Ink used in screen-printing are available in many different forms to suit specific purposes, both artistic and functional. These inks we use at Lifestyle Australia include:

crackle_

An ink designed to crack and shrink as it cures producing a simulated aged effect.

photocromic_

Photochromism is used to describe an ink (or other product) that undergoes a reversible colour change reaction to ultra-violet light. When exposed over a period of time the product will change from one colour to another, and when the UV source is removed it will revert back to its original colour. As an example, photochromic pigments are used in UV exposure metering devices.

hi build_

Hi-build is the process of printing specially formulated ink through a very thick stencil to achieve a raised, glossy smooth print with very sharp edges. Unlike “Puff” inks, which have a flat, rounded and somewhat dull appearance, Hi-build prints result in bright, glossy distinct colours.

photoluminescent_

Photoluminescence (pl) is a process in which a substance absorbs photons from an external light source, stores and re-radiates those photons over a period of time as illumination. PL ink serves a functional purpose when used on a safety work wear in conjunction with reflective tap for night applications. Many retail clothing labels also make us of PL inks in street wear prints as a selling point.

discharge_

Discharge ink is used to strip away dyestuffs from a fabric revealing its natural colour. When combined with other inks it can produce a very soft feel print.

plastisol_

Plastisols are the most commonly used and are particularly useful for printing opaque graphics on dark fabrics. Plastisol tends to sit on top of the threads of a garment instead of soaking into them, which gives the print a raised, almost plastic texture.

puff_

Puff ink is an opaque ink base that rises when set with heat to provide a raised print effect.

denim_

A technique where various inks are strategically layered in special patterns to create the illusion of denim fabric. Denim can be used instead of applique where a fast production rate it required.

foil_

Foiling is a two step process which involves first screen printing a design in a bonding agent to the object to be foiled and then heat pressing a sheet of special foil over the top of the design.

flock effect_

Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. Flocking is used to increase the tactile sensation, aesthetics, colours and appearance of an item. It can also be performed for functional reasons including insulation, slip-or-grip friction, and low reflectivity.

soft hand_

“Hand” refers to the level of tactile feel that a print has on a finished garment. A “soft hand” or “ no hand” print will feel like there is little or no ink raised on the surface of the fabric. This is the opposite of a “hi-build” print which is designed to be felt.

marbleized_

Marbleized is a technique that results in a stone/marble like finish.

textured_

Textured is a generic term that refers to any combination of ink and technique which results in an irregular surface feel in the finished print.

moiré pattern_

A moiré pattern is an interference pattern created, for example, when two grids are overlaid at an angle, or when they have slightly different mesh sizes. In screen printing this is often encountered when overlaying half-tone prints to produce a final image.