logo logo

All articles

How do you cure water-based ink?Updated 2 years ago

To cure water-based ink, you need to evaporate all the water, reach cure temp, and hold at the temp for at least 20 seconds. The most ideal situation is to have a minimum six-foot forced air conveyor dryer; you’ll be able to accomplish a cure in the dryer in 1:30-2:00 minutes. Unfortunately, not everyone can get their hands on a big conveyor dryer, which is why it’s recommended that almost everyone uses Warp Drive

If you have a heat press, that’s the next best option for curing water-based inks. With a heat press, you’d hover it over the garment to evaporate the water and then press it to cure it. It’s a consistent, reliable heat source. The downside to using a heat press for curing is the fact that it’s time-consuming. Again, it's a good idea to use Warp Drive when printing with water-based inks to ensure the print properly cures.

If you use a flash dryer or a small conveyor dryer, you’re going to need a low-cure ink additive like Warp Drive. Flashes and small conveyors do not provide a consistent heat source, so it’s incredibly difficult to achieve a cure with them alone. Warp Drive is the cheapest insurance possible, and it pays off. You add it to the ink before you start printing. Use your flash or conveyor to evaporate the water. Set the garment aside for 48 hours and the additive will chemically cure the print. Low-cure ink additives are great. They’ll cover up mistakes you didn’t even know you made. If you decide you want to print with water-based inks but don’t have the best curing devices, get something like Warp Drive. It’ll reduce the likelihood of angry customers returning because of prints washing off.

When printing with Green Galaxy Water-Based Inks, the printed fabric should be cured for a minimum of 90 seconds at 360°F. Ideally, the printed fabric should be cured for three minutes at 300-320°F.

Was this article helpful?