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

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As the world moves towards sustainable products and processes that tread more lightly on the Earth, printers seek more environmentally responsible inks. There are many ways that your business can benefit from using PERMASET water-based inks: attract more customers, produce softer, crisper prints and make your print room safer for your employees. Learn more below.

Soft Prints

PERMASET Inks deliver soft prints and vibrant colours made from the finest pigments. 

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

@idressmyselfprint

Case Studies
28th Jan

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

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

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

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

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Learn about our sustainable inks

Permaset Aqua

PERMASET AQUA

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

Permaset Supercover

PERMASET SUPERCOVER

Unsurpassed colour and opacity even on the darkest fabrics

Permaprint Premium

PERMAPRINT PREMIUM

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

Permatone

PERMATONE

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

Aquatone

AQUATONE

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.  

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 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.  

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 starting to use or are changing over to water-based inks, particularly from plastisols, which are very forgiving in this regard. 

Prevention is better than cure, so if you can, keep humidity in the print area above 40-50% RH.  

When people first start, they can use a fine mist of water every 15-20 prints to maintain the moisture of the inks. Many people 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. If a screen has been sitting around doing nothing for a while, pull a test print from it onto a scrap t-shirt or piece of fabric. 

If the ink does start to dry in the screen a little, don’t panic. Just pull a print on a test piece, so that as much ink is cleared from 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. The higher the mesh count, the quicker the ink will dry. Most garment printers use a 43T (110 tpi) mesh. 

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 and PERMATONE. 

Interested? Great, let’s talk!