Three cheers for environmentally friendly water based inks to go with those Organic T-Shirts. I was a little late as this announcement on TreeHugger.com was back in 2005 but I still think its a great story. Treehuggers.com 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.” (Treehuggers.com).
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.