As a screenprinter, one of the trickiest things to do is print white ink on a dark fabric. Most regular white screenprinting inks are semi-transparent, which is fine for mixing with other colors and printing on lighter backgrounds. But for direct coverage on something like a black tee, a true opaque white ink is necessary. Oddly, this is a tad hard to find. The only fabric inks available at my local art supply store are Speedball brand. Speedball makes a wide variety of colors, so for the most part I have no complaints with this. They even make a series of opaque inks, but they are all metallic. What’s a girl to do when she wants to print solid light colors on dark fabrics without them being all sparkly metallic?
She goes to the Google, of course. And finds this:
Versatex SUPER Opaque White. If anything’s going to work, it’ll be this, I thought. So I ordered some, and tried it out this week. I went for the ultimate level of difficulty, to give it a true test – namely, plain white ink on the darkest of tees (black). And the very first print turned out awesome:
So, this is my go-to opaque white from now on. I’ll have to see how it does mixed with other colors, but so far I’m impressed. Bonus: it’s also for use on paper (Speedball has separate inks for fabric and paper), so whenever I get back around to printing on all those handmade paper sheets, it’ll come in handy there too. Yay all around!
In other screenprinting news: I’ve haven’t had a chance to give the photo emulsion method another try with the elephant screen yet. It’s been super rainy and cloudy all week, and the process needs a good amount of direct sunlight for exposure & drying. On the upside, since the new screen is on hold I’ve been printing a bunch with existing screens, so there will be a bunch of new things in the shop soon. You know, as soon as it’s nice enough outside to take product photos. *sigh* I know we need the rain and all, but it’s messing with my plans! Hopefully it clears up this weekend and I can get all of that taken care of.
Speaking of weekends (yay!), I’ve got a friend’s birthday brunch, a clothes swap, and a karaoke outing all in the works. And all on the same day (tomorrow). Yikes! But it should all be fun. I’ll just be a blob of not-wanting-to-do-anything on Sunday, haha.
What’ve you guys got planned this weekend?