Author: Wendy Croxford
If you’ve just recently switched from using plastisol inks to using water-based inks for printing, chances are you’ve just realised how easy and beneficial it actually is to go water-based.
Many printers used to avoid using water-based screen printing inks because back then, it had several pain points: special screens had to be used, it dried way too fast, extra steps had to be taken to clean it, it was thin and not opaque, and was difficult to control. Thanks to decades of development however, water-based inks have overcome all these problems and have even proven to be the better choice especially considering how eco-friendly, safe to use and better for the environment they are.
Using water-based inks for printing is no longer as complex as it was before, in fact it’s become a preferred choice for many screen printers and their customers. Using water-based screen printing inks however, can still require some specific equipment, especially if you’re using these inks for a large scale printing business.
The most basic tools you’ll need for handling water-based inks are plastic or metal cups, buckets, stirring sticks and spatulas. You can buy these at any craft store and they are primarily for stirring, mixing and moving inks for printing. Make sure to use metal or plastic versions of these items and not wood, as wood can leave splinters in your ink that may end up on your print. You should also make sure your cups aren’t wax-lined, otherwise the wax may shed off, mix with your ink and cause your screens to clog.
Measuring Your Ink
When measuring inks you have two choices: you can either do so by hand, use an automated dispensing system. Either way, you’ll need a high quality digital scale to measure inks accurately.
The scale you need will depend on the amount of ink you use at a time; the larger the amount you need, the larger the scale range should be. For some textile printers, an automated precision ink dispensing system is a must to minimise the margin of error, and these come with their own scales. Measuring and mixing inks by hand is sufficient for most printers but it will take some practice and great accuracy to minimise mess and human error.
Mixing Your Ink
Once your ink is measured, you’ll need a good mixer. For most printers manually mixing with a spatula or a stirring stick is enough, but for large quantities of ink you will need some type of motorised mixer. An old mix master commonly used for cooking can be good.
So those are some of your most common equipment and tools for handling, measuring and mixing water-based inks. With these tools in your screen printing arsenal, you can minimise wasted ink and mistakes, and always have the right colours and consistency of ink that you require.
For further information about screens, clamps and squeegees checkout our Blog about The Essentials You’ll Need in Your Screen Printing Kit.
It’s high time for a change!
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock: the earth is rapidly changing. Ice caps are melting. Entire species of animals are disappearing forever. The earth is suffering because of our careless actions, and now all of us are starting to feel the effects. Extreme temperatures, severe weather changes and disturbances– these are but a few of the effects of climate change.
But we can do something about it, and thankfully Australia has already taken some steps to slow down these effects. One of these steps is banning single use plastic bags in supermarkets.
Single use plastic bags contribute largely to the environmental pollution plagueing our world today. Banning them is surely a step in the right direction, but with so many establishments using them what could be a viable alternative?
The answer, as you may already know, is reusable shopping bags.
Opting to Go Reusable
Reusable shopping bags and tote bags are what most commercial establishments are turning to in order to do their part in protecting the environment, while still giving their customers the same convenience when shopping. These bags can be made of different kinds of materials, however the most common is polypropylene.
So why should you go for polypropylene? And what exactly is it anyway?
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic used in a wide variety of applications. It is one of the most versatile types of plastic, and one of the cheapest ones as well. This makes it economically a wise choice as a reusable bag material.
You might think because it is plastic that it isn’t really environment-friendly. However this plastic can be recycled, with many polypropylene bags containing around 20% recycled content.
Apart from being affordable and recyclable, polypropylene bags are also very durable. There are two ways by which we use polypropylene in tote and shopping bags: woven and non-woven. Woven polypropylene is made up of these polymer fibres that are woven together perpendicularly to create sheets. This makes bags made out of them stronger and more durable, which is why you’ll see containers (e.g. sandbags) that carry heavy loads made of this material. Non-woven polypropylene on the other hand, takes those polymer fibres and heat presses them to create a sheet. While not as strong as the woven type, it is still quite strong and will last plenty of uses.
One more great thing about polypropylene bags is that you can screen print on them using eco-friendly, water-based inks. Tote bag printing is a great way to advertise your business, brand or product, and it’s really quite simple to do. However, you do need to be careful about the ink you choose for printing.
Sceen Printing on Polypropylene Bags
Opting for polypropylene bags for your business is a decision that’s primarily based on minimising your environmental impact. When it comes to screen printing on polypropylene bags, the same should be your priority. There are plenty of different inks and printing materials available out there, but if you really want to make your bags as eco-friendly as possible and you want the print to last, it would be wise to choose a good eco-friendly, water-based screen printing ink which is specially developed for for printing on these bags.
