of Softness: The Unique Feel of Water-Based Prints

We pride ourselves on water-based screen printing which is no easy feat. Most of the USA prints with what is called Plastisol. Which is basically pushing liquid plastic through a screen and curing it with an oven. It is a very easy and quick way to print. But who wants plastic on their chest? That is why we print with water based inks.

As the name implies, our inks are based on water, not plastic. This gives a much softer feel than with plastisol but requires a lot more prep work and curing time so that is why many shops don't bother with it. It's not the "easy" method for sure. But the end result is a softer, longer lasting print that also breaths, and also allows for some really cool effects.

We did not reinvent the wheel, just not scared to roll it

Water-based screen printing is the major method of printing overseas in most of the Asia countries. This is where all the large brands are printing, North Face, Lulu, Patagonia, Under armour, adidas etc. So its nothing that you dont already have in your closet. The big brands choose it because of the overarching benefits and because of the lack of plastic in the ink.

One of the most popular forms of water based printing is called Discharge. This is the best way to get the softest print. There are some limits, such as it needs to be on a cotton shirt but if you have ever wanted a print that you can barely feel, its discharge, or a low solids on a white shirt, both are about the same.

Low Solids/Discharge print

As mentioned above, low solid water based printing and discharge water based printing are very similar. They give the softest print possible. This print here is a low solid water based on a white shirt. The rule of thumb is low solids for lighter shirts and discharge for darker shirts.

High solids water-based

When its not possible to use discharge on a dark shirt or the fabric doesn't allow then its the perfect match for a high solids print. This is the hardest printing method to achieve since you are fighting several variables but it can give the most stretchy, lightweight feeling print out there.

We could go on and on but here is a list of printing methods and effects

Low Solids


High Solids

3D Puff



Invisible(yes its a thing)


Mixed media


Glow in the dark


Some final thoughts

We dont expect you to know or undersatnd all these methods. The best way you can help us, help you, is to give us a clear vision of what you are going for with the project.

We can't read minds. (but wouldnt that be cool if we could)

We then can try our best to give feedback and ideas to help you achieve your project's goal.

Get in touch today

Have a brand or a project that you would like to discuss? Is it over 50pcs? If so, shoot us a message and we will get back to you ASAP!

Either use the field on the right or send us an email

Customprintedmaterials (at)

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