Keep It Creative

December 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm 1 comment


Puff print over flock

Although there are basic parameters and best practices for how to screen print, the process still allows for a lot of artistic leeway.  Here is Kieth Stevens’s recently published article in Impressions on some tips to experiment:

Given the variety of inks and tools, screen printing is not always an exact science. Using various inks and additives, printers can still infuse a lot of creativity, even into a simple design.

Many screen printers seem to have lost that experimental sense of approach when it comes to trying something new or combining various inks. If you’re too afraid to make a mistake, you can miss out on developing a new technique or an interesting texture.

Most additives can be added to standard inks. You can add stretch additive, a nylon catalyst to make ink stick better, a low-cure additive, etc. The only thing to remember is that any additive will cause a reaction. 

If you add something to change one characteristic of the ink, you are diluting one of its other characteristics.

For example, if you add 5% curable reducer to lower the viscosity, then you can expect that the opacity of the ink will lessen. If you add a regular type of ink to low-bleed polyester ink, then you may see some kind of reduction in its bleed-blocking capabilities. Or, if you add a nylon type of adhesive additive, then you may experience a tougher, more durable ink film.

Keeping this in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. You can even add or mix small quantities at a time just for testing purposes.  Happy experimenting!

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. For more information, visit

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at


Entry filed under: General, How-To. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. inspired by  |  January 12, 2014 at 5:06 am

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do think that you ought to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually
    people don’t speak about such topics. To the next! Many


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