Technical Support Blog

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Innovation by One Stroke Inks

I try to never speak of the competition. I concern myself with our business. Our ink. If we always create the most innovative and effective ink for the fabric in question, there is simply no reason to be concerned about the competition. I am concerned with the next big thing. Here is the catch, the next big thing is not what I want it to be. It will be what you need it to be. We don’t dye fabric. We don’t cut and sew tees or uniforms. We react to the marketplace. Big money brands who influence the marketplace such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas will tell the world what to wear. Smaller manufacturers not spending billions of dollars on advertising will follow suit to produce a far less expensive version of this apparel. We simply keep a close eye on what these fabrics are and pounce on the opportunity when problems arise. Problems always arise.

This is how ELT Series was created. Extreme low temperature ink sounds so obvious now doesn’t it? I would love to say that we simply dreamed up the idea and knew it would be a hit. Not at all. We had a customer share his experience of screen printing 100% polyester sweatshirts. These sweatshirts used to be smalls, mediums, and larges before they were decorated. Once the fabric met the 320ºF heat of the conveyor dryer, we had a much differently shaped sweatshirt. This was unacceptable as their customer would certainly not accept these miniatures. It was an expensive situation but it raised an excellent question. Why not manufacture an ink which can cure at a lower temperature?  Of course! I won’t waste your time or our secrets to tell you how we manufactured these inks. Just know that we have good people who know things about things.

So why did our competition not do this? Well, at first they said it was impossible. It did not appear impossible to us as we were already doing this but they are known to say some things. Next, they decided to force plastisol screen printers into silicone ink. This seemed like the coolest plan ever. Silicone is super-stretchy. It had a pretty cool feel. Unfortunately, it also has difficulty sticking to fabrics, hates fuzzy material, experiences dye migration, and has a very short shelf-life. OK, that may not have been the best plan. The bright side was many of our customers who were loving our ELT Series ink convinced us to make an ink with that cool silicone ink feel. ELT-S Series was born and this concluded the silicone ink experiment for many more screen printers who were tired of that process.

Finally, I am hearing that our competition may have a low temperature ink specifically designed to compete with our ELT Series. 3 years after the original introduction of ELT Series we finally have a follower. That last word is exactly the point I am going to make about our competition. Follower. We are the innovators. Our competition follows us and hopes to make an ink which is kind of like ours, just cheaper. This is not how One Stroke Inks operates as we don’t concern ourselves with the competition. We concern ourselves with our customers, ink quality, and the next ink which will help you out of a jam. Why would we copy something our competition is doing if they are simply making a cheap version of our innovation from 3 years ago?  Just wait until you see what we have next.