There have been many different developments and trends in screen printing, and one of the most popular of these is printing your own tag inside your t-shirts. Printing your own tags is a shirt printing trend that’s not likely to go away anytime soon because it offers a lot benefits. The first being that screen printing your own tags gives you a lot of creative freedom and allows you to be imaginative with your tags and branding. Secondly, it can be a great marketing tool and thirdly, you can ensure that your brand name and other details stay on the shirt if the shirt tag is cut off, which is a common trend these days.
Screen printing tags on the inside back collar area of shirts is no doubt a great idea, but it can be tricky to do because of the position of the print. There are several things you have to consider when printing your own tags, and that includes making sure your screen printing ink doesn’t seep and show through on the other side of the shirt. Screen printing your own tags is also an additional step in your production process so you’ll also have to consider the extra time and effort it might take to do so for all your shirts.
If it’s something you’re determined to do however, know that there are a number of different ways you can do this. Here are a couple of the most efficient ways:
Using a Pocket Pallet
The pocket pallet is a printing attachment commonly used for screen printing on pockets, but can be used to print tags on the inside back of shirts.
Once the pallet has been secured to your working surface, the first thing you need to do is apply a thin layer Permaset Table Adhesive on your pocket pallet. Make sure not to apply the adhesive to any other surface except the pallet. Next, position your shirt properly on the pallet. Do this by folding the shirt crosswise across the armpit area, and then sliding the shirt, fold first under the pocket pallet. You then turn the collar over so that the inside back of it is exposed on top of the pallet, and securely flatten it on the pallet. You may need to mark where it is positioned on the pallet so you’ll know where to position the rest of the shirts you’ll print tags on and have a uniform place for your printed tags.
If your shirt has an attached tag, tack it down on the pallet away from the inside surface of the shirt where you will be printing. Once properly positioned, place your screen down and if you’re satisfied with where the print is positioned, apply your screen printing ink evenly. If you’d like to thicken your print, feel free to flash cure and apply a second even layer of ink.
Once you’re satisfied with your printed tag, flash cure just enough so you can handle the shirt without the print smudging, and place in an oven or iron the print for a few minutes on Medium setting (with brown paper or baking paper over the print) to properly cure your print.
When curing, make sure that the printed tag is well exposed to the heat. You don’t have to turn the shirt inside-out, but you may have to turn the collar out a bit to expose the print.
Using a Sleeve Pallet
The sleeve pallet is another printing attachment used for printing on sleeves and pant legs. When printing shirt tags with a sleeve pallet, all you have to do is take the collar of the shirt and hang it over the edge of the pallet (that’s already been coated in Permaset eco-friendly Table Adhesive) so that the back inner part of the shirt collar is exposed. Make sure that your screen is just as long or long enough to cover your sleeve pallet so you can print your tag in the right location. Again, you can mark where the shirt collar should be placed on the sleeve pallet so you have a uniform position for your printed tag on all the shirts you’ll be printing.
Once the shirt is in position, simply apply a small amount of ink on the screen, print, flash and reapply when necessary, then cure once completed.
Print your garment tags organically using Permaset eco-friendly inks. This reinforces the sustainability message you want to send with eco-conscious and vegan brands.
Printing Organically – Things to Remember
To keep the print from seeping through to the other side of the shirt fabric, use a ‘lightweight’ design, one that isn’t so open or lays on a thick layer of ink since this would have a higher chance of soaking through your fabric. You could have a halftone artwork or use fine lines or lettering for this. This is particularly important when using water-based ink.
Always do a test print first. Doing a test print enables you to adjust any factors before making your final prints, like how much ink you’ll actually use and if you’ll need to flash cure and print a few times.
The knit on the inside of your shirt is often more open or gaping than that of the outside of the shirt, so any fine details might get lost in the gaping holes of the knit. If you’re printing organic clothing choose a water-based eco-friendly ink like Permaset for a more environmentally conscious label. If fine details are important, you can opt to make the tag design or details a little bigger to make them clearer.
When using water-based ink, you’ll need to use a screen with a higher mesh count, a little less volume of ink and a harder squeegee. You’ll also want to use the least amount of pressure when applying the ink. This is all to ensure that the ink doesn’t seep through the fabric and will just sit on top of the fabric.
Take a good look at your printing setup before proceeding with any printing job. Make sure that your screen, design and shirt are all positioned properly. You don’t want to waste a good shirt by printing the tag upside-down.
Enjoy the satisfaction of screen printing your shirts organically including printing the tag or label inside your t-shirt using Permaset Aqua eco-friendly, and vegan inks.
PART 1 – REDUCTIONS: Getting to know PERMASET® Textile Screen Printing Inks.
Most artists and designers begin their artistic journey by exploring the colour palette. Of particular interest is how a purchased colour is expressed as its intensity is reduced.
