Underbase Layer Definition

An underbase layer is a crucial element in garment printing, particularly on dark-colored fabrics, where a base of ink, typically white or light colours, is applied before printing other colors. This underbase provides a solid foundation for subsequent colors to sit on, enhancing their brilliance and ensuring accurate color representation on dark garments.

The underbase layer serves several important functions:

  • Color Brilliance: By laying down a white or light-colored base, the underbase allows top colors to appear vibrant and true to their intended hue on dark fabrics. Without an underbase, colours may appear dull or distorted due to the fabric's absorption of ink.
  • Prevention of Color Absorption: The underbase helps prevent the garment from absorbing the coloured ink, keeping it on the surface and maintaining the color's integrity. This ensures that the final print accurately reflects the desired color palette.
  • Opacity Control: Depending on the design and fabric type, the underbase layer may need to vary in thickness to achieve the desired opacity. In areas where the design is semi-transparent, the actual garment color may show through, adding depth and dimension to the print.

The presence or absence of an underbase layer significantly affects print quality:

  • Enhanced Color Accuracy: Printing on dark fabrics without an underbase can result in color distortion, as the fabric's color affects the appearance of the printed design. With an underbase, colors remain true to their intended shades, ensuring accurate color representation.
  • Improved Durability: The underbase layer enhances the durability and washfastness of the print by preventing colors from bleeding or fading over time. This ensures long-lasting, high-quality prints that withstand repeated washing and wear.
  • Optimal Printing Efficiency: While printing on white garments is straightforward, printing on dark fabrics requires additional time and attention to achieve optimal results. The application of an underbase layer ensures efficient and consistent printing on dark-colored substrates.

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