The propensity to create and print our designs is what’s spurring on the DIY industry. A big part of it is screen printing and it’s owing to this printing technology that many SMEs are thriving these days.
You can choose fabrics for t-shirts or paper and cardboard on which to screen print and market your unique products. For beginners and seasoned printers alike, it’s important to choose the right screen printing ink to get the desired results.To help you choose the best screen printing ink, this blog has been put together after extensive research and product reviews. Delve into it to find the secrets that can make a difference in your screen printing projects.
list of Top 9 Screen Printing Inks
Comparison Chart For Top 9 Screen Printing Inks
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
Speedball Opaque Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
Speedball Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink Starter Set
Speedball Opaque Iridescent Fabric Screen Printing Ink
Speedball Opaque Fabric Screen Printing Ink
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
Jacquard Screen Printing Ink 2 Versatex Starter Sets
Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink
Jacquard Versatex Printing Ink Set #1
Best Screen Printing Ink Reviews
1. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
For beginners, instructors, and professionals of screen printing, Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Kit offers vibrant colors that are easy to use and wash off.
With great value for money, you can’t go wrong with this product. You are sure to get consistent coverage and bold results every time. All these within your budget make Speedball screen printing ink set your ideal choice.
Choose any medium as the canvas of your creativity – cardboard, paper, or fabrics like polyester, cotton, blends, rayon, and linen. Just make sure not to apply on nylon.
The kit contains six colors, each in a 4-ounce jar. Paint your designs and logos with red, black, yellow, white, blue, and green screen printing inks. For permanent results, the colors will stay on the fabric once set with heat. Also, they won’t wash away with rinsing.
To get the most vibrant outcome, use only light-colored fabrics. You can either apply the screen printing inks with a brush directly on the fabric or you can have designs screen printed using these inks. Clean-up is easy with water.
The product is also AP-certified and safe for use. It has no solvents, is non-flammable, and doesn’t emanate any smells. Also available in 8-ounce individual jars.
- 6 vibrant colors in 4-ounce jars.
- Applicable on a wide range of fabrics, cardboard, and paper.
- Can be either screen printed or hand-painted with a brush.
- Easy to clean up and safe to use.
- Consistent results and great coverage.
2. Speedball Opaque Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
For some added oomph to your fabric creations, choose Speedball opaque fabric screen printing ink.
The pearlescent nature of the product adds a shimmering effect to your designs that can make any fabric stand out in the crowd. Besides a wide variety of fabrics, you can apply this screen printing ink on paper and cardboard for some cool crafts.
To make your fabric creations last forever, make sure to heat-treat the ink so that it won’t get rinsed away. The versatile colors of the ink make it perfect for applying on both dark and light-colored backgrounds. The effect will be equally enthralling, thanks to its opacity.
The starter set of screen printing inks includes delicious colors like raspberry, citrine, silver, blue topaz, black pearl, and pearly white. Each of the six colors comes in jars of 4 ounces each.
The excellent coverage and consistent quality of the product make it a winner among learners and professionals.
Cleaning up after use is easy with soap and water. Safe to use in classrooms or artist’s studio with AP seal.
- Pearlescent colors for shimmering effects.
- 6 delightful colors in 4-ounce jars.
- Superior opacity is suitable for use on both dark and light-colored fabrics.
- Suitable for a wide range of fabrics and also paper and cardboard.
- Heat treatment is required for permanent designs.
3. Speedball Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink Starter Set – Best Water Based Screen Printing Ink
Your block printing projects will reach a new height of aesthetics with the Speedball Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink Starter Set.
Choose from black, white, gold, red, blue, and yellow to make unique prints on several substrates including cardboard or paper with wood, linoleum, or any other material suitable for block printing. Polyfoam and pliable printing plates are suitable for this product.
The vibrant colors of the ink provide great coverage and what tops the cake is the silky, satiny glow that lends your work of art a unique finish. Each color comes in a tube of 1.25 fluid ounce.
You are guaranteed to get uniform coverage and consistent, bold results every time, thanks to the tack of the block printing ink. Perfect grinding and milling of the pigments ensure their high quality.
Safe for use in the classroom and studio by both children and adults, you can use these block printing inks whether you’re a student or an artist. Besides block printing, you can use these for relief printing too.
Cleaning up after use is easy as all you need is a soapy water solution to clean your tools and the workspace.
- Silky and bold finish when dry.
- 6 vibrant colors in 1.25-ounce tubes.
- Ground and milled to provide coverage and consistency.
- Suitable for both block and relief printing.
- Safe and suitable for use by adults and kids.
4. Speedball Opaque Iridescent Fabric Screen Printing Ink, 8-Ounce, Pearly White – Cheap Screen Printing Ink
If you’re looking for something that would add a sheen to your fabric printing projects, you’ve come to the right place!
The Speedball Opaque Iridescent fabric screen printing ink gives a pearlescent finish to your T-shirts, tablecloths, or any fabric. With the shimmering effect changing with different angles, you can turn any drab piece of material into wearable art.
The metallic results of the product make it the most wanted among art enthusiasts and professionals who are into printing bold graphics. The white and pearly finish works well on both dark and light-colored materials. It comes in a convenient 8-ounce pack for easy storage.
You can apply this screen printing ink on cardboard, paper, and a range of fabrics including synthetics, linen, cotton, linen, blends, and polyester.
The application of this water-soluble ink is safe as they are non-toxic and non-flammable. Plus, these are AP-certified to put your mind at ease.
For optimum results and to make your prints permanent, you can heat set using your home iron. Just chose the heat as per the material and press each side of the print for 3 to 5 minutes. Post-application clean-up is easy with just soap and water.
- Brushed metal finish that changes with changing angles.