PERMASET AQUA Turquoise 100% (left) to 0.3% (right)
PERMASET Screen Printing Inks are highly pigmented and dilutions, or more correctly “reductions”, are achieved by mixing with PERMASET Print Paste. Adding any PERMASET Ink to Print Paste reduces the intensity of the colour producing a lighter colour called a reduction.
PERMASET Turquoise reductions with Print Paste (100%, 50%, 23%, 12%, 6%, 3%, 1%, 0.6% and 0.3%)
PERMASET Inks are transparent and reductions will appear as tints when printed on white fabric. Tints can also be achieved by mixing PERMASET Inks with PERMASET White. If your design incorporates tints, then consider the following when deciding whether to use PERMASET Print Paste or PERMASET White:
Reductions made with Print Paste will:
appear as tints when screen printed on white fabric,
appear as tones when printed on grey fabrics,
have a soft handle when dry and
require less PERMASET Ink to make up a particular tint because the ink is dispersed into a transparent medium. Less ink used saves you money in raw materials, time and energy in the dryer, and for all these reasons, has a lighter environmental footprint.
A reduction made with PERMASET White will:
appear as a pastel,
have a slightly harder handle,
have a higher opacity so the colour of the fabric will not show through as much and
require more PERMASET Ink to make up a particular tint because the ink is dispersed into an opaque medium. This will have a heavier environmental footprint.
The final screen printed colour is also dependent on screen mesh size, squeegee hardness and shape, number of strokes and pressure applied during the stroke. When assessing colour it is important to make test prints and assess colour after curing.
Watch how PERMASET Bright Red is reduced with Print Paste on our YouTube channel:
How to make Reductions using PERMASET inks and PERMASET print paste - YouTube
To save you time, a full set of PERMASET Reductions is available as an e-BOOK that you can down load HERE and have on hand for easy reference.
A page from the Permaset Reductions E-book showing the different percentages of ink used to make a Purple Reduction
MIXING METALLIC INKS
Reductions can be made with PERMASET Pearl White too. All PERMASET Standard and Metallic Inks are intermixable. Mix PERMASET Metallic Pearl White with PERMASET Standard Colours to create a wide range of metallic colours.
Create shimmering metallic colours by mixing any PERMASET standard colour with PERMASET Metallic Pearl White.
Shown are 25%, 12% and 6% PERMASET Purple, 25% 12% and 6% PERMASET Light Blue and 25%, 12% and 6% PERMASET Rose.
Rose Gold is trending in popularity and is seen in jewellery, shoes and even hair colour! It is very easily made by mixing PERMASET Metallic Copper with Metallic Pearl White.
PERMASET Metallic Copper Reductions with Metallic Pearl White (100%, 50%, 23%, 12%, 6%, 3%, 1%, 0.6% and 0.3%)
T-towel design incorporating a metallic light blue by reducing PERMASET Blue B with Metallic Pearl White.
PERMATONE® Screen Printing Inks are part of the PERMASET range and are used for colour matching. PERMATONE inks have a high pigment value. The following image shows PERMATONE Black reductions with PERMASET Pearl White. A 50% PERMATONE Black with PERMASET Pearl White (at the red dot) reduction is still quite black as shown in the image below. A mid grey is achieved around the 5% mark (at the blue dot). Even at 0.5% PERMATONE Black with 99.5% PERMASET Pearl White the black is still quite strong (at the green dot).
PERMATONE Black reductions with PERMASET Pearl White.
TIP: When mixing a reduction always add the coloured ink to the Print Paste in small increments until you reach the desired tint.
Case Study: Flowering Gums Design for Linen T-towels
A Margaret Preston inspired design was developed for screen printing on linen t-towels. The initial print run used 100% PERMATONE Black and 100% PERMATONE Magenta in keeping with the strong blacks and colour blocks typical of Margaret Preston’s linocuts.
Flowering Gums on Linen with 100% PERMATONE Black and 100% PERMATONE Magenta
The design developed had a delicate feel and suggested a softer approach to colour. A series of print runs were made each time halving the strength of PERMATONE inks in the reductions until settling at 6% PERMATONE Magenta and 3% PERMATONE Black. At these levels the reductions gave the desired delicate effect reminiscent of flowering gums.
Flowering Gums on Linen with 3% PERMATONE Black and 6% PERMATONE Magenta
PERMASET Reductions: A little bit of ink goes a long way!
PERMATONE Inks are highly intense and even at 3% Black and 6% Magenta the reductions retained the vibrant colour of PERMATONE Inks. The PERMATONE range has been granted approval by the Soil Association in the UK, having successfully met the requirements of the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for non-organic chemical inputs for use in organic textile processing.
In the second part of this series we will show you how to confidently create colour harmonies using PERMASET Inks.
