Yudu: Which Screen Printing Inks to Use with the Yudu

Currently on diyTeeShirts we carry Waterbased Inks and Plastisol Inks. Both are for use with screen printing, and neither will harm Yudu screens. There is a difference between the inks, though, in how to use them, and how they are dried.

You Don't Have to Use Yudu Brand Inks

While some inks stain your screens more than others, any ink made for screen printing will not hurt your Yudu screens if used according to specifications.


The Yudu was designed to be used with Waterbased inks

Basically, the reason the Yudu works better with Waterbased inks is that Waterbased will dry to the touch without any heat at all. Even if you decide to accelerate the drying of the ink by using a blow dryer on it, the heat from the blow dryer is not intense enough to affect the Yudu platen. Essentially, with Waterbased ink, it is easier to get the ink dry enough to remove the garment from the platen. Once the garment is off the platen, then the ink can be properly heat set using an iron.

Important Note: If you want your Waterbased ink to be wash-fast, you must iron the ink after the print has dried to the touch. Do not iron the shirt while it is still mounted on the Yudu platen.

You Can Use Plastisol Inks with the Yudu

While Plastisol inks will not harm Yudu screens, there are two main stumbling blocks to using plastisol inks with the Yudu:

  1. the inks can't be dried before removing the garment from the platen, and
  2. if you want to print a layer, dry it, and print a second layer in order to bring up the intensity of the color (also know as flash curing), you can't get the ink hot enough to dry the first layer without warping the platen with the heat.

To solve problem number one, you can load the platen upside-down --that is upside down with respect to the way Yudu says you should do it. Actually, to professional screen printers, "upside-down" T-shirt loading is the normal and correct way to do it.

The second problem is not so easy to solve. Either you can make your own Yudu platen made out of wood or some other more heat resistant material, or you can avoid printing designs that require bright colors on dark garments (ie. prints that need flash curing).

Important Note: If you want your Plastisol inks to be wash-fast, you must expose the ink to enough heat to bring the full body of the ink up to 320 degrees. You can do that with a Heat Gun. Do not use a heat gun to dry Plastisol inks while the T-shirt is still mounted on the Yudu platen.

Cleaning Plastisol Inks on the Yudu

When you were using the waterbased inks for the Yudu (ie. Yudu Brand inks, or the Matsui inks), you cleaned the inks out with water. Plastisol inks will not clean up with water. The Saatichem PW4 Press Wash works great for cleaning plastisol inks, though. Just spray it on and wipe it up with a rag.