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Setting the industry standard for water-based inks
for screen printing on light coloured fabrics

PERMASET AQUA® – Water-Based Textile Screen Printing Inks

PERMASET® AQUA Ink has revolutionised water-based textile screen printing. Based on carefully selected pigments and the latest advances in water-based ink technology, the PERMASET range of inks delivers pure colour, a superior soft handle and excellent durability in an easy-to-use ink that is one of the most environmentally friendly textile inks available on the planet.

PERMASET Inks are ideal for use on a full range of fabrics including cotton, polyester, silk and most synthetics. A water-based, non-toxic, phthalate free formulation, PERMASET Inks are low in odour, safe to use and may be easily cleaned up with water.


PERMASET AQUA Standard Inks feature a unique, creamy consistency resulting in the ink being easy to handle and performing well on the screen.

Care must be taken with water-based inks to ensure that the image area remains flooded at all times between prints. To prevent the ink from drying in the screen, it is useful to maintain humidity in the print room at over 40% RH. Low humidity environments are likely to exacerbate the propensity of water-based inks to dry in the screen.

PERMASET Ink is safe for screen printers to use as the formulation does not contain ozone-depleting chemicals including CFCs and HCFCs, aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile solvents, phthalates, lead or other heavy metals. PERMASET AQUA Inks exhibit a matt finish, are intermixable and light fast with non-bleeding colours. The colours are intense and prints exhibit a soft handle, excellent wash and dry clean resistance once cured and are ironable.


PERMASET inks are ideal for use on a full range of fabrics including cotton, linen, silk, hemp, polyester, polyester blends and most other synthetics.   

PERMASET Ink shows excellent resistance to damage by rub, wash and dry-cleaning, all without the need for additives. The ink colours have light-fastness ratings of at least 6/8 on the Blue Wool Scale – in fact most of the colours rate 8/8. 

Use cases

PERMASET AQUA can be used to print directly on light coloured fabrics and textiles.

PERMASET AQUA can also be used to print on dark coloured fabric/textiles with the use of PERMASET First Down White as an under base.

Excellent for t-shirts, yardage, homewares, tote bags, flags, banners, sports and fashion wear. Scarves, swimwear, upholstery and window furnishings. Yardage, cushions, homewares, table and bed linen, tea towels and tote bags.

Typical Properties

Information on DryingThinningWash UpMesh RangesStencil TypesCoverage and Ancillary Products are available in the PERMASET AQUA Colour Card and Technical Data Sheets for PERMASET AquaPERMASET Heat Curing and PERMASET FAQs

We are always looking for new ways to minimise our impact on the environment, so one of the things we currently do is to use eco-friendly water-based PERMASET AQUA inks for all our screen printing. 

Onshore Threads, Fremantle, Western Australia

A surf clothing company based in Western Australia  


Frequently asked questions

PERMASET FIRST DOWN WHITE Ink has been specifically formulated for use as an underbase (flash white). It is used by trade printers who wish to print on dark fabrics but use regular PERMASET Standard colours or PERMATONE Inks to retain their superior softness and vibrancy. The First Down White should only be used by shops with multi-station print facilities where tight registration can be maintained. 

PERMASET SUPERCOVER WHITE is the premium opaque white ink for printing directly onto dark fabrics. It has the highest levels of titanium dioxide pigment for use on dark coloured fabrics. Excellent opacity in a water-based ink. Despite having been the flagship product in the PERMASET SUPERCOVER range for > 30 years, in more recent times, this style of ink has become popularly known as HSA or High Solids Acrylic. 

PERMASET STANDARD WHITE is a soft handle white ink for printing onto light coloured fabrics. It delivers a significantly softer hand than the PERMASET SUPERCOVER White ink, yet still delivers a beautifully crisp white print and looks spectacular when used for white-on-white prints. 

Yes, inks within each range can be mixed.  

As one of the top printing inks for trade printing, Inks from the various PERMASET ranges can provide a wide range of high-quality and versatile inks that can be mixed within the same range.

However, when mixing between ranges, e.g. PERMASET SUPERCOVER® opaque inks with PERMASET AQUA® transparent inks, it is important to exercise caution.

First, the opacity of the print will be reduced compared, for example, to a print with PERMASET SUPERCOVER® ink alone. This will be particularly noticeable in prints over dark backgrounds.

Second, some combinations exhibit slight to significant incompatibility. As above, exercise caution and test first before embarking on a production run.

When mixing water-based inks, it’s important to use clean mixing containers and imperative to mix the inks thoroughly to ensure the new colour is consistent throughout the mixture; thus transparent or semi-transparent containers are recommended.

Finally, it is recommended that the mix formula, operator details (initials) and date are all recorded on the outside of the container and that the lid be tightly sealed after use.

Note: you should not mix PERMASET fabric inks with PERMAPRINT Premium Inks for printing paper and other substrates as they are different formulations for different applications.

To make PERMASET ink more translucent, just keep on adding PERMASET Print Paste (or Reducer). 

If you want a REALLY translucent colour, it’s probably best to start the other way; i.e., start with PERMASET Print Paste and add tiny amounts of the coloured ink until the desired intensity is achieved.  For some excellent information and further detail on making PERMASET reductions with Print Paste, check out this Blog Getting to know PERMASET textile screen printing inks: Part 1 – Permaset

PERMASET Inks are a 100% water-based and do not contain any organic (hydrocarbon) solvents.