Author: Wendy Croxford
The good thing about water-based inks is that they do not contain phthalates and are water-soluble. You don’t need high–grade solvents to clean the screens, just water. But when you leave water-based inks on the screen mesh to dry, it makes the screen especially tricky to clean. You’ll have to be careful not to ruin the screen and the stencil.
How do you remove the ink when it’s dried up?
Managing screen cleaning depends on how you clean and the screen wash you use. To get the most benefits of water-based inks, the idea is control. Use safer, eco-friendly screen wash or less-caustic alternatives that will not only remove the ink but will protect your screen mesh as well.
Firstly, learn about harsh solvents. These may be lacquer thinners, screen opener solvents, and other products that are high in toxicity and caustic. For the safety of the screen and screen-printers using them, avoid these toxic solvents. Secondly, look for safer screen wash options like Franmar AquaWash Water–based Ink Remover available from screenprintingsupplies.com.au
Here are the basics on how you can make screen cleaning more manageable:
- Prepare your screen and several dry rags.
- Take your screen and the rags to the washout booth. The area will make it easier for you to clean the screen.
- Using the dry rags, wipe off excess ink that’s built up around the screen. Start with the thinner areas as they tend to dry very quickly. Clean off as much ink as possible and wipe the rag from top to bottom.
- If the ink can’t be eradicated using water and water–resistant emulsion, remove the remaining ink by spraying or applying a screen wash or stain remover. Choose the milder options that wipe the ink quickly without causing damage to your screen.
You can also opt to soak the screen with a haze remover but it’s more caustic and aggressive. You need to pair it with a pressure washer, applying the highest possible pressure to prevent the haze from remaining on the screen.
While highly toxic solvents can remove ink stains with less effort, they are not a safe choice. Always look for safer alternatives. At best, the practice is to clean screens right away. This way, you’ll only need water to clean the screens.
As a guide to cleaning water0-based inks off screens straight away, checkout this video ‘Washing PERMASET ink off Screens’
Water-based inks are eco-friendly and easy to use. To learn more about the PERMASET® range of water-based inks for screen printing, accessories and tools, you can shop here, or Contact PERMASET via this form.
PERMASET Metallic Inks for Fabric Printing
Reflective of metal particles, Metallic inks are specialty inks that provide added shine, vibrancy, and brilliance to your design. When you custom print with metallic inks, you achieve attention-grabbing effects which add to your design or printed piece. Gold and silver metallics are the most common however metallic inks also come in other vibrant colours.
PERMASET’s range of metallic inks for fabric are available in Gold Lustre, Bright Silver, Copper and Pearl White. The PERMASET Metallics range are all part of the lineup of PERMASET® AQUA inks.
So what makes PERMASET Metallic inks an ideal choice for your screen print designs?
- Metallic screen printing inks can be used on light and dark-toned fabrics
- When printing PERMASET Metallic inks onto dark fabrics you do not require an underbase
- You may use PERMASET Metallics for screen printing on both natural and synthetic materials
- Reductions can be made with PERMASET® Metallic Pearl White and PERMASET® Standard colours to create a wide range of Metallic effects including some lovely Rose Gold colours like those below
- Create shimmering metallic colours by mixing any PERMASET standard colours with PERMASET Metallic Pearl White
- Add extra highlights of metallic sheen to text and designs to create unique features on t-shirts and other garments
- Metallic inks are excellent for performance outfits for theatre or dance, providing costumes with added shine that’s sure to dazzle the audience
- Metallic prints on custom sports uniforms help to make your sports team stand out in a crowd.
PERMASET Standard and Metallic inks are intermixable. Check out our metallic ink products by visiting your local PERMASET Stockist
PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Metallic Inks for Printing Paper, Cardboard, Coated Metals and More
PERMASET also has a range of Metallic inks for screen printing onto other substrates called PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Metallics. You can use the PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Pearl Copper, Pearl Gold, Pearl Silver and Pearl White Metallics to print onto different materials, for example:
- Add elegance to different substrates such as sealed paper, cardboard, and some coated metals using PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Metallic inks
- PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Metallic Pearl Gold is ideal for event invitations, wrapping papers, posters, covers on notebooks, Christmas decorations and more
- Highlight special elements in hand-printed wallpaper, posters and packaging by adding PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Pearl Silver
- Add embellishments to book covers, hand printed packaging, signage or placemats using PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Pearl Copper
- Mix PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Pearl White with other PERMAPRINT PREMIUM ink colours to create shimmering colours like those used in this lovely book cover (see video below)
Our range of PERMASET AQUA Metallic inks are suitable primarily to textile printing and can be applied on fabrics including cotton, silk, polyester and synthetics. Our PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Metallic inks can be printed onto paper, cardboard, some coated metals, some plastics and wood. You need to experiment on some surfaces to determine the finished results.
Versatile and revolutionary, PERMASET eco-friendly inks offer a beautiful range of metallic inks for many applications, using 100% solvent-free pigments for exceptional colour yield. To find out more about PERMASET inks visit this page or Contact Us with your questions.