Thankfully such an ink does exist, and it’s Permaprint Premium Hybrid Ink. Permaprint Premium Hybyrid ink is a water-based printing ink that’s specially formulated to print beautifully on polypropylene and other similar materials. It’s also very eco-friendly: it contains absolutely no ozone-depleting chemicals, aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, volatile solvent or any pthalate plasticiser. It’s easy to wash off your screens with just water, and yet delivers superior performance and colour brightness on these bags.
If you’re planning on having printed polypropylene bags for your business, make sure you make that change in the best way by choosing the best eco-friendly ink. Purchase your Permaprint Premium Hybrid Inks here today! For further information about Permaprint Premium Hybrid inks for printing onto Polyproylene bags see our Technical Data Sheet here. Click here to buy Permaprint Premium Hybrid inks online in Australia.
Sydney-Based Earthie Shares Why They Use Permaset Aqua, and How They Strive to be a Truly Sustainable Brand
The fashion industry is one of the major industries with the largest negative impact on our environment today. Fast fashion has resulted in more products and bigger profits, but it has also caused worrying levels of water pollution, created tons of textile waste, and uses toxic chemicals to achieve different fabric prints and finishes.
One of the few clothing brands that are turning away from this negative production cycle and trying to create a more sustainable and environment-friendly business is Earthie. Earthie is a Sydney-based brand driven by a passion not just for sustainable fashion, but sustainability in all aspects of business. In a recent article, Earthie shared how our Permaset Aqua range of inks plays into their mission, and the many ways the brand is taking a stand for sustainability.
Sustainability In Every Aspect
Earthie’s choice to become a sustainable brand is apparent not only in their products, but in just about every aspect of their business. They analyse every aspect to consider their environmental and ethical impact, taking a more holistic approach to running a sustainable business. Here are some of the ways the brand is achieving their goal of becoming more sustainable:
- All their sourced garments are certified by the Fair Wear Foundation – The Fair Wear Foundation is a non-profit organisation that works with brands, manufacturers and governments to create a more ethical garment industry. They ensure that those working in the garment production industry are supported, empowered and given all the rights of safe and fair employment. This means that brands like Earthie won’t compromise value for the sake of sourcing cheaper items or labour, and every single garment they create is ethically-made.
- All of Earthie’s garments are made with 100% organic cotton, with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. This certification means that Earthie’s products are made of cotton that has been produced following environmentally and socially responsible practices from start to finish. Plus– nothing feels quite as nice as pure organic cotton!
- Their postage bags and swing tags are also friendlier to the environment – When thinking of sustainability, Earthie didn’t stop at just their products. They also thought about how their products are presented and delivered. They partnered with The Better Packaging Co. to package their products in 100% biodegradable and compostable postage bags. They also created their swing tags out of 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard.
- They support environmental foundations – With each shirt sold Earthie donates $1 to either Sea Shepherd Australia or the Australian Conservation Foundation, organisations that are working to create a better future for the planet.
Permaset: The Best Choice for Sustainable Printing
Of course, in order to create their amazing prints Earthie uses the best inks for sustainable printing: Permaset Aqua. These water-based screen printing inks are formulated free from harmful ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFCs or HCFCs. They’re also free from aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile solvents, PVC resin or pthalate plasticiser. When cleaning them off, there’s no need to use chemical solvents, just water. They’re so safe that you can use them to print on underwear, swimwear and even baby clothes.
Their eco-friendliness are by no means the only thing that’s great about these inks. Water-based as they are, they are still able to deliver impeccable colour and coverage, with a soft feel that makes for ultra comfortable printed garments. If like Earthie you’re thinking of making your printing business more sustainable, Permaset Aqua is the best choice for you.
Experiencing a dry spell in t-shirt design ideas lately? In t-shirt design as with most other creatively-inclined pursuits, these dry spells are bound to happen. During these times design ideas and inspiration are at an all time low, and when you do come up with anything there’s often something not quite right about it.
Fortunately there is a way to get out of this rut, and that’s by turning to fast, simple and reliable design ideas. These design ideas are easy to achieve yet are tried-and-tested to be attractive and popular with a lot of customers. Even if you’ve got little to no creative juices at the moment, by working on these simple designs you can slowly get those juices flowing again.
So without further ado, here are 5 simple t-shirt design ideas you can turn to when design inspiration is running low:
Vintage is a go-to design idea that many t-shirt printers turn to because not only is it fast and easy, it’s immensely popular. Just about everyone owns a vintage-looking tee, as its style is timeless and unique at the same time.
