Things About Puff Ink for Screen Printing You Need to Know

Puff ink for screen printing is a method that used to be printed on a design by mixing ink and additive. This process is slightly similar to standard screen printing with water-based or plastisol inks.

You can print a multicolor design and add depth to it to create a new dimension to a t-shirt, hoodies, and crewneck. So, here is the complete guide to puff ink printing you should know.

What is Puff Ink?

Puff ink is known as a combination of a heat-activated foaming agent for plastisol and screen printing ink. The additive will give an expanded or raised dimensional look when you add it to the garment.

This process is great to simulate a clothing patch or outline specific areas. However, you can use puff ink for screen printing effectively on custom t-shirts, crewneck sweatshirts, and hoodies.

Puff ink gives a three-dimensional aspect to garments. The screen printing process with this type of ink is similar to standard steps with water-based ink.

You can choose specific colors or elements, or put puff ink across the entire design. It will give a ‘pop’ effect to a particular part of the design.

Puff ink is typically harder to match colors as opposed to using water-based ink in screen printing. It is because the additive can change colors. Also, It is usually easier to match in the lighter Pantone than in darker colors.

Things About Puff Ink for Screen Printing You Need to Know

Puff Ink for Screen Printing Process

To create a great design with puff ink for screen printing, you have to follow the process carefully. Here is the process of puff ink you should know, as follows:

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1. Creating Design

The first thing to do is create a design for your project. Puff ink usually works best with open vector shapes. You should create all lines and shapes within enough distance around each other.

The reason is to allow puff ink to expand on the garments without merging in the printing process. However, letters that are compounds need to be considered to have enough space in the design.

2. Stencils

In this step, you can burn the stencil on a screen and set it to 110 mesh or lower. Stencils can easily swell up when you heat them so make sure to get enough ink.

Using enough inks helps you to produce a good puff print in the garments. However, fewer inks in the printing process will not have enough to puff up and out the design.

3. Ink Preparation

Puff prints are achieved by adding water-based or plastisol ink to a puff additive. You can choose any color of inks and add a specific percentage of additive with a 5% to 15% ratio as recommended for an optimum puff.

The amount of additive you add to the process affects how much the ink will rise. So, it’s important to measure the weight of paint and additives before you mix them.

The holes are more open when you set the screen with the lower mesh. It helps you to produce a more puffy print while depositing enough ink. However, the heat and ink will rise as they go through the dryer.

4. Cure Ink

You may need to set up the temperature in the curing process. The recommended temperature to cure puff ink is about 150⁰C or 310⁰F.

Curing ink at the proper temperature is important to make puff ink activate and expand effectively. On the other side, using a lower temperature will keep the ink easily puffing up and burning when you set it up too high.

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5. Aftercare

After a whole process of screen printing, you should wash it inside out with cold water. It helps to maintain the quality of a puff or any other specialty print.

Avoid using a tumble-dryer so it’s better to hang dry the garments if possible. Also, do not iron over the print if you don’t want it to turn out a mess.

Puff Ink for Screen Printing 3

The Benefit of Puff Ink for Screen Printing

The process of puff ink printing is slightly similar to standard ones which makes it popular to use. There are also some benefits of using puff ink for screen printing as follows:

  • Fast printing. Puff ink intends to be a fast technique that is ideal for printing in large volumes.
  • Multiple colors. The combination of additive and plastisol or water-based inks can produce designs in any color.
  • Your design can be printed in conjunction with the option of effects and inks.
  • High-durability. The results will not easily flake off and crumble.
  • Professional finish. You can get a great result at a less expensive cost that works best on most types of fabrics.

That’s the information about puff ink for screen printing. This method is recommended if you want to print in large volumes with high-quality results. Also, puff ink is slightly similar to standard printing in the process.


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