There are a number of manufacturer’s screen print inks available in Australia. With the industry on the rise the focus is moving away from plastisol and discharge inks to the more environmentally sustainable water-based inks on offer. There are a number of options available to help you achieve your preferred print design.
When it comes to screen printing, water-based inks are gaining in popularity due to their sustainability credentials, vibrant colours and soft handle, plus the fact that they are much safer for the user. Compared to plastisol and discharge inks, rather than sitting on top of the garment, water–based inks seep into the fabric, dying the garment directly. As a result, the print has a softer handle and is increasingly breathable, as well as much more durable than that of other inks. For this reason, water-based inks are becoming the most popular inks for screen-printing designs onto various garments and materials.
Screen Printers are increasingly choosing water-based inks like PERMASET. Photo courtesy Anchors Aweigh screen printers in Wollongong.
PERMASET, Australia’s number one brand of premium water-based inks, is experiencing increasing demand within both Australia and overseas due to its wide selection of diverse and exceptional inks for screen printing. These inks are available not just in different shades, but with distinctive purposes as well. Whatever material, substrate or requirement you have for screen printing, PERMASET has a product available for you. The following guide outlines what screen printing ink suits your project best.
Known as the ultimately versatile textile ink solution in Australia, PERMASET AQUA is a revolution in the screen printing industry. Since its suitability lies primarily to textile printing, it can be applied on a range of fabrics including cotton, silk, polyester and synthetics. Aside from its versatility on different fabrics, Permaset Aqua is undeniably eco-friendly. This 100% solvent free range contains pigments which provide intense, vibrant colour, rich in coverage and deliver exceptional colour yield.
Given its 45 solid years of experience, PERMASET never fails to give your design an impressive look and continues to be the best partner for your chosen textiles. Whether you’re wanting to print promotional shirts and merchandise, a fashion label, caps, tote bags, flags, yardage, eco-friendly homewares or personalised fabrics, PERMASET AQUA is your go-to screen printing ink.
PERMASET water-based textile screen printing inks are excellent for printing t-shirts and other merchandise.
Popular for its superior performance on high-end art production, PERMAPRINT PREMIUM is the most appropriate ink for printing on sealed paper, Tyvek, cardboard, polycarbonates, polyesters, poly-styrene as well as some coated metals. PERMAPRINT PREMIUM ink has been responsible for creating extraordinary hand-printed wallpapers, stickers, backlit displays for trade shows, and hand-printed packaging, making it a popular option for many artists and designers in Australia. Not only that, PERMAPRINT PREMIUM is highly-applicable to both wood and leather as well. A variant of this range PERMAPRINT PREMIUM Hybrid ink, is excellent for screen printing polypropylene shopping bags. PERMAPRINT’s exceptional suitability to a range of diverse substrates makes it unique among any other screen printing inks within Australia.
PERMAPRINT PREMIUM inks can be used for printing stickers.
This poster was printed using PERMAPRINT PREMIUM inks by Friendly Arctic screen printers in Nashville, USA.
Following the standards of environmental care, PERMPRINT PREMIUM is formulated to be free from toxic and ozone-depleting chemicals, plasticizers, and lead, making it safer for people to use than other screen printing inks.
Specially-formulated for colour matching, PERMATONE can generate as many as 1,869 colours for your intricate designs and merchandise. Given the numerous shade options PERMATONE offers, you won’t have a hard time achieving the right colour combination for your particular company or brand logos, or simply for the design of your organic fabric or garment.
PERMATONE is completely solvent-free yet produces superior, soft handle and vibrant colors for your design. Moreover, this ink works perfectly with hemp, linen, organic cotton, and other sustainable fabrics, thus creating a highly-durable printed material. It’s also excellent for use with delicate garments like baby clothes, underwear and swimwear. If you’re aspiring to achieve a long-lasting organic screen print in multiple colours, PERMATONE is your best choice. The PERMATONE colour-matching set of inks holds the coveted Soil Association Approval of the UK, so if you’re wishing to print organically then this is the ink for you.
CSIRO t-shirt for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020 screen printed using PERMATONE inks by Killer Merch Screen Printers in Coburg Melbourne.
PERMASET prides itself on the diverse range of inks the brand offers. Depending on the type of output you’re striving to acheive from your screen printing, PERMASET will always have something appropriate to offer. Always remember to choose the material or substrate you’re planning to print on first, and then decide which ink is the most suitable for your needs. With PERMASET, we have an ink suited to almost every project!
If you’ve just recently switched from using plastisol inks to using water-based inks for printing, chances are you’ve just realised how easy and beneficial it actually is to go water-based.
Many printers used to avoid using water-based screen printing inks because back then, it had several pain points: special screens had to be used, it dried way too fast, extra steps had to be taken to clean it, it was thin and not opaque, and was difficult to control. Thanks to decades of development however, water-based inks have overcome all these problems and have even proven to be the better choice especially considering how eco-friendly, safe to use and better for the environment they are.
