How to Make Custom Prints Using Permaset Aqua Puff Paste!

by Wendy Croxford

in Screen Printing

11 Jun 2019  | 0 Comments

Are all your prints starting to look the same? Are the same old flat prints starting to bore you? Do you want screenprints 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 with yardage printing 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 Permaset 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 a huge 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. Now here’s something different. ‘Bloody seagulls’ tee with realistic seagull poo on the shoulder hand printed with Permaset Aqua ink and Permaset puff, by @mimizikki 

A few other things you have to take note of when considering printing with Permaset Puff Paste:

  • 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 experiment with printing a rose design at Massey University in Wellington NZ by using Permaset Puff Paste, deliverying a velvety effect.


Handbag by @Justbee_design in QLD has used Permaset Puff Paste to emphasize the intricate pattern.

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 Permaset Puff Paste prior to printing your actual, final piece.


Curing Permaset Puff Paste with a heat gun shows the fabric to ‘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, delivering a ‘3D’ effect.

Puff Printing is a relatively easy way to 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 through many of our Permaset resellers worldwide.  Click here to find your closest Permaset Stockist.

Alternatively, you can purchase Permaset Puff Paste from our Permaset Online Shop in Australia  Happy printing with Permaset Puff Paste, and please let us know how you go by sending us some pictures of your puff creations so we can showcase them on our Permaset Aqua Instagram account.

PERMASET INKS DO NOT CONTAIN OZONE DEPLETING CHEMICALS SUCH AS CFCS OR HCFCS. THEY ARE ALSO FORMULATED FREE OF AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS. PERMASET IS FREE OF VOLATILE ORGANIC SOLVENT AND DOES NOT CONTAIN PVC RESIN OR PHTHALATE PLASTICISER

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