T-Shirt Forums banner

Advice wanted about eco friendly water based ink

2139 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  PatWibble
Hi all, I’m thinking of using an eco friendly, water based ink to print with, using it rollered directly onto grills and other embossed old signs etc then printing onto shirts, tea towels and the like by applying pressure evenly down onto the material. Then lifting the material and therefore having a reverse print on the Tee's and T towels. I would also need this ink to dry naturally / air dry.
Any suggests or advice please.
Do you know of any suitable products available in the UK?
Do you an ink/supplier that will be good for doing all the above?
Do you know one that will air dry or is it OK for it to air dry as opposed to applying heat to it to dry?
Will it be permanent and remain so after washing ?
Thanks in advance.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Permaset Aqua is one of your best options. It is an Australian made ink, but is certified as organic by the UK Soil Association. I don't know if they will air dry. https://www.pyramidscreenproducts.co.uk/

Daler Rowney System 3 is a water based acrylic range of pigments that you can add a textile screen print medium to. It will air dry, and is a brand that is used extensively in schools, so is safe and relatively eco friendly. It comes in smaller quantities so is economical to buy a colour range. Screenstretch: We've Got Everything Including the Inks

Amex make a waterbased range that you can add a 'cold cure' catalyst to. https://daveroper.co.uk/

The big problem with air dry/cold cure waterbased ink is washability. Although the product will dry and be ok to wash, you won't be able to wash it as often ( or as hot) as you can a properly cured waterbased ink.
See less See more
Thanks for the info, I will check them out.
Do think if I air dried the print at the location then several hours later applied heat with an iron back at home, the printing would be cured enough to be washable and not wash away? Thanks again.
I highly recommend curing with heat. A heat press is a relatively economical means to do this, and is what I use.

I use Permaset Aqua, mostly the SuperCover line of opaque inks (for printing on dark fabrics), but regular Aqua would be the thing for printing black/dark onto white/light fabric. The opaque inks have some handfeel, and there is no getting around that when printing on dark fabric, unless you go to a discharge ink (which ain't even close to eco friendly). The regular Aqua won't have any feel after a washing. Permaset inks are free of phthalates and heavy metals.

Your printing idea is interesting. You will probably need to do some experimentation and DIY engineering to get good results. Woodcut and LinoCut printing are similar in principle to what you propose--so the methods and tools used there may be of use, or at least inspiration for your own variations. For best results, I think you'll need to have the fabric on a flat work surface (maybe with some adhesive/tac as used in screen printing to hold it in place) and then press the inked object onto the fabric. Doing it the other way around it would probably be impossible to keep the fabric from coming into contact with more of the objects surface than you want printed.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks for the advice, I never thought about lino cut etc, i will definitely look that up.
Thanks for the info, I will check them out.
Do think if I air dried the print at the location then several hours later applied heat with an iron back at home, the printing would be cured enough to be washable and not wash away? Thanks again.
Some water base inks will get dry to the touch if left to air dry, some won't. Permaset will do this. You can then heat cure it at any later time you want--just avoid stretching or abrasion of the printed image until cured.

A heat press will make much faster, and reliable, work of it. They don't take up all that much space. Find a used one. Just make sure to get one compatible with your electrical outlet, as some require more amps than a common household circuit. I do two presses at about 330F for 30 seconds each, a lift in between to release steam from the first pressing.
Thanks for the info, I will check them out.
Do think if I air dried the print at the location then several hours later applied heat with an iron back at home, the printing would be cured enough to be washable and not wash away? Thanks again.
You can cure later without any worries. I think you will struggle to get a even cure with an iron, so the final wash could still end up blotchy.

Like NoXid suggested a heatpress is a good bet. It will give an even cure across the garment.
Thats great news, thanks again.
Just make sure to get one compatible with your electrical outlet, as some require more amps than a common household circuit. .
Compatibility shoulldn't be a problem. All t-shirt size presses available in the UK will work off a standard 230v 13amp domestic socket.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top