A lot of people don’t know what discharge ink is, but it’s not as disgusting as it sounds. Discharge ink is a special kind of screen printing ink that removes the shirt’s color and replaces it with another. On its own, it looks like a bleach effect. Working only on cotton fibers, pigmented discharge can put a design into the shirt, rather on top of it.
You know those shirts you have that feel like a layer of plastic on the fabric? That is actually a layer of plastic on the shirt. Discharge prints are embedded into the fabric, so they are very soft. With traditional plastisol ink, in order to do red on black, you would lay down one or two layers of white ink, then layer of red on top. With discharge ink, you can just apply a layer of red ink, and when it’s heated, it bleaches the black shirt to be white, and then leaves the red pigment, and boom, you get a super soft red on black print. It’s sick for a band shirt.
Oh yeah and the important thing here for our mission of cheapness is that it’s quicker to print. Time is money in screen printing, just like everywhere else in the world, and doing 100 black shirts with one layer of red discharge ink is way faster and simpler than doing a layer of white ink then a trapped layer of red ink. So it should be cheaper.
Some printers charge more for discharge ink, but they shouldn’t. We sure don’t.