Using water-based inks for printing is no longer as complex as it was before, in fact it’s become a preferred choice for many screen printers and their customers. Using water-based screen printing inks however, can still require some specific equipment, especially if you’re using these inks for a large scale printing business.
The most basic tools you’ll need for handling water-based inks are plastic or metal cups, buckets, stirring sticks and spatulas. You can buy these at any craft store and they are primarily for stirring, mixing and moving inks for printing. Make sure to use metal or plastic versions of these items and not wood, as wood can leave splinters in your ink that may end up on your print. You should also make sure your cups aren’t wax-lined, otherwise the wax may shed off, mix with your ink and cause your screens to clog.
Measuring Your Ink
When measuring inks you have two choices: you can either do so by hand, use an automated dispensing system. Either way, you’ll need a high quality digital scale to measure inks accurately.
The scale you need will depend on the amount of ink you use at a time; the larger the amount you need, the larger the scale range should be. For some textile printers, an automated precision ink dispensing system is a must to minimise the margin of error, and these come with their own scales. Measuring and mixing inks by hand is sufficient for most printers but it will take some practice and great accuracy to minimise mess and human error.
Mixing Your Ink
Once your ink is measured, you’ll need a good mixer. For most printers manually mixing with a spatula or a stirring stick is enough, but for large quantities of ink you will need some type of motorised mixer. An old mix master commonly used for cooking can be good.
So those are some of your most common equipment and tools for handling, measuring and mixing water-based inks. With these tools in your screen printing arsenal, you can minimise wasted ink and mistakes, and always have the right colours and consistency of ink that you require.
For further information about screens, clamps and squeegees checkout our Blog about The Essentials You’ll Need in Your Screen Printing Kit.
It’s high time for a change!
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock: the earth is rapidly changing. Ice caps are melting. Entire species of animals are disappearing forever. The earth is suffering because of our careless actions, and now all of us are starting to feel the effects. Extreme temperatures, severe weather changes and disturbances– these are but a few of the effects of climate change.
But we can do something about it, and thankfully Australia has already taken some steps to slow down these effects. One of these steps is banning single use plastic bags in supermarkets.
Single use plastic bags contribute largely to the environmental pollution plagueing our world today. Banning them is surely a step in the right direction, but with so many establishments using them what could be a viable alternative?
The answer, as you may already know, is reusable shopping bags.
Opting to Go Reusable
Reusable shopping bags and tote bags are what most commercial establishments are turning to in order to do their part in protecting the environment, while still giving their customers the same convenience when shopping. These bags can be made of different kinds of materials, however the most common is polypropylene.
So why should you go for polypropylene? And what exactly is it anyway?
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic used in a wide variety of applications. It is one of the most versatile types of plastic, and one of the cheapest ones as well. This makes it economically a wise choice as a reusable bag material.
You might think because it is plastic that it isn’t really environment-friendly. However this plastic can be recycled, with many polypropylene bags containing around 20% recycled content.
Apart from being affordable and recyclable, polypropylene bags are also very durable. There are two ways by which we use polypropylene in tote and shopping bags: woven and non-woven. Woven polypropylene is made up of these polymer fibres that are woven together perpendicularly to create sheets. This makes bags made out of them stronger and more durable, which is why you’ll see containers (e.g. sandbags) that carry heavy loads made of this material. Non-woven polypropylene on the other hand, takes those polymer fibres and heat presses them to create a sheet. While not as strong as the woven type, it is still quite strong and will last plenty of uses.
One more great thing about polypropylene bags is that you can screen print on them using eco-friendly, water-based inks. Tote bag printing is a great way to advertise your business, brand or product, and it’s really quite simple to do. However, you do need to be careful about the ink you choose for printing.
Sceen Printing on Polypropylene Bags
Opting for polypropylene bags for your business is a decision that’s primarily based on minimising your environmental impact. When it comes to screen printing on polypropylene bags, the same should be your priority. There are plenty of different inks and printing materials available out there, but if you really want to make your bags as eco-friendly as possible and you want the print to last, it would be wise to choose a good eco-friendly, water-based screen printing ink which is specially developed for for printing on these bags.
Thankfully such an ink does exist, and it’s Permaprint Premium Hybrid Ink. Permaprint Premium Hybyrid ink is a water-based printing ink that’s specially formulated to print beautifully on polypropylene and other similar materials. It’s also very eco-friendly: it contains absolutely no ozone-depleting chemicals, aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, volatile solvent or any pthalate plasticiser. It’s easy to wash off your screens with just water, and yet delivers superior performance and colour brightness on these bags.
If you’re planning on having printed polypropylene bags for your business, make sure you make that change in the best way by choosing the best eco-friendly ink. Purchase your Permaprint Premium Hybrid Inks here today! For further information about Permaprint Premium Hybrid inks for printing onto Polyproylene bags see our Technical Data Sheet here. Click here to buy Permaprint Premium Hybrid inks online in Australia.