Screen printing adds quality and durability to your printed t-shirt designs. Blackwater Studios screen print with water based inks exclusively. These inks have good environmental credentials, and produce a high quality non plastic finish.

We provide T shirt screen printing packages. These T-shirt offers are designed to make ordering custom T-shirts fast and simple. Prices include VAT & delivery. Our minimum order for screen printed T-shirts is 25.

Greenhouse by Carla McRae

Perks of Screen Printing

High Quality Waterbased Printing Close Up by Thomas Hedger

Print Quality

Blackwater Studios Print all orders in house, and use the screen printing process, as it is still unrivaled in terms of print quality. Spot colours, special effect inks, and photographic reproduction produced with excellent results. Screen printing offers wash fastness, a soft hand, and consistent results across larger orders.

Volume

T-shirt orders become progressively cheaper as the quantities increase, as each T-shirt printed absorbs a percentage of the initial set up cost. Our minimum order for screen printed clothing is 25, with our T-shirt printing deals of 50 plus often being the best value for money.

Serpiente by Christian Castañeda
Hoodoo Tiger by Bene Rohlmann

Flexibility

We can achieve a wide variety of finishes using screen printing, as it does not have the limitations of the digital process. Screen printing offers many special effects, and finishes. There are a variety of ways in which the inks are applied. With different mesh counts, squeegees, and ink combinations, creating infinite possibilities.

See how it works.

Take a look at our screen printers in action, customising t shirts with water based inks. The organic T-shirts are from continental.

How do I place an order?

Submit your order, and get no obligation quotes via our enquiry form.
We will usually respond within 24 hours.

Choosing Inks and Screenprint Styles

Water based Inks

Blackwater Studios specialise in waterbased inks, and have many years of experience using them. There are no plastisol (plastic) inks used in our workshops. Waterbased inks are very soft to the touch, and they are the most environmentally friendly screen printing ink. The resulting prints will last as long as the tshirt itself. Below describes the different types, and uses of, our water based inks.

Greenhouse by Carla McRae

Standard

Our standard ink is an environmentally friendly ink. It is transparent, fluid, and absorbed into the fabric, acting as a dye. We use this ink when printing darker colours on to lighter coloured t shirts, such as White, ecru, and pastels. As darker coloured T-shirts will influence the final printed colour. Black ink remains unchanged by any underlying T-shirt colours, however a lighter yellow ink is.

Used on white or light garments with darker inks. No underbase, and no discharge required.

Serpiente print by Christian Castañeda

Discharge Ink

Discharge ink removes the original dye from the T-shirt using a bleaching process. The bleaching reaction takes place inside the conveyor drier, and here the overprinted design colours revealed. Discharge printing is the softest print achievable on dark colored T-shirts, but not all T-shirt fabrics, and colours will bleach entirely.

Used on dark or coloured garments for the softest finish.

Opaque Ink

Opaque Ink

An underbase, where a thicker layer of water based ink sits on top of the T-shirt fabric, and the more transparent layers of ink printed on top. Used for very bright print colours, and materials that do not bleach entirely. This opaque ink is the water based equivalent of the more commonly used plasticol inks, so the screen print will not be as soft, as when using the discharge process.

Used on dark or coloured garments as an alternative to discharge inks.

You can see, and feel, a physical example of our T-shirt prints, by buying a sample from our Store, posted Next Day.

Visit our Sample Store
Waterbased Screen Printing Inks

Discharge vs Opaque.

When we have all the information about your order, including the style of your design, and a full list of clothing colours you would like printed. Blackwater Studios will be able to assist you in making a decision about what inks to use.

Where the requirement is the softest print we will advise standard, and discharge printing. In instances where your chosen garment colours do not bleach, and your garment colour is the priority, we will advise the opaque water based inks. These provide very bright design colours, across any T-shirt fabric type.

Partially Dischargeable T Shirts

Some garment colours, and fiber compositions inhibit the bleaching process. It is not always undesirable that the bleaching is incomplete, and the effect is often used to good effect when printing vintage style designs.

Below are some common colours that will not fully discharge:

  • Kelly Green
  • Sapphire
  • Royal Blue
  • Purple

Where print softness is the priority, and specific ink colours required we can advise on suitable t shirt colour alternatives.

Note: Discharge works best on 100% cotton garments. For other fabric compositions, it’s a good idea to get in touch with complete details of your requirements so that we can offer guidance.

Discharge Screen Printing - White Ink on Different Garment Colours

Above are some examples of T-shirts which are not 100% discharged.

Screen Printing Metallic Silver Ink - Design by Engin Oztekin

Special Inks

Blackwater Studios offer a number of special effect inks for those who want add a little extra flare to their designs. Examples of this include:

  • Metallic Inks
  • Glow in the Dark
  • Reflective Ink

The range of special ink options that we offer are dependent on what your artwork and garment requirements are. This is because some effects / combinations are will only acheive a certain amount of detail. If there is an effect you are looking for, get in touch. We can offer advice on what is possible, and what design changes will make it work.

Why No Plastisol Inks?

Blackwater Studios do not use plastic inks due to their persistence in the environment. Water based inks to suit all situations are available. They are capable of producing true whites, and vivid fluorescent colours across all colourways.

What is Underbasing?

In order to keep your printed colours looking bright on dark shirts, we use an underbase screen with your design. The underbase screen is the entire design screenprinted in white ink as a base layer, an undercoat as it were. Then the other design colours printed on top. Only one underbase required per design, regardless of the number of colours in that design.

When the T-shirt fabric is white, or light in colour there is no need to print this base coat.

White Screen Print Underbased on One Side, Illustration by Ivo Matic.

Left: No Underbase/Discharge | Right: Using an Underbase/Discharge