/ Trade Printing

PERMASET Inks are the most environmentally sustainable choice for trade and professional screen printers


Why choose water-based inks?

In today’s world, where sustainability is a top priority, screen printing inks for trade printers play a crucial role in promoting more environmentally friendly printing practices. By choosing PERMASET water-based inks, your business can take a significant step towards becoming more eco-friendly while also attracting more customers, producing softer, crisper prints and making your print room safer for your employees and your finished garments safer for your customers.

Soft Prints

As one of the leading screen printing inks for trade printers, PERMASET Inks deliver soft, durable prints with vivid and long-lasting colours that are made from the finest pigments and high quality self cross-linking acrylic resin. 

Made Using Sustainable Practices

We strive to tread lightly on the earth. 100% of energy used to produce PERMASET inks comes from renewable sources. We recycle our paper and board, water and metal wastes. 

Kind to Animals

PERMASET Inks are vegan: our ingredients are not sourced from nor tested on animals. 

Soil Association Approved 

PERMATONE Inks and PERMASET Process Colours are Soil Association Approved

Eco-friendly Screen Printing: The Top 6 Benefits of Water-based Inks 

For decades, plastisol inks were the go-to ink for most printers. They were easier to use compared to water-based inks and more forgiving with regard to housekeeping, but there was a massive ecological downside that was mostly ignored… until now.

Water-based inks have improved, both in terms of quality and ease of use. Many professional printers have switched to printing with water-based inks and indeed prefer them due to their exceptionally soft handle, the fact that they are safe to use and their environmentally friendly credentials that many customers now demand.

Free download: Moving to water-based inks

When Andy started his shop in the garage he wanted to make sure his family were safe from harmful chemicals while also creating an environmentally responsible company. With this in mind, he found PERMASET AQUA inks which are free from CFCs and other nasties.

Friendly Arctic Printing & Design, Nashville, USA

A sustainable designer and screen printer in Nashville

Tips and tricks when moving from plastisol inks to water-based inks


Case Studies
28th Jan

Meet Ethical Business I Dress Myself Print UK – Permaset Inks

Hear how I Dress Myself print shop has used water-based inks in their ethical business

Meet Ethical Business I Dress Myself Print UK – Permaset Inks

Hear how I Dress Myself print shop has used water-based inks in their ethical business


Case Studies
Skill Level
30th Nov

Switching from Plastisols to Water-Based Inks

Find out how to convert your screen printing shop from plastisols to water-based inks

Switching from Plastisols to Water-Based Inks

Find out how to convert your screen printing shop from plastisols to water-based inks

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Learn about our sustainable inks

Permaset Aqua


Setting the industry standard of water-based inks for light-coloured fabrics

Permaset Supercover


Unsurpassed colour and opacity even on the darkest fabrics

Permaprint Premium


Inks for printing on paper, board, plastic, glass, wood, metal & other substrates



Colour matching set for printing on fabrics, can be mixed to match 1869 colours. Organically Approved by the Soil Association of the UK to GOTS v 6.0



Colour-matching set of inks for printing on paper, board, plastic, glass, wood, metal & other substrates 

We have your back

Our help centre is regularly updated with instruction videos, how-tos, colour cards, technical data sheets and advice to assist you on your screen printing journey 

Frequently asked questions

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.

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

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. 

This is probably the biggest problem for people who are changing over to water-based inks, particularly from plastisols, which are very forgiving in this regard. 

Prevention is better than cure, so a good first step is to keep humidity in the print area above 40-50% RH. Once the relative humidity gets below 40%, the inks will show much greater propensity to dry in and printing will become a lot more difficult. Getting an hygrometer for your print room is a great investment.

When printers first start using water based inks, they can spray a fine mist of water every 15-20 prints to maintain the moisture of the ink on the screen. Some printers swear by this method. The most important thing is to flood the screen with a layer of ink (1-2 mm; 1/16-1/10”) and to keep the ink moving; that is, work quickly (but don’t rush). If a screen has been sitting around doing nothing for a while, pull a test print from it onto a scrap T-shirt, piece of fabric or even newsprint and inspect the clarity of the print, particularly around any fine detail.

If the ink does start to dry on the screen a little, don’t panic. Just pull another print on a test piece, so that as much ink is cleared from the image area of the mesh as possible, take a damp rag and clean both sides of the screen, then remove excess moisture with another rag. Reflood the screen, take another test print and then you’re good to go again.

Mesh count is often a factor. Most garment printers use a 43T (110 tpi) mesh. All other things being equal, the higher the mesh count, the quicker the ink will dry in. However, S-meshes have been a wonderful invention for printing with water based inks. With S-meshes, higher mesh counts can be more forgiving than the same thread count with a conventional mesh. Check out the S-mesh comparison tables.

Use a good emulsion that is compatible with water-based inks and maintains its integrity and you can get good results even with a coarser mesh. With increased experience, you will eventually master 77-90T (195-225 tpi) meshes for SUPERCOVER and up to 120 T (305 tpi) for PERMASET AQUA, PERMATONE and PERMAPRINT Premium.

PERMASET AQUA® textile inks are high in pigment. Tints are achieved by reducing the intensity of colour through a process of reduction. PERMASET® Print Paste is an uncoloured mixing base for achieving tints with PERMASET textile inks. The resulting tint retains the same superior soft handle and excellent durability characteristic of PERMASET AQUA® textile inks.

This e-book shows ten reductions for each colour in the PERMASET AQUA® textile ink range from 100% (pure PERMASET AQUA® ink) to 0.1% (0.1g PERMASET AQUA® mixed with 99.9g PERMASET AQUA® Print Paste) except for Black which is reduced to 0.01%.

Click here to view the PERMASET Reductions E-Book

Interested? Great, let’s talk!