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Top 9 Best Screen Printing Inks in 2024

Screen printing, a popular technique used for applying designs to various surfaces such as fabric, paper, and plastic, involves the use of a mesh screen, squeegee, and ink to transfer the design onto the selected surface. A crucial component of the screen printing method is the type of ink used. The choice of ink is instrumental not only in determining the quality of the final print, but also in influencing how long the design will last.

In this article, we will be discussing the best screen printing ink for achieving high-quality and long-lasting prints. Screen printing inks come in various types, including water-based, plastisol, discharge, and hybrid inks. When choosing the best ink for your project, it is essential to consider factors such as color vibrancy, drying time, opacity, and washability.

The most critical factor to consider when choosing the best screen printing ink is the type of material you will be printing on. Some inks work better on certain fabrics or surfaces than others, and using the wrong ink can result in poor adhesion or cracking of the design. Therefore, it is crucial to choose an ink that is compatible with the material you will be printing on.

We spent hours researching and testing various screen printing inks to identify the ones that produce the best results. We will be sharing our findings and recommendations to help you choose the best ink for your next screen printing project.

Top 3 Best Screen Printing Inks

  1. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
  2. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set
  3. Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink

We have researched and tested various screen printing inks to find the best options available on Amazon. Whether you’re a professional screen printer or a beginner, the ink you use can make a significant difference in the quality of your prints. After careful consideration, we have compiled a list of the top screen printing inks that offer excellent color vibrancy, durability, and ease of use. Check out our roundup of the best screen printing inks below.

1. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink

If you’re looking for a reliable screen printing ink that works on a variety of fabrics, Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink is a great choice.

Pros

  • Offers vibrant colors with great coverage and consistent workability every time.
  • Ideal for printing on a range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, linen, rayon, and other synthetics. Also works great on paper and cardboard.
  • Inks produce a super soft-hand on fabric and are permanent once properly heat set/cured.

Cons

  • May not be the most opaque on dark fabrics.
  • Some users may prefer a thicker consistency for easier application.
  • Some colors may require multiple coats for full coverage.

We recently had the chance to try out Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink, and we were impressed with its excellent working properties. The colors were vibrant and true to what we expected, and the ink was easy to work with, providing great coverage and consistent results.

We appreciated the versatility of this ink, as it worked well on a range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, linen, rayon, and other synthetics, as well as paper and cardboard. We were also pleased with the super soft-hand finish on fabric and the fact that the ink is permanent once properly heat set/cured.

While the ink worked well on light-colored fabrics, we did notice that it wasn’t the most opaque on darker fabrics, requiring multiple coats for full coverage. Additionally, some users may prefer a thicker consistency for easier application, although we found that the ink was easy to work with as is.

Overall, we would recommend Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink for anyone looking for a reliable and versatile ink for their screen printing projects.

2. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set

We highly recommend the Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set for anyone looking to create vibrant and long-lasting prints on a variety of fabrics and surfaces.

Pros

  • The set includes six must-have colors that are easy to mix together to create custom colors.
  • The water-based ink is easy to work with and delivers consistent results with no clumps.
  • The ink is permanent after heat setting, making it more durable than other transfer methods.

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with spilled ink during shipping.
  • The ink may not work as well on certain types of fabrics.
  • The set only includes six colors, which may not be enough for some projects.

We have personally used the Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set and have been impressed with the quality and ease of use. The ink applies smoothly and evenly, and the colors are vibrant and long-lasting. We appreciate that the ink is water-based and easy to clean up with soap and water, and that it is safe for use in the studio or classroom.

One potential downside is that some users have reported issues with spilled ink during shipping, which can be messy and difficult to clean up. Additionally, the ink may not work as well on certain types of fabrics, so it’s important to test it out before using it on a large project. Finally, the set only includes six colors, which may not be enough for some projects.

Overall, we believe that the Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink Starter Set is a great choice for anyone looking to create high-quality prints on a variety of surfaces. With its easy-to-use water-based ink and vibrant colors, this set is sure to impress.

3. Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink

If you’re looking for a high-quality screen printing ink, we highly recommend Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink.

Pros

  • The ink is of professional quality and is the brand of choice for many professional screen printers. It is available in a broad range of colors.
  • The ink has excellent working properties and offers artists vibrant colors, great coverage, and consistent workability every time.
  • The ink has an unrivaled working time, which allows artists to print without worry.

Cons

  • The ink is not recommended for use on fabrics and is best suited for printing paper, wood, and cardboard.
  • The ink is water-based and acrylic, which may not be suitable for all types of projects.
  • The ink may require a bit more drying time compared to other screen printing inks.

We recently used Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink for a project, and we were impressed with its quality and performance. The ink is easy to work with and produces vibrant colors that are sure to make any project stand out. The ink is also safe for use in the studio or classroom and carries the AP Seal. Cleanup is a breeze with soap and water.

Overall, we highly recommend Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink for anyone looking for a high-quality, professional-grade screen printing ink.

4. Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink

If you’re looking for a high-quality screen printing ink that’s both water-based and non-toxic, then Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink is the perfect choice for you. With its superior coverage and long-lasting results, you can create bold and vivid prints on a variety of fabrics, such as cotton, canvas, linen, cotton blends, and many more.