Are all your prints starting to look the same? Are the same old flat prints starting to bore you? Do you want prints that’ll make your items stand out and grab attention? If so, then it’s about time you tried printing with Permaset Aqua Puff Paste!
Experimenting with the effects of Permaset Puff paste in yardage by @ChezWilliam
Permaset Aqua Puff Paste is an additive that contains a heat-reactive foaming agent. When stirred in with your printing ink it will print flat, but once cured to a certain temperature it will puff up and give your prints an interesting 3D effect! With this added volume and texture, your printed designs will look and feel a lot more interesting, and will definitely stand out!
When to Use Puff Paste
Puff paste is often used in t-shirt printing to make designs more eye-catching. There are several ways that puff paste can enhance your custom t-shirt designs:
Puff prints can be used to highlight just one or a few vital elements of your design. For example, they could make a basketball ‘pop’ out of a sports logo, or your company name stand out of a company shirt.
Puff prints are also a great way of emphasising text prints. With puff paste ordinary printed texts look a lot bolder and thicker, and stand out amidst a larger design or several other texts that may be included in the design.
To give your custom t-shirt a unique and interesting feel, you can use puff paste to add textures all over the shirt like dots, squares or other shapes.
With puff paste you could accent certain details of a design in one colour, or make a one-colour image pop, making your designs look like modern works of art!
How to Use Puff Paste
There’s not much of a difference between the regular printing process using just silk screen fabric ink and printing with puff paste, except you have to be a little more careful when using puff paste. You have to make sure that you add just the right amount of paste to your ink, although generally the more paste you use the puffier your design will be. You also might need to lay down a little more ink than usual to get a good 3D effect, and use thicker stencils as well as lower mesh count screens.
Permaset Puff Paste can be used to emphasize a feature like this t-shirt showing seagull poop on the shoulder
A few other things you have to take note of when considering puff printing:
Make sure to mix the puff paste thoroughly with your ink before printing.
Don’t use puff paste if your design includes really intricate details. These details will be lost once the design puffs up.
Don’t use puff paste when you want a precise edge definition to your design or for abutting colours. The fine edge between two colours will be lost to the puff effect.
Expect some colour loss. Because puff paste is an additive, it may dilute the colour of your ink. Prepare for this by starting with a slightly bolder colour than the one you intended to use.
Puff paste will result in a matte finish, so you should consider other options if you’d prefer a glossier finish.
Students experiments with printing a rose design at Massey University by using Permaset Puff Paste
Handbag by @Justbee_design in QLD has used Permaset Puff Paste to emphasize a design element
Once you’re done printing, allow the garment to dry for at least 15 minutes to let the paste dry before curing. Curing should be done using an oven for around 4-5 minutes at 160°C. Curing with the specific and correct amount of time and temperature is crucial when using puff paste. The lack thereof can lead to an inadequate cure, wherein there is little to no rise of the print. On the other hand, curing too much or in too high a temperature can cause the puff to collapse or not adhere to the fabric.
To avoid any unwanted results it’s best to test and experiment printing with the puff paste prior to printing your actual, final piece.
Curing Permaset Puff Paste - YouTube
Curing Permaset Puff Paste with a heat gun shows the fabric ‘puff up’ as it is heat set.
Textile design screen printed by @masseyuni in Wellington NZ using Permaset Puff Paste to highlight certain elements of the design.
Puff Printing is a relatively easy way add interest to your prints and give you more customisation options. If you’d like to try puff printing, you can purchase Permaset Puff Paste online here.
Like any skill or trade, screen printing or textile printing requires practice and dedication to master. Along the road to mastering screen printing you’re bound to bump into a few blunders, some minor and others more costly. If you can avoid these blunders however, you could not only spare yourself from some messy situations, but also save on time, materials and costs. So why not get to know these common mistakes so as to avoid them, and get a great head start on screen fabric printing?
Common Mistake No.1: Starting without preparing.
Preparation is key to establishing a solid printing business, as well as in the actual process of screen printing itself. You need to know exactly what you’re getting into before you get into it: what equipment and materials you’ll need, how much you will have to spend, who your customers are, and of course, the basics of screen printing.
Common Mistake No.2: Using the same screen mesh for all jobs.
One of the most basic yet important things you need to learn is what size screen mesh to use for every printing job. A lot of printers rely on their suppliers to recommend the right screen mesh count, and this will often end up with printers having 110 and 125 mesh counts. These are fine with most printing tasks, but definitely not for all. Once you’ve got halftones and high-end printing to do, you’ll need to switch to higher mesh counts.
Common Mistake No.3: Not test printing.
Even the most seasoned printers can fall victim to this blunder, and it can be a costly one. It may seem like an extra step, but it can really save you from wasting time, energy and materials. Always do a test print even if you’ve been printing for some time now, especially if you’re doing something new or something you haven’t done in a while.
