Metallic Screen Printing Inks

2018-02-14T20:44:55+00:00

With spring comes new trends and one of the more prevalent ones we’ve identified is metallic printing. Unlike previous years we’ve seen at least two jobs using metallics come through the shop per week. With this influx we thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put together a blog post with more information about using metallics in your screen printing projects.

First you need to know that metallics are plastisol inks so they will always have a hand to them, in fact they are probably the heaviest inks we use. This is a result of the fleck or glitter that is used as the reflective element. Essentially metallic ink is a clear plastisol with glitter suspended in it and to me that sounds just awful, like having Kim Kardashian’s cellphone case glued to your teeshirt.

But wait, metallics are not just for the rich and famous fashion inept. When used intelligently and conservatively they can add a very unique texture and depth to the two-dimensional garment canvas. In the print photoed above we used a pale gold metallic to pop out the highlights without taking away from the classic feel that was the intention of the artiest. In this particular screen print we also used water based inks for the shadows, this will keep the hand soft and the finish as matte as possible.

There are hundreds of specialty plastisol inks out there like glow in the dark, black light, reflective and suede to name a few. If you have any questions about compatibility between ink systems or want to discuss options before starting up a new design just drop us a line. We either know it or we’ll learn about it together.