Education Center | How to Print a White Under Base on Darker Garments | McLogan

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Screen Printing

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Anytime there is an article to be typed about screen printing then mesh counts, ink types and garment color/fabrics are always in consideration.  Most people prefer to print a white under base layer on black or darker fabrics so that their design can really pop and not get lost in the darker fabric.  That being said, white under base screens are usually on 110 mesh count, but if you are printing fine detail prints (halftones) then you will use a higher mesh count for a smoother white ink layer.

The white under base is just a white outlined form of your color print.  The white under base will fill in the fabric fibers and create a nice clean bright layer for your actual design print. Some plastisol inks are high opacity and can be used instead of a white under base by printing, then flashing, then printing it again. To save you time some people choose to use a lower mesh count, which will lay more ink down with the first initial print.  A 110 mesh should allow you to just print and flash, but for a smoother finish then a 160 mesh with the print-flash-print method would be recommended.

If your design is 3 different colors you will end up burning 4 screens, because you will do a background image screen that is your under base white.  Then you can separate your colors and burn the screens accordingly. You want your first under base screen image to be slightly smaller to allow for ink shrinkage or shirt shrinkage.  (Slightly smaller being 1/16th of an inch).

As always do a test print on a dark pellon to ensure that you get the right print/design look.

International Coatings 7031 Ultra White is one of the most popular white plastisol inks for screen printing your background.