Waterbase printing is very similar to discharge printing but for white and light colored shirts. The inks are dyed into the fabric. When used on dark color fabrics it gives a strong faded/vintage look. Keep in mind that when using light ink colors on dark shirts the ink colors will be tinted by the shirt color. For example white inks on a black shirt will cause the inks to be a light grey. Waterbase inks must be washed before they take their “no feel” state.
How They Work: Water-based is a specialty ink for direct to garment digital printing. It is a mixture of water with dye or pigment. The water acts as the main solvent to keep the pigment or dye in liquid form but sometimes co-solvents are used as well. The purpose of the co-solvents ranges, but they are most commonly used to decrease the time and heat necessary for curing. For the print to be cured, the water has to have completely evaporated. The ink sinks into the fibers of shirt, becoming part of the fabric.