General questions for water-based inks.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using water-based inks?

Water-based inks tend to have a softer print finish and hand feel. Most often, it will mimic the texture of the substrate being use.

It can be cured at low temperatures and can be air-dried, which means screens are prone to clogging.

Water-based prints don't do well with overnight water soaking, which makes it less compatible with dry-cleaning.

It is easier to clean with just water and soap compared to plastisol inks.

What are the basic facts to remember about Keenworth water-based inks?

Always mix water-based inks before use to get its true consistency.

Average curing temperatures: 110ºC to 130ºC

Average curing time: 5 - 10 seconds

Pigment type: Keentex PRC

Average mesh count: 40T - 120T

What is the shelf-life for Keenworth water-based inks?

Keenworth water-based inks typically have at most a 2-year shelf-life with proper storage and handling.

All inks, if not properly stored and sealed properly can cause its shelf-life to decrease and will hasten spoilage.

Avoid cross-contamination, which means, it is important to use clean materials for mixing of inks.

What can I use to reduce viscosity for water-based inks?

To reduce viscosity, it is recommended to add 1%-2% of Reducer CT into the mixture.

Some might add binder but overtime this may cause the print finish some issues with tack and gelling of the ink.

What causes a tacky print?

A tacky print finish may cause more damage especially when prints get stuck together or if it's in its packaging. Most of the time, high humidity and trapped moisture causes a tacky print finish.

1. Give the water-based ink enough time to cool down after curing. Do not immediately fold or stack substrates on top of each other.

2. Extremely high humidity in the printing area may cause prints to 'sweat' and may also contribute to the tacky print.

3. Avoid over-coating the last print to achieve a nice glossy-print. We recommend a maximum of 3-5 strokes per coating.

How can I improve humidity and ventilation?

Adding ceiling fans will effectively circulate the air around to create a draft throughout the room. Installing windows will also help if in case the room or area does not have one.

A room with high humidity would feel moist and sticky. Another symptom of an area high in humidity would be growth of mold and mildew.

Can smelly and moldy inks still be used?

NO, you may no longer use smelly and/or moldy inks. These are signs of spoiling ink and must be dispose of according to your local government regulations. Using spoiled ink may cause the finish print to have poor washing fastness and may emit a foul smell.

How can you avoid molds from forming on unused or leftover inks?

Store the ink in a cool and dry place. Avoid rooms with extremely high humidity and temperature as this is a sure way for inks to spoil faster.

Proper ventilation in storage may help decrease humidity.

How can I avoid screen clogging with water-based inks?

During the printing production, practice screen flooding with ink when not in used. This method will delay or slow down possible screen clogging along the way, which may cause delay during production.

It is also possible to use Clog Opener to delay clogging.

Why are ants attracted to the prints?

Ants or insects may be attracted to the invisible moistures trapped in the prints. Ventilate the printing and storage area to avoid moistures from being trapped in your print and this will also improve humidity in the area.


General questions for plastisol inks.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using plastisol inks?

Plastisol inks do not clog on screen mesh unless it has been exposed to high temperatures.

This also means that plastisol inks require higher temperature curing compared to water-based inks but this could also cause dye-migration on poor quality substrates.

Plastisol inks have thicker print output compared to the softer print finish of a water-based ink. The prints also do well being soaked in water for long periods and do well during dry-cleaning.

What are the basic facts to remember about Keenworth plastisol inks?

Always mix plastisol ink before use as ink thickens when not in used. Stirring will help the ink get to its true viscosity.

Average curing temperatures: 120ºC to 170ºC

Average curing time: 5 - 10 seconds

Pigment type: Keenplas PC

Average mesh count: 50T - 300T

What is the shelf-life for Keenworth plastisol inks?

Typically, plastisol inks last longer compared to water-based inks. As long as you store your inks properly in a cool place and not in direct heat or high temperature, plastisol inks can still be in good condition for many years.

What can I use to reduce viscosity for plastisol inks?

To reduce the viscosity, add 1%-2% of Viscosity Reducer into your plastisol base or mixture.

What causes dye migration for plastisol inks?

Most of the time, dye migration occurs when printing on darker synthetic substrates, like polyester substrates. The heat from a dryer (heat press machines, etc.) reacts with the dye on the fabric turning it to gas, staining the plastisol print.

What causes plastisol inks to not adhere on top of an underbase print?

Fully cured prints have less adhesion or have a tacky print finish. Do not fully cure the first coating. It is best to keep the previous coats semi-cured so succeeding coats can adhere better.

What causes a tacky print?

Give the plastisol print time to cool from the heat curing. A tacky print finish may cause more damage especially when prints get stuck together or if it's in its packaging.

