Discharge Printing

Benefits of discharge ink for your order

straight discharge ink screen print

The image above is an upclose shot of a black shirt which has been discharge. Note that you can see the weave of the fabric.

Discharge printing is a screen printing process where the same techniques and equipment are used but instead of normal ink, discharge inks are used, which remove the shirt's dye instead of putting a color on top of the shirt. It is somewhat similar to bleaching in a design, except it doesn't damage the fibers like bleaching would. It results in an extremely soft print, and shows the weave of the shirt. It can be used by itself, as an underbase for other colors to be put on top, or with pigments added. Pigmenting discharge can be difficult to achieve exact color results, as the discharge efficacy affects the color, and what you see is not what you get when mixing the pigments, but it can still be a great way to achieve colors on dark garments. We cannot guarantee 100% accuracy in pantone matching all the time but almost always nail it.

If you have any questions about the discharge process, we would love to answer them. Even if you are a screen printer, feel free to call us, as we are not secretive with our techniques and knowledge as some people in this industry can be. We believe in outteaching the competition.


discharge printing

    Positives of Discharge Printing

  • Very cool technique that removes the dye from the shirt
  • Little to no feeling of the print on the shirt
  • Vibrant colors
  • The best way to print on dark shirts with non-traditional inks
  • Something different from screen printing "norms"
  • Still able to do a great amount of detail
  • We offer discharge printing at no additional charge. In fact, it's often cheaper than traditional ink

    Negatives of Discharge Printing

  • Some styles may discharge better than others
  • Can be hard to use for photographic style or process printing
  • Only works on natural fibers, like cotton, so 50/50 doesn't discharge as well
  • Not all shirt colors will discharge (royal blue never works well, for example)
  • Process can be quirky

Interested in ordering discharge printing?