Reducer A simple way to achieve a soft-hand feel is to add soft-hand additive or reducer to an existing ink. Either product will work well. The reducer is a more concentrated product, so less needs to be added to the ink, but be sure to use a curable reducer if choosing to go that route.

Soft-hand base Another way to achieve a soft-hand feel is to use a soft-hand base. Using a base can be an economic way to go if you are planning on printing a large quantity of garments. Just beware that tinting the base requires colour concentrates rather than ready-to-print inks for increased colour strength.

Halftones Try using halftones to achieve a soft-hand: the halftone dots create open space, reducing the ink deposited onto the garment. Be sure to engineer the artwork with the soft-hand result in mind, by incorporating the substrate colour as part of the design whenever possible. For example, if printing on a black tee, use the black of the shirt in place of black ink where the design calls for a ‘black’ colour. Note that halftones can make a print feel a little rough due to the pattern of dots: a higher mesh will minimise this rough feel and maintain the desired soft-hand.

Kieth Stevens | International Coatings