What causes plastisol prints to crack or peel away from the substrate?

Under curing the prints will cause plastisol prints to either crack, peel off, or completely wash-off. One way to check if plastisol prints are not fully cured is to give the substrate and print a soft stretch to see if it cracks.

What is the ideal substrate for plastisol inks?

100% Cotton or poly-cotton blend fabrics work best with plastisol inks. For best printing result, it is best to choose substrates with more cotton percentage. Cotton is less prone to migration with plastisol inks.

Is low bleed plastisol still prone to migration?

YES, low bleed ink is not equivalent to a no-bleed ink. It just means that you will less likely to encounter dye migration.

Why is my plastisol print washing away?

The print isn't fully cured if it washes away. Remember that plastisol inks require higher temperature curing, which means that although the top print may seem cured or dry, the coatings below it may not be fully cured.

How do I solve the issue of substrate showing through my print?

Print a white underbase print or first coat should have more ink deposit.

Laying down a thicker print output will stamp down fibers and hold it in place, giving better coverage for the succeeding coats or prints.


General questions for pigments

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Can neon (luminous) pigments be mixed with white base or matte base inks?

Neon or luminous pigments are more transparent and does not mix well with translucent or opaque inks. These pigments work better on transparent base inks, hence it is better to underbase print on darker ground substrates.

Neon or luminous pigments do require a higher percentage load, a maximum of 20%. It also reacts poorly on high temperature curing.

Why is the color of the print fading?

Quality pigments have good light fastness and washing fastness. It means, its color shade would stay strong when exposed to several hours of light and stay brilliant when washed several times, except when it is washed with bleach.

Should the pigment shade drastically changes, it means it is of poor quality.

Red and blue color shades have a higher tendency to react to light and washing fastness.


Arbiair, Arbisol, Arbitex , Arbitrend, Arbitrans, Printint, Envirotex.

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Is it possible to print Arbitex inks on honeycomb substrates?

YES, you can print on honeycomb substrates with the Arbitex Series with proper printing technique.

Depending on the design, you may also need to do an underbase print and make sure to do final curing.

Can I use Arbitex Inks for spandex substrates?

YES, the Arbitex Series and the Envirotex Series can print on some spandex substrates but it is still important that test prints and washing test be done to ensure quality.

Due to the high polyester content of most spandex substrates, be mindful of the curing parameters you set.

Can a similar print output of Arbitex White be achieved if Arbitex Clear base is added?

Pure Arbitex White has more opacity and adding Arbitex Clear base will reduce the opacity of the white ink.

Unless you are to print with colors on darker substrates, here is the mixture percentage recommended:

Arbitex White: 30% - 40%

Arbitex Clear: 60% - 70%

What should I mix to create a matte base ink in a rush?

Try this formula:


Arbitex White: 40%

Arbitex Clear: 60%


Arbitex White: 30%

Arbitex Clear: 70%

Is it possible to print the Arbitex Series on top of the Keenplas Series?

NO, it is not possible to print any water-based inks (including the Arbitex Series) on top of the Keenplas Series. Even with proper curing, the print will only wash-off.

Can 150T - 180T mesh be used with Arbitex Inks?

YES, you can for as long as:

* Mesh tension is stretched high for an even mesh opening.

* Dot size of artwork is not too high. Spot print is recommended more than tonal print designs.

* Flooding technique is applied to delay clogging.

* There is a properly ventilated printing area with humidity level not exceeding 50%. It is best to install exhaust fans (hot air out, fresh air in) and ceiling fans for air circulation (push cold air down and pull hot air up).

* Medium to hard squeegee durometer and square edge profile is used.

* Proper pull, angle, pressure, stroke, and speed is applied.

What causes a tacky print?

A tacky print finish may cause more damage especially when prints get stuck together or if it's in its packaging. Most of the time, high humidity and trapped moisture causes a tacky print finish.

1. Give the water-based ink enough time to cool down after curing. Do not immediately fold or stack substrates on top of each other.

2. Extremely high humidity in the printing area may cause prints to 'sweat' and may also contribute to the tacky print.

3. Avoid over-coating the last print to achieve a nice glossy-print. We recommend a maximum of 3-5 strokes per coating.

How can a shimmering or glittering print be best achieved?

Arbitrend Glitter inks are coarse-grained, which means it may not go through with higher mesh counts. Use lower mesh counts for printing, around 25-60 mesh count.

How can the viscosity of Arbitrend Metallic Silver be adjusted?

Arbitrend Metallic Silver viscosity tends to drop when stored for a certain period of time. It is advisable to add about 1%-2% of Thickener ASE. Stir well before use.

What is the mixture for a colored Arbitrend Metallic?

