After years of hating the smell and wondering why water-based ink couldn’t quite make the grade with its colours and washability I’d almost given up on PERMASET and the like.
They were banished to the bottom shelves to gather dust and we reached an impasse where my nostrils lived in peace and we plowed forward almost entirely with Plastisol inks.
Giving up the use of water-based inks has not been entirely ideal. Environmental concerns are a great concern in all printing and I’ve always felt that water-based should be a better solution than it has been. As well there is always a need for better garment/print feel on many fabrics.
Over the last month we’ve had the opportunity to road test the new range called PERMASET AQUA. The first difference is the lack of overpowering smell.
The first test was a baptism by fire where we simply replaced the plastisol inks from a seven colour print on medium-dark fabric with direct PERMASET AQUA replacements. These were all printed through 120T screens except the white hi-lights which was printed through a 61T. To be honest I was startled. It was an unfair test but we managed to get it very close to the finish desired on the dark fabric. We also ran a test with the same screens onto white fabric and after several washes they are still looking great.
We have now run a major job with PERMASET AQUA printing 5 colours through nothing coarser than a 61T and the results are fantastic. No smell, easier to use and the colours were perfect.
Test pieces of the print were kept and we have run some through the washing machine several times and dried them in full sunlight and without any doubt the difference between the washed and unwashed is better than any water-based ink I have ever seen!
by James Carter
The Fabric Printer WA