MIDLAND, MICHIGAN, USA - Dow Corning Corporation, a leading supplier of innovative silicone solutions for the textile industry, has launched a new silicone textile ink for manual screen printing. Dow Corning® 9601 Textile Printing Ink allows apparel manufacturers to capture the full potential of the market for high-quality, screen-printed clothing with a durable, environmentally friendly ink that provides a semi-gloss finish, good elongation, excellent color fastness and a soft, non-tacky handle.
"Manual screen printing technology represents a large growth opportunity for manufacturers of sportswear and casual apparel," says Jenny Geng, Asia Textiles Marketing Manager. "However, PVC (plastisol), PU and PA inks have some serious drawbacks - such as inferior wash and weather durability, poor hand feel and tackiness - that limit their use, particularly in high-end apparel applications."
These products also often contain solvents and have other negative environmental effects. To counter these problems, some printing mills have tried using silicone printing materials because of their good washing durability, hand feel, elongation properties and environmental friendliness. "But those silicone products had their own set of issues, too," explains Geng. "Tackiness, high viscosity, stiffness and the inability to create low-gloss finishes still meant the apparel manufacturer would end up with a less than ideal product."
9601 Textile Printing Ink delivers a set of features and benefits that surmounts these challenges for the first time:
Good hand feel: Soft, non-sticky handle with no blocking problem upon folding
Excellent durability: Wash- and weather-resistance
Color fastness: No color migration, even between red and white
Improved fashion appearance: Semi-gloss finish with no creasing
High elongation: Suitable for fabric with 15 to 20 percent Lycra® content
Fast cure: Skin cures in 3 to 6 seconds at skin temperatures between 100-130°C (212-266°F)
Operation-friendly: Suitable viscosity and thixotropy for manual screen printing
Easily pigmented: A base/catalyst system with a minor to major part of less than 10 percent
Environmentally sound: Does not contain organotin, phthalate, formaldehyde, PVC or solvent
Reduced total cost of use: Lower cycle time and better coverage
According to Geng, 9601 Textile Printing Ink is suitable for manual screen printing processes on most natural and synthetic fabrics including elastic fabrics. Possible applications include jerseys, jackets, hats, gloves, bathing apparel, shirts, sleepwear, children's clothing and undergarments. Because of its water repellency and good adhesion, the printed and cured fabric is able to pass 10 washing cycles - five cycles at 40°C (104°F) plus five cycles at 60°C (140°F) - with no separation or deformation.
Dow Corning Textiles will offer the benefits of its globally recognized Powered by Dow Corning® ingredient branding program to help promote products using 9601 Textile Printing Ink. For example, a unique hangtag explaining the benefits of the ink will be available for manufacturer use.
"Dow Corning has a well-deserved reputation as a trusted ally and innovative solutions provider to the textile industry," Geng says. "We have outstanding materials and expert technologies that can differentiate a product in many ways - like increased functionality, versatility, performance and protection. 9601 Textile Printing Ink is just one example of how we use proactive, creative thinking to develop products that meet our customers' needs exactly."
To learn more about 9601 Textile Printing Ink, go to www.dowcorning.com/screenprinting. Dow Corning Textiles (www.dowcorning.com/textiles or www.dowcorning.com.cn) offers a comprehensive selection of innovative silicon-based performance enhancers and process aids for textiles, leather and nonwovens. In addition to materials, the company provides supportive services and solutions tailored to the specific business needs of the global textile industry.