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Blog Home Applications UV White Ink: Screen Printing Quality, Digitally!
Applications, Inkjet InkOctober 12, 2023

UV White Ink: Screen Printing Quality, Digitally!

Applications, Inkjet Ink
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Vivid White Sample

In a world increasingly focused on sustainability and environmental consciousness, the simple act of using reusable bags has emerged as a powerful gesture towards a greener future. Beyond being just a trend, it has become a symbol of mindful consumption and responsible living. These eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bags are gaining popularity for good reason – they significantly reduce the staggering amount of plastic waste that plagues our planet. As reusable bags become an integral part of our everyday lives, a new trend has emerged – decorating these bags with personalized designs. From showcasing our favorite TV shows, clothing brands, to supporting beloved artists, the demand for uniquely adorned reusable bags has surged. However, as this demand increases, so does the race to find the best and highest quality method of decoration. In this blog post, we will explore the various decoration methods available for reusable bags, addressing common challenges like achieving high-opacity white prints on dark substrates. Let’s uncover the innovative solutions that pave the way for beautifully decorated and truly sustainable tote bags.

Dark bags adorned with bold white logos are eye catching to say the least. When it comes to full-color printed designs, they frequently depend on a layer of white ink as a base to make the other colors stand out appropriately. Reflect on the last concert you attended; the reusable tote bags being sold there are often in dark colors, which presents a real challenge for those tasked with decorating them!

When it comes to achieving bright white prints, companies often head straight to screen printing. However, with advances in digital printing and white UV ink there is now an option that rivals and surpasses the quality achieved with screen printing.

Screen Printing for Bright White

The pursuit of a bright white print drives customers to seek out screen printing as their preferred method. Utilizing stencils, silkscreens, and rubber squeegees, screen printers transfer images onto flat surfaces with precision and use a vast array of ink colors, making it an ideal choice for decorating dark fabrics. However, screen printing comes with its limitations.

While cotton is a perfect application for screen printing, this also can be viewed as a limitation due to the nature of cotton. Not all materials are a good fit to screen print on. That being said, consider the amount of ink that is absorbed into the surface of the fabric during the printing process.  Cotton is also a fabric that is notorious for shrinking, especially if it is not pre-shrunk and even then, it is normal for the fabric to shrink upon the first drying.

The versatility of the screen-printing process allows it to be adapted to various sizes, from compact tabletop versions to large industrial machines that take up considerable floor space. Consequently, the cost of screen printers can vary significantly. Basic manual screen printers are available for under $1,000, while more sophisticated options, such as automatic screen printers and digital screen printers, can reach prices in the six-figure range.

Despite its advantages, screen printing has its drawbacks. It is limited in the number of colors it can print, necessitating multiple drying cycles between each color, which can lead to potential shrinkage of the substrate. While screen printing remains a popular choice, it’s essential to weigh the trade-offs and explore alternative solutions for more intricate and multi-color designs.

UV Digital Printing

Industrial UV flatbed printers offer an exceptional way to decorate reusable bags. With the use of UV industrial printers and UV inks achieve prints that other comparable methods simply cannot. For full-color high-quality photorealistic prints look no further than digitally decorating bags.

Much like screen printing, there are different options when it comes to digital UV printers. The four most popular UV printer types are cylindrical, roll to roll, flatbed and conveyorized. Prices of UV printers are an investment but are justified with the superior quality and additional benefits presented, such as instant cure.

Typically, drinkware printed on cylindrical inkjet printers do require pre-treatment to withstand wash testing, however with applications such as reusable polyester totes, clear concert bags or soft coolers adhesion is promoted with specially formulated UV inks.  Pre-treatment is dependent on the substrate and usage.

UV Flatbed Printer for Direct-to-Bag Applications

XJET Switch

The XJET Switch joins the XJET line of industrial flatbed printers as the first printer with a distinct application in mind. Decorate bags, totes, and various hard goods with the XJET Switch with quality untouched in comparative methods such as screen printing.

Achieve bright white on dark fabrics, switch between applications and substrates easily, and enjoy all the additional benefits of digitally printing. With the XJET Switch one can decorate polyester drawstring bags, clear concert bags, and then switch to decorating soft coolers.

The XJET Switch derives its name from its remarkable ‘switching’ capabilities. It features four rotating platens, allowing for simultaneous loading and unloading while the printing process is ongoing. Moreover, the machine is highly adaptable and can seamlessly switch between various applications, from decorating reusable tote bags to a wide range of hard goods. The XJET Switch is capable of decorating a multitude of products.


UV White Ink

XFlexx is a durable UV flexible ink series perfect for decorating reusable bags and totes. This flexible ink was created to enable printing on flexible items without cracking or distorting the image, flexing as needed. XFlexx is available in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, White, Varnish and Vivid White.

Vivid White XFlexx is ideal for printing white over dark bags and enhancing color vibrancy. Due to its opaque nature, Vivid White ensures color matching is consistent across all products. As UV ink is instantly cured during the printing process there is no need for additional steps or additional machinery.

Typically, white ink contains larger and heavier pigment particles. To achieve the best print quality with white inks, it’s crucial to select a machine equipped with a recirculating system specifically designed for white ink usage.

Decorate black, blue, red products with ease with Vivid White XFlexx ink!

Start today

Achieve bright white prints on dark substrates all thanks to white UV ink like Xflexx’s Vivid White and get started with digitally decorating bags, totes, and other hard goods today! Contact us to get started.

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