T-Shirt Talk Update
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Organic T-Shirts and Eco-Friendly Inks

Three cheers for environmentally friendly water based inks to go with those Organic T-Shirts. I was a little late as this announcement on was back in 2005 but I still think its a great story. reported on TSDesigns, whose tagline is “Printing t-shirts for good” have discovered an eco-friendly screenprinting technique they call “Rehance”. “Screenprinters commonly use “Plastisol” ink which contains PVC. Plastisol creates a plasticky shell that sits separate from the fabric and becomes crusty after repeated washings. By contrast, Rehance changes the cotton at the molecular level, and allows the fiber to remain breathable after printing. It also stretches with the fabric, so it is less prone to cracking.” (

According to TSdesigns, REHANCE offers a number of benefits that plastisol doesn’t:

*A print that does not contain PVC, phthalates, or solvents (base technology).
*A print that is completely breathable and does not have any “hand.”
*A print that will not crack or peel over time, REHANCE is not a surface coating but actually changes the cotton molecular structure in how it responds to dyes.
*A print that will not significantly change after multiple home launderings.
*A garment that will not shrink, REHANCE products are garment dyed which eliminates shrinkage. Most plastisol screen printing is done in a piece dyed environment and the customer can expect between a 5 to 10% shrinkage when the product is washed at home.
*A print that will work on fabrics with stretch and / or textures.
*A perfect color tone on tone match.

It is great to see a company who is passionate about finding positive environmentally solutions to current issues. You can read all sorts of info on REHANCE, water based inks and organic t-shirts at TSDesigns.

Written by T-Shirt Talk


  1. Jeff Chamberlain · June 20, 2008

    Hey! Speaking of late, I’m only posting this here now:

    We’ve developed a contest site based on TSDesigns Rehance process, for use on organic cotton tees. Come check us out!

    I’d love for you to review us — we’re making our first prints now, and will start selling them in July. Let me know if you’d like a shirt for review.



  2. Danny James · July 2, 2008

    Excellent, as a web retailer and not a manufacturer, this is great to see. Moving Ethical, organic and eco-friendly products into the mainstream is the objective we are all working towards! Will be keeping an eye out for the tees.

  3. 3 Clothing · July 2, 2008

    We are very fond of this product. We began using it on our “Clean” (cotton in transition) and organic cotton t-shirts this year. The designs feel like they are a part of the shirt. We have tested the inks in every way possible, and are really thrilled with the outcome.

  4. Advertees · April 2, 2011

    We have been following the progress of this method since we first heard about it, some 4 years on we have not seen much of an up take, and the actual nature of the ‘resist’ used is not often discussed. We are aware of many screen printable resists none of which could be considered more eco friendly than the discharge screen printing system. We would also like to point out that patents and secrets seem to be keeping us from moving forward with finding a good ink solution for all screen printers.

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