Common Mistake No.4: Using too much ink.
It may take a few attempts to work out the correct amount of ink to use every time, but for beginners you really don’t need a whole lot of ink. A few spoonfuls should be enough; anything beyond that and you’ll have a difficult time managing the ink. You do however need to remember when printing with water-based inks to keep the screen flooded so it doesn’t dry out between prints – so please keep this in mind.
Common Mistake No.5: Pressing on the squeegee too hard.
You need a firm grip on the squeegee to get a good coat of ink, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your weight into it. Pushing too hard can cause ghosting or smearing, and you definitely don’t want that.
Common Mistake No.6: Not flooding the screen in between prints.
When using water-based ink for screen printing you must run some water through your screens in between prints and after printing, otherwise the ink will dry up on your screen. Having a spray bottle of water handy and misting now and then during a print run is also a good idea to keep screens moist and inks liquid.
Common Mistake No. 7: Not flash drying after laying down white ink.
Make your first foray into screen printing a good one by avoiding these common rookie mistakes. And for more information on water-based inks, make sure to check out our other informative articles from our Permaset Blog.
Screen printing with Permaset water-based ink at Kick and Screen in Melbourne
The standards for today’s screen printing inks have changed tremendously over the years. Where once only coverage, colour and ease of use were considered when choosing printing inks, today printers are more discerning than ever when it comes to their ink. Now many other factors matter, including the feel of the ink on the fabric, versatility, durability, health and environmental impact. When all these other factors are taken into consideration, it can become quite difficult to determine which ink is truly the best choice for you. However, one type of ink comes very close to meeting all these requirements, and that’s water-based ink.
Water-Based Ink: Tomorrow’s Inks Today
The water-based inks of yesteryears are a far cry from today’s water-based inks. Today’s water-based inks are not only easier to use, they’re also able to deliver pure, intense colour that rivals and even surpasses that of plastisol inks. Because of their smoother consistency, water-based inks are able to permeate deeper into substrates, thereby resulting in a softer feel and a longer lasting print. What’s more, because they are water-based, they contain no harmful chemicals such as PVC and phthalates, and don’t need volatile solvents to clean off.
Environmental impact is a particularly heavy point when choosing printing inks nowadays. Our environment has never been in a more fragile state than it is now, and every move we make counts in either contributing to the problem or the solution. With water-based inks we have an eco-friendly, high quality option, ultimately making them the best ink choice for screen printing in our world today.
Our Top 4 Water-Based Screen Printing Ink Products
Permaset Aqua Standard & Glow Colours
Our standard and glow range are by far our most well-loved inks, and for good reason. These inks can be used straight from the tub and are excellent for printing onto light coloured fabrics and textiles. With their range, opacity and depth of colour, many screen printers find themselves immediately switching to water-based inks once they try Permaset Aqua.Based on carefully selected pigments and the latest advances in polymer technology, Permaset Aqua delivers exceptional colour, durability, and an irresistibly soft handle. And of course, with absolutely no toxic or ozone depleting chemicals or heavy metals, it’s safe for both printers and the environment.Permaset Aqua comes in regular (transparent) and SuperCover (opaque) ranges to cater for printing onto either light or dark fabrics, and both types feature fantastic ‘Glow’ colours that grab attention with their vibrancy. They can be used on a full range of fabrics including Cotton, Polyester, Silk and most synthetic fabrics. Low odour, easy to clean, rich, vibrant, vegan and eco-friendly to boot, Permaset Aqua truly is the ink of the future today.Permaset Aqua is revolutionary in that it is among the first water-based inks to offer superior performance and eliminate the historical trade-off between performance on the screen and post-production performance of the finished garment. That includes user comfort and safety, and environmental sustainability. It’s passed the Oekotex Class 1 standard, with select Process Colours granted approval by the Soil Association in the UK.
Permaset Aqua Screen Printing Kit
This is the perfect beginner screen printers’ kit! Complete with 1 silk screen, 1 squeegee, 6 beautiful Permaset Aqua colours, masking tape and instructions, it’ll have you screen printing like a pro in no time!The Permaset Aqua Screen Printing Kit comes with our standard colours which are of course, 100% solvent-free with an environmentally-friendly formula, yet still deliver intense colour and coverage. Once heat set these colours are both soft and strong– soft to the touch yet resilient even in the most severe rub and wash tests.With the Permaset Aqua Screen Printing Kit, you can start printing on a variety of light-toned fabrics made of natural or synthetic materials.