Arbitrend Metallic Silver: 50%

Arbitex Clear (Ready-mixed colors): 50%

To achieve a lighter shade, decrease the amount of Arbitex Clear ready-mixed colors added.

Is printing on top of Arbitrend Puff possible?

YES, you can, although make sure that the Arbitrend Puff is printed directly on the substrate to avoid print wash off.

Puff prints can be printed with a top coat using Arbitex Inks, Arbitrend Inks, and the Arbitrans Ink. Correct temperature setting is a must.

Top coating on puff print gives life to your puff print, as the original puff print when cured tends to have a reduced color shade.

What is the ideal mixture for Arbitrend Puff without underbase print or a top-coat print?

Arbitrend Puff must be printed directly on the substrate and not as any top-coat print. If necessary, do a leave-off on your artwork.

* Arbitrend Puff mixed with Arbitex Clear base makes for better color matching.

* Mixing Arbitex Matte or Arbitex White is possible.

What is the standard stroke and coating for Arbitrans KL?

Arbitrans KL works well with 1-2 coats with multiple strokes. Do not add additives to the base as this will reduce the adhesion property of the base.

Can pigment be added in on Arbitrans KL to make it more visible while printing?

NO, Arbitrans KL stands alone. It will not hold well if it is mixed in with other bases, pigments, or additives. In adding these, poor washing fastness will occur.

In printing on card, or leatherette substrate, you can add a 0.01% pigment in the Arbitrans KL, as it does not go through a wash test.

Why did the foil (or transfer paper) wash off?

Arbitrans KL has good adhesion property. A foil paper does not really expire unless it was not stored well. As in any transfer print, washing fastness is poor but may last longer if you heat press it and do a cold peel off the transfer paper then re-heat press again.

Make sure to leave an instruction to do a reverse shirt washing for a longer-lasting transfer print.

Can Arbitrend Metallic Silver, Arbitrend Pearl Silver, and Arbitrend Pearl Royal Gold be printed directly on dark colored substrates?

YES, Arbitrend Metallic Silver, Arbitrend Pearl Silver, and Arbitrend Pearl Royal Gold can be printed directly on dark colored substrates. It can be printed without the need for an underbase print of white base.

Can Arbitrend Glow Light Natural be printed directly on a colored substrate?

NO, Arbitrend Glow Light Natural needs to be printed directly on white or lighter ground substrates, white underbase prints, and pastel or neon colored prints.

Dark colored substrates will reject light and absorb the special effect of the ink.

Can pigments be added into the Arbitrend Glow Light Natural to change the color of its glow?

NO, adding pigments will not change the glow color of the Arbitrend Glow Light Natural.

Should you wish to add color as a guide, then you can add 0.01% of neon pigment only.

How can the Arbitrend Glow Light Natural print stay more brilliant in the dark?

Arbitrend Glow Light Natural requires a light ground substrate to absorb light energy for it to glow. The more coating, the more glow it will have.


Keenplas Series

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Why is the Keenplas ink clogging on the screen?

Keenplas is a plastisol ink and should not clog the screen unless:

* Screen mesh may be too close to a high heat source that's slowly drying the ink.

* Mesh tension may be too low to allow inks to penetrate well.

* Not enough pressure is being exerted to allow ink to pass through the mesh.

* Ink viscosity may be too high, making manual (hand) printing very difficult.

* Mesh used is too high for manual (hand) printing.

Why are some PC pigments very difficult to mix?

Keenplas PC Pigments come in different viscosity. Some colors are easier to mix, while others are harder to mix. The solution for a difficult pigment mixture is to slowly add the Keenplas PC into the Keenplas base.

Why is the Keenplas ink difficult to scoop out?

As a plastisol ink, Keenplas Series thickens as it sits on the shelf for a long time. It is best to stir the ink first to be able to scoop the ink out without difficulty.

Why is the Keenplas CMYK print washing off?

Keenplas inks blend well on a wet-on-wet process.

In flash curing or heat gun curing, ensure each coat is semi-cured only to allow the inks to fuse well, hence avoiding print delamination or wash-off. The last color print is then set to a full cure.

Final curing requires a higher temperature for good adhesion and good washing fastness. Lack of it will result in the print washing off.

What additive can be added to adjust Keenplas inks?

Add 1% – 2% Viscosity Reducer (for plastisol inks) should the Keenplas inks are too heavy to print.

Add 1% – 2% Viscosity Enhancer (for plastisol inks) to increase ink viscosity. High viscosity inks can lead to better opacity but may have a poor surface printing effect.

Is it possible to print the Keenplas Series on top of the Arbitex Series?

YES, it is possible to print any Keenplas inks on top of the Arbitex Series. Ensure proper curing.