Discharge printing is a screen printing process where the same techniques and equipment are used but instead of normal ink, discharge inks are used, which remove the shirt’s dye instead of putting a color on top of the shirt.
It is somewhat similar to bleaching in a design, except it doesn’t damage the fibers like bleaching would. It results in an extremely soft print, and shows the weave of the shirt.
It can be used by itself, as an underbase for other colors to be put on top, or with pigments added.
Pigmenting discharge can be difficult to achieve exact color results, as the discharge efficacy affects the color, and what you see is not what you get when mixing the pigments, but it can still be a great way to achieve colors on dark garments.
Discharge screen printing is soft. We keep saying that, but it's true.
People always notice how soft the printing is when they feel it. They say "you can't even feel it on the shirt!"
After being first printed, you do feel the discharge print a little bit on the shirt sometimes, but that goes away after the first time the shirt is washed.
Once it's washed, you can't tell where the design ends on the shirt because the design basically sits inside the shirt, so it's all soft and nice. That's part of the reason we're obsessed with discharge printing.
Vacord has been a pioneer in discharge printing since 2008, when we got our first sample jar of discharge ink and became fascinated by the product. Shortly after that, we wrote openly about proper discharge printing techniques and became well known for it. Since then, we've further honed the craft.
When Fruit of the Loom wanted to test their shirts with discharge printing, they hired Vacord, and our experiments were written up in Impressions magazine, an industry publication.
We love discharge, we excel at it, and we want to print it for your projects.
Let us know what questions you may have, or what your project would be like. You should hear back within a business day (or same day) from either Stuart or Becky.
Not sure of all your answers? That's fine. You don't have to have everything figured out to get the conversation started. We can guide you to the best results.