A vintage design can be achieved through vintage lettering, which is often quite special and artistic (think old world circus signs). The text can be anything you wish, so long as you’ve got that beautiful vintage lettering work down and give it that faded, used look when printing. When going for vintage designs it’s best to go for complementary colours or colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. You could also use pastel colours for your text as these colours already have that faded look to them. Use organic cotton tees and water-based fabric printing inks so you get that soft, worn in feel.
Statement tees are all time classics. Their prints often reflect popular culture, but they can also be timeless sayings. They’re quite simple to make– all you need is a statement, be it a word, a phrase, a quote, a line from a song, even a little joke– and print in in big bold letters on your shirt. Statement tees are one of the simplest kind of shirts to make, as they usually just require one or two solid colours.
3. Geometric Prints
Big, bold and striking, geometric prints are another fast and easy go-to t-shirt design. Geometric prints can be as simple or complex as you want, and can be colourful or as simple yet striking as black and white.
Geometric prints combine a number of shapes and/or lines to create a unique shape or pattern. You’ll see a lot of these kinds of designs being worn in electronic music and outdoor concerts, but they’re also quite popular as everyday wear.
The most cost-effective way to go about printing geometric prints would be to use just one colour, or keep things safe and opt for black against white or vice versa.
Water-based textile printing ink would be the best choice for this as this ink is able to produce sharper, more defined edges of a design, which is something you definitely want to see in geometric prints. They also produce a softer feel perfect for keeping these tees comfy.
4. Accent Prints
A cute little picture on the pocket, maybe a cool little pattern on both sleeves– these types of designs may be small, but they can totally change the look of a shirt.Pocket tees are particularly great bases for accent prints. By putting a small yet attractive design on the pocket, you direct a person’s eye towards that detail and make a shirt look anything but boring. You could choose to print a cute little animal, your own logo, a funny quip, or fill the entire pocket with an eye-catching pattern or design of your choice.
4. Colour Block
If detailed designs just seem too daunting to make at the moment, just get colour blocking! Colour blocking is an easy way to create interesting garments and the design flatters most body types. Shirts with colour block designs often serve a dual purpose: they present an eye-catching design and are also able to create illusions, like make a man’s chest look wider or a woman’s waist slimmer.One thing you have to be careful with when doing colour block designs is to make sure your blocks are strategically placed, and that they are in the right colour. You don’t want to put colour blocks where they are most unflattering to the wearer, and with such a large area of the shirt being in one colour, you want to make sure it’s a pleasing colour.To achieve broad coverage with rich colour that doesn’t stiffen up your shirt, use water based ink for screen printing your colour block designs.
Get yourself out of the t-shirt print design rut by getting started with these simple but reliable t-shirt design ideas. And always be sure to use the best water-based screen printing inks for your works: Permaset Aqua. Take a look at our extensive ink range today and get in touch with us to know more.
Colormaker Industries are the manufacturers of Permaset eco-friendly inks located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Colormaker is committed to supporting the environment and to the continual improvement of its environmental performance, recognising its obligations both locally and globally.
Week 1 – Day #5 – a few hold ups due to high winds and bad weather.
Week 2 – Day #8 done & dusted. There’s not a lot different to see, but if you look closely, you can see more wires & rail that has been installed this week.
Week 2 – Day #8. Solar Panels ready and waiting to be installed.
8. Week 3 – Day #13. We’re making good progress with 51 Solar Panels installed, and just another 305 to go!
10. Week 4. We lost 4 days to rain last week, but got the back section finished today. Ever closer to completion.
11. Week 5. The solar installation at Colormaker Industries has now been completed and we are so excited!
356 solar panels will generate all our electricity, and at times we’ll be exporting excess renewable energy back to the grid. At peak production, estimates indicate we’ll be generating enough energy to power 15-20 homes, and furthermore, the electricity Colormaker Industries produces will save the production of over 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year.
Take a look at the following photos for our completed installation on the roofs of our factory and office complex.
Check out the above video showing drone footage of the completed Colomaker Solar Panel project.
On Friday 27/9/19, we were honoured to welcome the Federal Member for Warringah, Ms Zali Steggall, OAM to officially open Colormaker Industries Solar Panel Installation by cutting the ribbon and switching on the solar panels.
Colormaker Industries is so very proud that now there’s a little bit of Australian sunshine ☀️☀️☀️going into every pot of PERMASET, PERMATONE & PERMAPRINT PREMIUM inks and PERMAPLASTIK scenic paint we manufacture here at our factory in Brookvale!
Visit the PERMASET Sustainability page to find out more about our other sustainability initiatives.