- Suitable for cardboard, paper, and fabrics.
- 8-ounce pack for easy storage.
- Easy to clean up with water and soap.
- Safe to use and can be made permanent with heat.
5. Speedball Opaque Fabric Screen Printing Ink, 32-Ounce, Gold
The Speedball opaque fabric screen printing ink in gold color is there to add a royal touch to your arts and crafts.
Suitable for application on paper, cardboard, and a whole host of fabrics like cotton, polyester, and others, the gold ink adds iridescent patterns. Therefore, your project will get an extra edge as it would stand head and shoulders above others.
The quality and softness of the fabric of your preference will not be compromised even after you heat-set the ink to make it permanent.
With the 32-ounce jar, you can undertake a lot of screen printing projects. Don’t worry about the coverage and consistency as both are ensured. Choose dark or light-colored materials and the gold paint would be visible well on either from a mile away.
Thanks to the superior opacity of the product, it won’t lose its depth even after time passes. The application is safe and comfortable as there is no offensive smell. The ink is also non-flammable, making it safe for use in the studio and classroom.
As both adults and kids can use this product, it has gained universal approval. Clean up after with a simple soap and water solution.
- Gold metallic finish for a royal touch.
- 32-ounce jar for commercial and household use.
- Great iridescent effects on dark and light-colored clothes.
- Doesn’t compromise the quality and softness of the fabric.
- Safe to use and easy to clean up with soap and water.
How To Choose The Best Screen Printing Ink
Quality is, of course, the number one factor to look for. To know that you’re buying a good quality screen printing ink, make sure that the color is bold, gives good coverage, consistent, easy to apply, lightfast, wash-fast, and can be made permanent by curing.
The brand is a sign of quality and therefore, choose a brand of screen printing inks that are popular. An example is Speedball. Other reputed brands are Jacquard and Permaset Aqua.
Moreover, a good brand should ensure that the screen printing inks are resistant to light and wash and also high on opacity for bold and vibrant outcomes.
Before buying the perfect screen printing ink, you must decide on which material it would be applicable. Otherwise, you may not get good results and the ink may fade too soon. Choose an ink that is suitable for paper and a wide range of fabrics so that you have a wide variety to work on.
Choose a water-soluble screen printing ink if you want to show details of your design patterns. Moreover, this type of ink has a fine consistency so that the fabrics retain their softness.
The finish that you want to achieve will influence the choice of the ideal screen printing ink. Choose pearlescent colors if you want a shimmering effect. You can get a metallic finish with a color like gold. For ultra-bright effects, you can choose neon colors.
When you want to buy screen printing inks, check if these have any harmful chemical solvents. Don’t buy a brand that gives off smells when you use it. Plus, check to make sure what you buy is non-flammable and can be used by kids and adults in studios and classrooms.
Moreover, these should also have no negative impact on the environment. So, look for a brand that’s certified to be safe and is also water-soluble.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is The Best Screen Printing Ink?
There is no single top-rated screen printing ink as it depends on the fabric you will print on, the design, budget, and the effect that you want to get. Thus, depending on your specific project, you need to pick the one that works for you.
However, user reviews seem to point toward Speedball as the ideal screen printing ink. They are water-soluble, eco-friendly, easy to use and clean up, safe for use by both adults and children, and produce durable and vibrant colors.
2. What Kind Of Ink Is Used For Screen Printing?
For screen printing, you can use either water-based or oil-based plastisol ink.
The water-based gets easily absorbed into the substrate. Consequently, the fabric remains soft. The colors are also bold and vibrant. These are easy to use for beginners and also eco-friendly.
However, these take more time to dry in humid conditions and also need to be heat-treated for making them permanent.
Plastisol type of screen printing ink has a thick consistency and therefore doesn’t get absorbed into substrates.
However, it’s durable and can be used on a variety of designs using different equipment and methods. It’s easy to mix and gives a matte finish. You need to apply heat to cure this type of screen printing ink.
The third type of ink is discharge ink. It’s recommended for use only by professionals and on 100% cotton fabric. It’s suitable for dark-colored materials. The discharge ink, when applied, replaces the fabric pigment with its own.
3. Does Screen Printing Ink Go Bad?
Screen printing inks that are solvent-based can last up to 5 years. The UV-curing type of screen printing inks can be stored for up to a year from the manufacturing date. However, these inks don’t go bad but may become hard. Using a reducer can help bring these back to their original consistency.
4. How Long Does Screen Printing Ink Take To Dry?
It takes about 20 minutes for a water-soluble screen printing ink to dry. However, this is the time it takes when it gets dry to the touch. If you live in a cold climate, it may take up to 45 minutes to dry. On the other hand, a dry and hot day can make the screen print ink dry in 5 minutes
5. Is Screen Printing The Best For T-Shirts?
In most respects, screen printing is still the better technology for making designs on T-shirts than digital printing.
For one, screen printing ensures the colors are bold and vibrant. Secondly, you can get an exact color matching with screen printing, even with specialty inks and colors outside the CMYK palette.
Moreover, screen printing results in T-shirts that are long-lasting as the designs won’t fade easily.
You can screen print on a wide variety of T-shirt materials, not just cotton. The results will be equally great on polyester, denim, cotton, blends, and rayon. No other technology will yield consistent results.
With specialty inks, screen printing can produce a wide choice of effects on T-shirts like raised patterns, metal finishes, glitter, etc.
The right screen printing ink can give your products a competitive edge. Whether your business is screen printing t-shirts with dark Goth graphics or light and summery floral prints, the choice of the ink can make or break your project.If you know how to choose the best screen printing inks, you can master a fun hobby and turn it into a neat business. You can thrive not only in the T-shirt business but can also create crafts from paper and cardboards with your design screen printed on them.