Our metallics range form part of our Permaset Aqua range and offer superb coverage in gold, copper, silver and pearl white. When you want prints that will stand out and shine without being too over the top, our metallics range are the perfect fit.Made with the same eco-friendly water-based formula, our metallics are totally free from harmful chemicals but offer exceptional brilliance and durability. The Permaset metallic also deliver a lovely soft print which is comfortable to wear. Black t-shirt printed with Permaset Metallic Copper ink by Little Gold Fox
Permaset Aqua Foil FX
When you want to achieve a higher level of shine to your printed designs, Permaset Aqua Foil FX are the way to go. Permaset Aqua Foil FX are able to achieve a striking, sparkling look in silver, gold, copper and blue that is ideal for printing designs like sequins and is most effective on dark fabrics.Permaset Aqua Foil FX has remarkable light reflecting capabilities because of the large flake size in the ink. This however, means that certain adjustments must be made when using the ink. Firstly, a rather open mesh of 20 or 22T (50-55 tpi) is required to accommodate the large flakes. Secondly, care must be taken in order to maintain the print. Because of the large flake size rub resistance can be poor. Lastly, it is best to use this ink in smaller, broken up areas or designs since in large slabs, stretch is compromised and the large mesh can be clearly seen.
What to Look for When Buying Screen Printing Ink
If you’re still wondering which ink is the best choice for you, here are the basic things you should consider:
Quality – The first thing you have to look into is the quality of your ink. You want to make sure that the ink offers rich, vibrant colour, superior coverage, and permanence once heat cured.
Substrate Compatibility – You’ll want your ink to be compatible with the material it’s going to be printed onto, otherwise the print may fade easily or not look the way you want it to. If you’re not sure which inks are suitable for what, it’s best to go for versatile inks like Permaset Aqua that can be applied on a variety of fabrics.
Brand – When it comes to screen printing ink, brand matters. Established brands like Permaset have spent decades perfecting their products so you know you can rely on them.
Your Design – You have to consider your design when choosing your ink. Generally, because of their finer consistency water-based inks are more suited for detailed designs. They’re also the better choice if you are seeking a softer feel.
Colours – Of course you have to consider the colours you’ll need in your design. You may also have to consider any other type of ink you may want to use, for example if you want to use a bright, neon (or glow) type of ink or one with a metallic finish.
Environmental & Health Impact – Last but certainly not least, you have to consider the ink’s environmental impact, and its impact on your health as well. As we’ve stated above, environmental impact has now become a significant factor not just for choosing inks but for choosing consumable products in general given present state of our environment. And your health and well-being should always be considered as well, especially if you’re exposed to printing inks a lot of the time. You’ll want inks that are free from harmful chemicals that could be detrimental when inhaled.
It’s 2019– are you still printing with plastisol inks?
Since the early days of fabric printing, plastisol ink has understandably been the go-to ink for most printers. It was much easier to use compared to water-based ink since it required fewer steps and was easier to work with.
But that was then.
Water-based inks have improved dramatically over the years in terms of quality and ease of use, so much so that many professional printers are now switching to water based inks for screen printing, and even prefer them due to their performance, safe use and enviro-friendly credentials.
This is no fad. The fact is, water-based inks are getting better, and many printers even consider them the more superior ink. Why more superior, you say? Here are the top six factors:
This is probably water-based inks’ greatest edge. In today’s world where protecting the environment has become a top priority, water-based inks allow printers to do their part. While most plastisol inks are now pthalate-free, that still doesn’t make them the most eco-friendly option out there. Being made from a mixture of PVC resin and plasticiser, they’re still far from being environmentally friendly at all. Water-based inks on the other hand, are completely free of PVC resin or plasticiser, and with Permaset’s range of inks are also completely free of harmful ozone depleting chemicals and aromatic hydrocarbons. Now that’s what you call eco-friendly!
Better for Health
Because they are free from harmful chemicals, water-based inks are safe not just for the environment but for printers to use as well. There are no harsh chemicals or solvents that the user can inhale, and they wash up easily in water.
Unlike most plastisol inks, water-based inks produce a soft hand. The ink penetrates deep into the fabric and becomes a part of it instead of merely sitting on top, giving your prints unparalleled softness and flexibility. This makes garments and homewares printed with water-based inks much more comfortable for the wearer and safe for use against delicate skin.
Higher Quality Prints
Because they sit deeper within the fabric, water-based inks are able to produce longer lasting prints with impeccable detail, with much more defined, sharper edges. This includes half-tones and more, making them the perfect choice for printing really intricate, detailed designs.
Easy Clean Up
Since they are water-soluble, water-based inks are easier to clean up after printing and require no harmful chemicals to do so – just water. Screens can also be easily cleaned up with water or an eco-friendly screen wash.
Regulations and laws have already banned the use of pthalates on infant garments, so if you’re looking to offer these kinds of printed items you’ll have to go pthalate-free or use water-based inks. However using water-based inks won’t just increase your business by giving you the ability to expand into the children’s wear market, many customers prefer and actually expect water-based organic prints. This way you are printing organically, prints are softer and ‘breathe’ better as opposed to plastic prints that feel heavy and make you sweaty underneath, and there is no chance of a plastic print leaching into your skin with water-based inks. The quality of the print is also outstanding, and best of all it’s environment friendly, something that more and more conscious consumers are seeking every day.
