The critical last stage in the procedure of screen printing involves curing. In order for the ink to adhere well to the fabric, it must be properly heated and cured. The pattern will fracture and fade if this is not done. Can you cure plastisol ink with an iron?

Quick Response

Can you cure plastisol ink with an iron? Yes. The common home iron may be used as a low-cost method of curing screen-printed t-shirts.

It’s essential to understand how and where to dry screen-produced T-shirts if you’re getting into screen printable t-shirts as a passion or if you want to open your own business.

What Is Plastisol ink?

What Is Plastisol ink?
Can you cure plastisol ink with an iron?
Plastisol Ink

One of the most common screen printing pigments is polyester. Plastisol inks are robust, heavy, and adaptable. Clear visual details are provided. In essence, liquid plastics are what makeup plastisol print.

Despite recent advancements in plastisol inks’ environmental friendliness, water-based paint is once again becoming popular since it has a softer touch feel, improves screen durability, and continues to be the most environmentally and morally responsible choice.

Pros of Plastisol Ink

  • It prints nicely and maintains the design’s accuracy and brightness.
  • Works effectively on both light and dark clothing.
  • Well recognized for their great color constancy and ability to match Pantone colors while achieving half shades and fades accurately.
  • Stable and long-lasting screens.
  • Capable of printing on a variety of fabrics.

Cons of Plastisol Ink

  • Thick handle resulting in heavier prints.
  • They can be susceptible to extreme heat, such as those experienced while using irons, tumble dryers, and so on. 
  • Due to its own surface location, it may be vulnerable to fracturing.
  • A greater challenge to clean up, the need for solvents to clear screens, etc.

Plastisol Inks Curing

While selecting an ink kind, curing should be taken into account. If the entire ink layer reaches the temperature range, plaster may be dried using either ultraviolet or warm air drying.

Heat passes through thicker ink layers more effectively using hot air convective dryers than it is with radiant heating systems, and they have less of an impact on high-temperature materials.

The optimum cure may be achieved with the least amount of fabric impact when the temperature inside a hot air drier is consistent. High-velocity jets air warm air drier seem to be more effective but often use more power, which is why gas-fired units are more common because they use a lot less energy.

What is the temperature for curing Plastisol ink?

Usually, plastisol print dries at a heat of between 290 and 330 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal drying temperature for plastisol inks is between 315 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit. A heating element makes it simple to fix plastisol ink. They are simply heating transferrable at the correct temperature and may be cured without even any effort.

The major cause of your screen print seeming faded is that you didn’t set your soldering iron, gas drier, or electrical dryer temperatures fewer below 315°. The printable fabric pattern will begin to fade following the first washing or a few washing if, indeed, the operating temperature does not meet the requirements.

It is crucial to completely cure the clothing before designating it as finished.

Reminder: Because you won’t need to heat the ink as much, low cure plastisol paint on cotton shirts will be simpler to achieve its cure temperature. To determine whether it has healed, you must continue to run tests on that.

Can you cure plastisol ink with an iron?

It’s really easy to cure with a heater. Configure the straightening iron to be between 20 and 30 degrees higher than the curing temperature specified on the package for plastisol inks. Efforts should be mild to medium. Cover the print with a Teflon layer.

How can you cure plastisol ink with an iron?

How can you cure plastisol ink with an iron?

T-shirts may be cured at 350 and 400°F using a regular iron. 

  • When utilizing plastisol paints, the ink must first gel until being cured. Gelling is the process of heating ink to a semi-dry condition between 240 and 250℉.
  • You shouldn’t use an iron straight on the image since the roughness will damage the ink. 
  • Till the ink reaches the gelling degree, hold the irons over the paper without letting it touch any wet ink. 
  • Alternately, let it sit without using the ironing for a minimum of 15 to 16 days following printing.
  • Wrap the entire picture with a sheet of baking parchment immediately after it has partially dried. 
  • Due to the potential damage that direct heat might do to prints, the brown paper would protect your artwork from it. The sheet that was adhered to the design should now be ironed over. Avoid repeatedly pushing the same spot for an extended amount of time.
  • For one or two minutes, position the irons out over the pattern. Examine the temperature once again. 
  • Whereas if drying heat is not reached, try again. Avoid the gelling step and let the moisture inks cure for 5 to 10 minutes by letting them air dry instead. The pattern is then ironed for 2 to 5 minutes. Recheck often with the heat gun.
  • Make sure the iron is hot across the whole pattern by moving it around. 
  • Furthermore, some types of iron could not provide enough heat to cure any ink adequately. 
  • Iron is thus the least expensive alternative if you’re only printing clothing on your own and don’t care if the ink fades over time.
Drying Screen Print T-Shirt Ink with an IRON

Try to avoid moving your clothes after curing since the ink could spill in an undesirable location. However, you must move the shirt extremely carefully if it needs to be moved before healing. 

The moment to warm it along with the ironing is right now if you contact the imprinted design, as well as the paint, which does not come off along with the fingers.

How to Cure Screen Printed Shirts at Home?

Batik Institiute

Curing Advice

  • Of all the common colors, white ink needs the most time to cure. Comparatively longer drying times are needed for light color combinations than for dark ones. Greater curing times are needed for thick ink sheets than for thin ones.
  • Due to their tendency to reflect thermal light, sparkle, shimmering, reflecting, and shiny inks require more extensive drying times.
  • The first minute after printing, prints should be dried. Delaying curing might cause the ink’s solvent to begin seeping into the surface. It will give the print’s margins a greasy appearance. 
  • Thermometer tapes are still not precise. They are only to be used as a reference since they can differ by up to 10 to 20 degrees F. The print’s ability to wash is the true litmus test.
  • With just little adjustments to the belt speed, the amount of clothing loaded, the room’s warmth, the airflow, or the input voltage, dryer heat can alter significantly.


How do I manage plastisol ink that is excessively thick?

Toss the Plastisol Paint. By churning it, you may thin out thick ink. Oil will get more fluid the further you combine it before pouring it over the screen printing frames that are mounted on the machine. Plastisol ink that is too thick should be thinned or reduced. 

What health risks does plastisol ink pose?

Plastisol inks have been created from polyvinyl chloride, which, when combined with some other compounds, produces dioxins. Dioxins are extremely dangerous chemical substances that are bad for your health. Plastisol inks may be used safely, provided they are handled carefully.


Producing articles of clothes by hand will last, but maintaining the prints need knowledge and abilities beyond just designing the design. If done incorrectly, your goods will last less time.