How to Screen Print Organically: Finding Supplies

by Wendy Croxford

in Screen Printing

21 May 2018  | 0 Comments

In order to screen print in a sustainable way, you will need to ensure that all elements of the process are responsibly sourced. This includes the fabric or material that you’re printing onto, as well as eco-friendly or vegan inks for screen printing. Here’s where you can source quality components for organic printing.


Finding organic T-shirts and fabric for screen printing

There are many options for buying quality organic fabrics and clothing these days, particularly online. For small print runs in Australia, for example, you might look to stores like Fairtees, Etiko or Velvety for fair trade and organic blank T-shirts. If you’re running large print runs, suppliers such as OCC Apparel can provide certified organic cottons in a variety of colours and styles, such as these t-shirts pictured here which are from the ‘Earth Positive’ brand. Other good organic brands include Salvage and Certton which are also available at OCC Apparel. Search for fair trade organic yardage or clothing to find materials that are ethically grown and processed.

‘Earth Positive’ t-shirts like the above organic cotton ones can be sourced from OCC Apparel.

Sourcing organic screen printing inks

Of course, you can look to Permaset to find eco-friendly ink that’s water based and designed for sustainable screen printing. Our Permaset Permatone range of textile inks was the first outside the UK to be granted Approval by the Soil Association. That means these inks meet the requirements of the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for non-organic chemical inputs for use in organic textile processing. Permatone inks are 100% solvent free, but also produce vivid and vibrant colours and are soft-feel and long lasting on organic fabrics.

Beautiful yardage printed by Ink & Spindle in Melbourne using Permatone organic inks


The other benefit is that you can use organic Permaset Permatone inks to match colours specifically to your needs to match over 950 colours. These inks are great for matching corporate colours, and give you complete flexibility and accuracy when it comes to designing and printing your organic range.

Permatone inks are approved by the Soil Association of the UK, which means they meet the guidelines of GOTS for non-organic chemical inputs for use in organic textile processing.


Why choose water based inks for organic printing?

Conventional plastisol screen printing inks contain nasty chemicals when manufactured, used and disposed of. Most plastisol options are polyvinyl chloride or PVC based and contain phthalates that are deemed a health risk by the Environment Protection Agency. By using water based inks that are also organic, you remove the risk of interacting with volatile organic solvents, so they’re safer for the user and the wearer of the printed garment.

Organic tea towels printed with Permaset inks by @alzarinprint

To buy from the organic range of Permaset Permatone inks, visit our online store or find a stockist in your local area.

Permaprint does not contain ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCS or HCFCS. It is also formulated free of aromatic hydrocarbons. Permaprint premium is free of volatile organic solvent and does not contain PVC resin or Phthalate plasticiser