If you’ve wondered if PERMASET Inks can be used for more than screen printing, the great news is that yes, PERMASET Inks are successfully used for block printing by many designers. Read the following technical tips about how to make block printed patterns using PERMASET Inks and create your own designs.
VISCOSITY – USE A FOAM ROLLER
PERMASET ink has a viscosity profile optimized to thin under the shear of a squeegee blade, pass through the mesh and then sit up on the fabric without running any further. Block inks generally are formulated to be much much stickier. Having said this however, you can use PERMASET AQUA inks for block printing and there are many people across the globe who love to do so. So, first thing, you will need to use a different sort of brayer and we recommend a small foam roller to lay the ink out.
DRYING IN THIN FILMS
Block inks also contain slow evaporating solvents and/or non-evaporating oils, so that they stay wet almost indefinitely + therefore transferable over an extended period. This allows the ink to be laid out with a conventional (hard rubber) brayer and quite some working time before the final image transfer step is taken. PERMASET AQUA is 100% solvent free. Counter intuitive though it may seem, water actually has a higher vapour pressure (i.e. it evaporates faster) at room temperature than do solvents like turps or white spirit. Thus the typical experience is that 100% water based inks dry too quickly. This is indeed problematic, but not insurmountable. So, you should have all your equipment laid out beforehand, be very well organized, have the process clear in your head + above all, work quickly.
We have also heard it suggested that it is worthwhile having a soft underlay under the fabric to be printed, which will go some way to ensuring complete intimate contact between the (more rigid) vinyl or wood block and the fabric to be printed.