Baby onesie printed with Permaset eco-friendly ink by @maseandleo
Planning on creating your very first, personalised printed tee? There are a few essentials you always need to have in your screen printing kit.
Choosing what to include in your kit can be confusing at times, as different printers can have different methods and suggestions. However, these variations really depend on your personal preferences, and what really matters are these few essentials:
Screen – Of course, you’ve got to have a screen in order to screen print. Screens come in a lot of different sizes and which one you choose really depends on the size of your print. They also come in different mesh counts, and the right mesh count will depend on how detailed your design is and how thick your ink is. The more detailed your design, the higher your mesh count should be otherwise the ink will simply fall through the larger holes of the screen, bleed and make your print blurry. If your ink is quite thick however, you’ll want to use a lower mesh count or else not much ink is going to go through your screen.
It can be a bit tricky choosing the right mesh count, but a good standard mesh count to go for, especially for your first time, is 43T or 110TPI. It lays a fairly thick layer of ink down and is great for printing block letters and large spot colour printing.
Printing press or screen clamps – There are many different types of screen printing presses but to start out a one-colour, table top or bench top, press would be suitable. A press includes a platen which will make it easier to properly line up your t-shirt, tote bag or whatever you are printing onto. The other option is to use screen clamps to hold your screen steady as you print. There are removable clamps or clamps that are permanently secured to a table. Which option you choose depends on your budget and working space.
– Squeegees – These, of course, are for spreading ink on your screen. You can have a couple of different sizes, depending upon the size of your screen and print.
– Screen Printing Inks – There are a variety of screen fabric inks you can choose from, but in our opinion water-based inks are the best. Water-based inks for printing are easy to work with and easy to clean. The Permaset Aqua range come in a great array of rich, vivid colours. Permaset Aqua are eco-friendly inks, containing no ozone depleting chemicals, aromatic hydrocarbons or volatile organic solvents.
– Emulsion and emulsion scoop coater – These are used to coat your screen and allow you to ‘burn’ images for printing onto the screen.
– Film or a stencil – there are different ways of placing your artwork onto the screen for printing. If your design is simple, you can make a stencil using paper and a scalpel. Another way to do it, is to hand draw your design onto film using an opaque pen and then expose or ‘burn’ the film onto the screen using emulsion. More intricate, detailed designs which have been created digitally can be printed onto the film using an inkjet printer. If you don’t want to prepare the screen yourself you can use a film output service from a screen printing supply company.
– Screen tape or masking tape – Used to mask off any openings on your screen where you don’t want ink to flow through.
– Old magazines, cardboard or newspapers – These aren’t printing tools you can buy at the craft store, but they are essential nonetheless. They’re good for catching drips and spills, and also placed inside the shirt to be printed on to make sure the print doesn’t seep through and print on the back of the shirt.
– Old spoons/ Spatulas– Again, not something you have to buy at the store but essential for scooping inks onto screens.
Additional Items for Advanced Screen Printers
For those who are a little more experienced at screen printing, you may like to keep other materials in your printing arsenal, such as:
Colour cards – These cards feature samples of all ink colours available and are great for viewing and selecting ink colours.
Thickener – A thickening agent for printing media.
Anti-bleed additive – An additive designed to prevent ‘bleeding’ or ‘hazing’ of prints and produce prints with a more solid definition.
Synthetic fixer – An additive which improves the adhesion of inks to substrates.
Binder – A product added when bleeding or washout problems occur due to too much tinter.
Retarder – Designed to slow the ink-drying process so no clogging of the screen occurs.
Fabric softener – An additive used when you want a softer feel to the finished print.
Table adhesive – Provides a sticky table surface, thus eliminating any movement of the fabric while printing.
Print paste – Dilutes printing inks and is also a good base for mixing your own ink colours.
Are you all set to print? If you’re still lacking a few of these essentials, simply visit our Permaset Accessories page to find and purchase a full set of screen printing essentials. You could also buy a complete screen printing starter kit for your first printing projects! Visit our online shop today!
The 2019 school year is upon us– it’s time again to get your kids ready with all the school supplies they’ll need. While you can always buy them generic school supplies, this year why not start the school year right by printing some personalised school notebooks, backpacks, lunch bags, pencil cases and calendars for them?
Printing school items is not only a great way to get kids pumped up and excited for school, it’s also a fun and affordable back to school project you can do with your kids that lets them express their personality and creativity. All you’ll need is a few water-based fabric paints, printing stencils and stamps, and a whole lot of imagination and creativity!
