Reflecting on reflective inks

November 3, 2016 at 5:05 am 1 comment


In a recent article posted on Images Magazine, Kieth Stevens our western regional sales manager, gives us a tip on how to print with reflective ink.

One of the most common mistakes printers make when using a direct print reflective ink is to print an underbase. Never use an underbase and never print-flash-print. This is because part of the process in printing reflective directly onto a garment is that the clear part of the ink, the vehicle or carrier of the glass beads, should be pushed into the garment, thus allowing the beads to ‘float’ on top of the garment and allow the most reflectivity. If an underbase is used, the absorption of the bead carrier into the garment cannot happen and the print cannot achieve the optimal reflectivity. This is also true if the reflective ink is printed, flashed, and printed again. Instead, I suggest print stroking the ink twice without flashing and always using as much pressure as possible, which is the opposite to correctly printing standard inks.


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.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at

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