Printing Water-Repellent Jackets

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A tip recently published in “Printwear” by John Levocz.

Some jackets can have a water-repellent coating that will potentially become an issue when screen printed on. The coating is designed to help water from saturating the garment, but if it is so good that it is blocking the water from penetrating the garment, it will also inhibit the ink from bonding correctly to the jacket. If the ink is not bonding correctly, the abrasion resistance and adhesion will be compromised.

To check for a water-repellent finish, pour a small cup of water on the garment. If it beads up and does not soak in after a few minutes, you could have an adhesion issue.

Wiping the print area with isopropyl alcohol can help remove some of the coating and allow you to get better adhesion.

John Levocz is the North East regional sales manager for International Coatings. For more information, visit and read the company’s blog

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit their website at