Here’s Why We Only Print with Water-Based Chemical Free Inks
At Tribe of E • Handmade in Berlin, we only use water-based chemical free inks. Many screen printers use plastisol inks because they are easy to use, but they are derived from petroleum, and contain phthalates and PVC. These two dangerous chemicals have been linked to numerous medical disorders, and are harmful to the environment. Toxic solvents are also needed in the cleaning process of plastisol inks. These chemical solvents contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), aromatic hydrocarbons, lead or heavy metals, which contribute to ozone-depletion and the greenhouse effect.
Water-based do not contain phthalates or PVC and no volatile solvents or chemicals are required in the clean-up process. Only water is used – from printing to cleaning.
Water-Based Inks Have a “Soft Hand”
Water-based inks seep into the fabric, and after a couple of washes, there is virtually no difference in the texture between the unprinted and printed fabric. This is known as a “soft hand” because, you guessed it, it feels soft to the hand. This soft hand is especially beneficial with baby clothes and pillows.
Longer Lasting Prints
Water-based inks fuse with the fabric, they literally dye the fabric, so the print becomes part of whatever it is printed on. Water-based inks may fade slightly after the first washing, but they do not crack or flake or chip off. That means, the print will last for as long as whatever it is printed on does.
As a bonus, our water-based chemical free inks have not been tested on animals, and contain no animal products or animal by-products and are 100% vegan (they’re also 100% gluten-free, but I’m fairly certain that could be said about all screen printing inks … then again, I could be wrong).
More information about screen printing can be found here.