Here are some great back to school printing ideas to get you started:
Taking notes will be a lot more fun for kids when they’ve got personalised printed notebooks! All you’ll need are a few plain paper or cardboard covered notebooks and paints to start. You can use Permaset eco-friendly fabric paint for screen printing for this, and create your designs by using a stencil or stamp, or even painting your designs by hand using a brush! You can find all kinds of stencil designs online, print them and cut them out to use for printing. You could also print out cute designs and trace these onto the notebooks before hand-painting them.
Kids can hand print their own notebooks for back to school using a rubber stamp and some water-based ink, like these cat print notebooks by Cheery Human Studios
Want a more abstract design? Try painting on streaks, stipes and splatters of different paint colours for a more abstract effect. And for a personalised finishing touch, paint your child’s name on the cover so everyone will know to who this cool notebook belongs to!
Backpacks and Canvas Lunch Bags
Students can hand paint their own back pack using water-based inks like this funky example by Crowdy House
It’s so important for kids that their backpacks and lunch bags match their style and their personality. Getting that ‘perfect’ bag from the store can be costly however, so why not create them instead?
Backpacks and canvas lunch bags can be easily customised with just about any design your child’s heart desires using silk screen fabric ink. Permaset’s water-based fabric printing inks are ideal for this as their soft hand and durability, ensures colours stay on without cracking or warping.
Make sure after printing with Permaset inks/paints on fabric that you ensure to heat-set your item either in the hot sun or with an iron to ensure the print is wash-proof. Details follow at the end of this blog.
Canvas Pouches & Pencil Cases
Pouches are versatile school containers as they can be used to store all kinds of small school supplies, such as pencils, erasers, markers and the like. Teens can also use them for storing their phone, makeup, and small toiletries.
Printing and personalising canvas pouches or pencil cases is just as easy as doing so on paper. You can use stencils, stamps or hand paint on the pouches to achieve a stylish or super cute look!
Get inspiration for hand painting a pencil case or canvas pouch from this cute example by Inkling Design
Corkboards and Calendars
Make sure your child or teen stays on top of his or her school requirements and activities by printing a beautiful corkboard or wall calendar! You’ll need a piece of corkboard large enough to put a calendar or notes on, and cover it with a beautiful, custom printed paper or cloth. To make the calendar, you can use colourful decorative tape or ribbon to create the grid of days in a month or week.
With all these personalised, printed school items, your kids are sure to have a wonderful start to their new school year! And by using Permaset’s eco-friendly, water-based inks, you can have them join in the fun of personalising their own items safely, without the fear of harmful solvents and other chemicals. Get started by getting your fabric printing inks from Permaset now!
Curing your Print
If printing onto fabric you must ensure to cure your print by heat setting the ink in some way. This can be done easily by placing some baking paper or brown paper over the print and ironing over it for a few minutes (on Medium setting). Checkout the below which explains how.
How do I cure Permaset prints if I don’t have a heat tunnel?
There are two easy ways to cure Permaset prints if you don’t have a heat tunnel:
A. With an Iron: Leave your print to air dry first. Then lay your print out on the ironing board, cover it with brown paper, baking paper or a clean tea towel. Set your iron to Cotton setting (160 degrees C) and hand iron for 2-3 minutes to set the print. Wait for your print to cool and then it should be cured, and able to be washed.
B. In the Sun: It depends on the heat of the Sun, however you can leave your print to cure in the hot Sun for a few hours up to a 1/2 day, or even one whole day to cure it. Test this method on a scrap of fabric printed with Permaset to check how long it takes to cure before curing your finished print in the Sun.
Looking for a fun and practical DYI project? Why not make your own custom shopping bags and tote bags?
Reusable shopping bags and tote bags are wonderful items in that they’re very versatile—you can use them for shopping, for going to the beach, as promotional items, giveaways or gift bags. They’re also environment-friendly because unlike plastic or paper bags you can use them again and again.
Making custom shopping bags and tote bags is easy, and requires only a few materials to start.
Choosing the Right Material
Shopping and tote bags can be made of several materials. They can be made of canvas, denim, drapery fabric or upholstery fabric. These types of fabrics are best for tote bags as they are sturdy enough to carry loads and withstand several uses.
For some commercial establishments in particular, their reusable shopping bags are made from natural plant fibres like cotton, jute and bamboo. They can also be made from polypropylene, a durable type of plastic which, at first glance, may not seem very environment-friendly but is actually made of recycled plastic and is recyclable. You can purchase these types of bags in bulk from suppliers online at a very reasonable price.
Making Your Own Tote
If you’d prefer to make your own reusable shopping or tote bag however, it’s pretty simple. All you need is around a half-metre length of your chosen fabric, fabric shears or rotary cutter and cutting mat, pinking shears, ruler, white thread, ball point pins, fabric pen and of course, a sewing machine.
