Versatex Screenprinting Ink Instructions

Versatex screen printing inks

Versatex Screenprinting Ink: Tips for Getting Started

Versatex Screenprinting Ink are fun, press-ready metallic textile inks, to achieve a shimmering effect under light. This ink is great for giving t-shirts, high fashion garments, towels, sweathshirts, and nylons a unique touch!

You can shop all Versatex inks here.

Versatex Tips

  • Versatex colors are semi-transparent, so they work best on light colored fabrics.

  • For permanency and wash-fastness on fabric, inks must be heat set.

  • These beautiful inks contain glitter?be sure to mix well before using!

  • Cottons, cotton/polyester blends, terry cloth, canvas, natural fibers, and nylons are all good substrates for Versatex. Screen Mesh also offers excellent run-ability, with meshes of 60-86 monofilament polyesters.

  • All colors can easily be mixed, but you’ll want to test for color accuracy before applying.

  • Be sure to leave screen flooded while printing, or during delays in the printing process. In low humidity or hot weather, use a spray bottle with water to keep ink moist.

Versatex Techniques

Body: As with other inks, Versatex offers flexibility to mix and adjust as you like, so you can be as creative as you like. Here are a few tips:

Creating Pastels

Versatex Printing extender VPI #300 may be added for obtaining pastels and transparent overlays. Mix colors with white for opaque pastels.

Mixing Versatex

Mix or blend your own colors by using a medium speed mechanical mixer. Overlapping transparent colors produce new shades. The primaries combine well to make a variety of colors. Colors are their deepest when applied at packaged strength.

Paper Techniques

  • Use cotton rag papers suitable for serigraphy.

  • Apply on white or light tones of paper for best results.

  • You can apply the ink directly, as it will not wrinkle or bleed on paper.

  • Versatex inks are strongest when applied directly, and then thinned or adjusted gradually.

Fabric Techniques

  • Use decorator blocks, stiff brushes, or short napped roller. Natural bristle brushes are preferable, as used for oil or watercolor painting.

  • Be sure to work color into fabric before adding more, to avoid excessive build up of color.

  • Stencils are useful for repeat designs.

  • Masking tape is an easy way to make stripes and crisp edges. Painting with a sponge can produce interesting half-tone effects.

  • Versatex will print effectively over light to medium tones, but will not hide dark tones.

Setting Versatex

Body: Ink painted fabrics must dry thoroughly, and be heat set, for permanency. For best results, allow painted or printed fabric to dry approximately one half hour. (For faster drying, place under a lamp.) Below are the most popular and tested techniques to set inks:

Setting in a Dryer

Use a commercial dryer* at 250 degrees minimum for 45 minutes. Be sure to pre-heat dryer.

*Note that home dryers do not reach heat levels high enough to set Versatex ink.

Setting with an Iron

When using an iron, pre-heat iron at maximum temperature for fabric. Place aluminum foil on ironing board, and the painted side of the fabric down. Press against the backside for 15-25 seconds per square foot.

Setting in a Commercial Conveyor Type Oven

350 degrees for 3 minutes (may require two passes). Fabric should be hot to the touch in order to set colors.

3 Important Tips for Setting Success

  1. Optimum time and temperature required to properly heat-set will vary depending on fabric, coverage and equipment.

  2. Versatex Fixer can be used with the Versatex Printing Inks to increase wash fastness and to assist in the heat setting process. Add 1% to 3% by volume to printing ink. The pot life of the ink after addition of fixer is 6 hours.

  3. After application allow ink to dry for 12 hours before heat setting at 225 - 300 degrees. Or let dry 4-6 days without heat setting before washing. Always do test runs before running productions.