Selectasine Printing System, curing & fixing

Creating vibrant and long-lasting prints on fabric requires the right combination of inks and proper fixing techniques. Inks made from Selectasine Binders and Pigments are known for their excellent wash fastness on fabric. To ensure the best results, it is advisable to allow the ink to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying heat for fixing.

Fixing the Print:
Once the print is dry it would naturally fix over time where the pigments are trapped into the fibres of the material by the polymer molecules in the binder, this is called cross-linking. To create this reaction quicker, if the fabric is suitable, heat is applied this then sets the print and makes the inks wash fast. Ironing the reverse side of the printed fabric at a temperature of 165°C (330°F) for 4-5 minutes is recommended. As a result, the print becomes permanently embedded in the fabric.

Selectasine Crosslinker for Faster Setting:
For those seeking even faster results, the addition of Selectasine Crosslinker to the ink can significantly decrease the setting time. By incorporating 20g of Crosslinker per kilogram of ink, the fixing process can be completed in as little as one minute. This option is particularly useful for time-sensitive projects or high-volume production.

The success of the fixing process depends on several key factors. Failure to address these factors may lead to inadequate fixing or potential issues with the print’s durability. It is crucial to consider the following:

Sufficient Heat and Time: Inadequate application of heat over a prolonged period can result in an insufficient fix. Make sure to follow the recommended ironing instructions and duration to ensure optimal results.

Pigment-Binder Ratio: Avoid overloading the binder with pigment. Excess colour may wash out during laundering, leading to water discoloration and staining. Follow the recommended pigment-to-binder ratio for best results.

Fabric Compatibility: Different fabrics exhibit varying responses to the polymer molecules in the binder. Synthetics like lycra and polyester, as well as highly starched or treated fabrics, may repel the binder. For optimal results, cotton and natural fabrics are recommended.

Preparing the Fabric: Ensure the fabric is “Prepared for Dyeing” (PFD) or requires scouring to eliminate any grease, oil, or starch. Perform a simple water test by applying a few droplets onto the fabric. If they quickly soak in, scouring is unnecessary. To remove starches, size, and oils, use 5ml of Synthrapol (a non-ionic detergent) per 2-3 litres of water for every 100g of material. Gently stir the fabric in the solution for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly in warm water. Household detergents can be used but may leave alkaline residue that could impact the final colour or wash fastness.

The Selectasine Screen printing system, refined over many years, offers exceptional results for fabric printing. While it can be used on most substrates, not every surface is compatible, and the permanence of the print may vary. To ensure customer satisfaction and the longevity of your products, we always recommend conducting trial prints and test washes before launching any item in the market. By following these guidelines and understanding the factors influencing successful fixing, you can achieve lasting and vibrant prints using Selectasine Binders and Pigments.

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