Start by cutting off the selvedge on both ends of the fabric. Then fold the fabric with the right sides facing each other to around 40cm or depending upon how deep you’d like your bag to be. Cut off the remaining fabric and starting from the bottom, stitch the sides of the cut piece with a 1cm seam allowance on each side. Stop stitching around 4cm from the top of the bag. Once done, use the pinking shears to cut along both sides to prevent fraying. Afterwards, turn the bag right side out. Fold the top of the bag around 1cm and iron the fold, and then fold again about 2.5cm and iron. Secure the top section by stitching it with the 2.5cm seam allowance.
For the bag handles, fold the remaining fabric in half with the right sides facing each other and measure and cut two 50cm x 6cm strips. Pin along the sides of each pair of strips and stitch the sides of the strips with around a half cm seam allowance on each side. Once done, turn the straps right side out through the unsewn ends and iron.
To attach the straps to the bag, first fold the ends of each strap about a half cm twice and stitch. Position each strap end around 10cm from each side of the bag and around 2.5cm deep inside the bag. Secure with pins and stitch across the top and bottom where the strap and bag meet to secure.
Customising & Personalising
Once you’ve got your shopping or tote bag ready, it’s time to customise and personalise! There are a number of different ways you can customise and personalise these bags—you can sew on or stick patches on them using fabric glue, or paint or screen print designs on them using Permaset Premium water-based ink.
Permaset Aqua is the perfect ink for printing or hand painting on fabric as it is 100% solvent free yet delivers rich, pure colour, a superior soft handle and excellent durability. For painting or screen printing on polypropylene bags, our range of Permaset Premium Hybrid Inks are a great choice, and are completely free of harmful ozone depleting chemicals, aromatic hydrocarbons, PVC resin or phthalate plasticiser. To get started with screen printing, take a look at our post on how to expose a design for screen printing and our other helpful blog posts on screen printing.
Screen printing is a great option since it produces clean, detailed and unique designs and is also ideal if you’d like to produce a large number of custom-designed bags. Whether you’re planning to make a bunch of bags as giveaways for your business or as personalised holiday presents, or if you just want to make one for yourself, make sure you choose the right ink for your bags: Permaset Aqua and Permaset Premium. Shop for these inks here.
What’s neither glitter nor pure gold but gives off a brilliant, breathtaking sheen to prints on your shirt? It’s none other than metallic ink, and it gives off just enough shine to make any printed design stand out without being too loud or ostentatious.
Metallic inks are distinct printing inks that have been around for a while but aren’t as commonly used as other water-based inks for printing. There are a few possible reasons for this, one being that people often get intimidated by the boldness of these colours, and are unsure how to use them.
Using metallic inks for screen printing however is not that complicated, and they produce sensational, shining results that are well worth the try.
Give Your Shirts Extra Shine with Metallic Ink
Metallic inks may appear more luxe than their multi-coloured counterparts, but don’t be fooled. They’re perfect for simple projects like t-shirt printing and can give you that extra ‘oomph’ to really make your designs pop.
On white and light coloured shirts metallic inks can give designs more light and shine, and on black and dark-coloured shirts designs can be extra eye-catching and make a bold statement. Even a small or simple design can look awesome just by using one of these metallic inks.
Using Permaset Aqua metallic inks to create your own custom t-shirts is just like using any of our other inks, however you may need a slightly courser mesh as these inks can be somewhat thicker than regular coloured inks. If you’re not used to printing with these inks, it’s best to do a few test prints first before making your final print.
For added protection against rubbing and oxidation, a clear topcoat can be applied to metallic prints. Note however that the more clear coat is added to the top of the metallic pigment particles, the less reflective and brilliant they will be.
Credits: Just Bee Designs, Cairns QLD Australia
The Many Uses of Metallic Silk Screen Fabric Ink
There are plenty of instances where metallic fabric ink is an ideal choice:
For creating marketing materials, like tote bags, shirts, caps – Metallic inks can make marketing materials stand out better and catch everyone’s eye
For creating custom sports team uniforms – Metallic inks help to make sports uniforms stand out. People are sure to cheer harder for their teams when they’re dressed in uniforms streaked with shining silver or gold; they’ll appear more intimidating to the competition, and they’ll feel like they’re champions already!
For performance outfits – Be it for theatre or dance, metallic prints will give performance costumes that added shine that’s sure to dazzle the audience
For extra special personalised gifts – For mother’s day you can make your Mum feel like a queen with a shirt that says exactly that in gold! Or you could delight someone on their birthday with a shining, shimmering shirt personalised with their name or favourite design
See what a difference metallic prints can make. Metallic inks colours are available in copper, gold lustre, bright silver and pearl white. Order your metallic inks online now from our Permaset Aqua range.