Pros

  • The value pack of two 8-ounce bottles is perfect for small to large-size projects, and it offers savings as well.
  • The high opacity ink is perfect for achieving bold prints whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner.
  • The water-based ink’s smooth and easy-flow consistency ensures flawless prints every time, and cleaning up the silkscreen ink is a breeze with just soap and water.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the ink can be a bit thick, which can cause clogging in the screen.
  • The ink may not be suitable for dark-colored fabrics, as the black may not show up as well.
  • The ink may dry out quickly if not stored properly, so it’s important to keep the bottles tightly sealed.

We recently tried out Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink on a variety of fabrics, and we were impressed with the results. The ink provided excellent coverage, and the prints came out bold and vivid. We also appreciated that the ink was water-based and non-toxic, which made it easy to work with and clean up.

One thing to keep in mind is that the ink can be a bit thick, which can cause clogging in the screen. We found that adding a bit of water to thin it out helped to prevent this issue. Additionally, the black ink may not show up as well on dark-colored fabrics, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing your materials.

Overall, we would definitely recommend Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink to anyone looking for a high-quality, water-based, and non-toxic ink for their screen printing projects. With its superior coverage and long-lasting results, you’re sure to be pleased with the results.

5. Smalltongue Fabric Screen Printing Ink

If you want to create vibrant prints on your fabrics, then Smalltongue Fabric Screen Printing Ink is an excellent option to consider.

Pros

  • The set comes with 8 vibrant colors, including white, black, yellow, purple, blue, green, red, and brown, which can be mixed to create any color.
  • The ink is high quality and waterproof, making it durable under sunlight. It doesn’t fade even after washing in a washing machine.
  • This screen printing ink can be used for various fabrics like cotton, polyester, blends, linen, rayon, and other synthetics.

Cons

  • The ink can be thick, but you can add a little bit of water to thin it.
  • The white color may ooze out of the bottle, and the under-seal may not be tight like the other colors.
  • The seals on the lids may not be great and may come chunky.

We recently tried this ink set and found it to be impressive. The colors are vibrant and mix well to create new shades. The ink is durable and doesn’t wash away even after multiple washes. It’s also easy to clean up after use. We used it on cotton and polyester fabrics, and the prints came out great.

Overall, Smalltongue Fabric Screen Printing Ink is an excellent option for anyone looking to create high-quality prints on various fabrics. It’s also a great gift idea for any artist.

6. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink

If you’re looking for a reliable and high-quality screen printing ink, we highly recommend the Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink. This ink is perfect for printing on fabrics, paper, and cardboard, and produces vibrant colors with great coverage.

Pros

  • Offers vibrant colors and great coverage
  • Permanent results on fabric printing
  • Safe for studio or classroom use

Cons

  • Not suitable for dark-colored fabrics
  • May require heat set/cure for permanent results
  • Some users reported issues with packaging

We’ve used this ink on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, linen, and rayon, and it always produces consistent and vibrant results. It’s also easy to clean up with soap and water, making it a great option for studio or classroom use.

One thing to note is that this ink is best used on light-colored fabrics, as it may not show up well on darker colors. Additionally, for permanent results on fabric printing, the ink may need to be heat set or cured. Some users also reported issues with the packaging, so it’s important to handle the jar with care.

Overall, we highly recommend the Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink for its excellent working properties, versatility, and permanent results on fabric printing.

7. Screen Print Direct Rapid Cure® White Screen Printing Ink (8oz.)

If you want to create high-quality screen prints with ease, you should definitely consider purchasing Screen Print Direct Rapid Cure® White Screen Printing Ink.

Pros

  • This ink is perfect for screen printing on fabric, including dark-colored materials.
  • It is easy to use and provides excellent coverage.
  • The ink is low-temperature curing, which means it can be used on a wide range of materials.

Cons

  • The ink may require a bit of stirring before use.
  • Some users have reported that the ink can be a bit thick, which may require some thinning.
  • The ink may not be suitable for use on all types of fabrics.

We recently had the chance to try out Screen Print Direct Rapid Cure® White Screen Printing Ink, and we were thoroughly impressed. The ink is incredibly easy to use and provides excellent coverage, which is perfect for creating high-quality screen prints.

One of the standout features of this ink is its low-temperature curing. This means that it can be used on a wide range of materials, including those that are heat-sensitive. We found that the ink cured quickly and provided excellent results.

While the ink is generally easy to use, we did find that it required a bit of stirring before use. Additionally, some users have reported that the ink can be a bit thick, which may require some thinning before use. However, once we got the ink to the right consistency, we found that it worked like a charm.

Overall, we highly recommend Screen Print Direct Rapid Cure® White Screen Printing Ink to anyone who wants to create high-quality screen prints with ease. It’s a versatile and reliable ink that is perfect for a wide range of applications.

9. Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink

We highly recommend the Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink for anyone looking for a high-quality, water-based ink that provides excellent coverage and long-lasting results.

Pros

  • The value pack includes two bottles of 8 ounces each, making it suitable for small to large-size projects and offering savings.
  • The ink’s high opacity formula ensures bold prints, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner.
  • Once heat set, the ink provides excellent durability and permanent eye-popping prints on a variety of fabrics, such as cotton, canvas, linen, cotton blends, and many more.

Cons

  • The ink is only available in black and white colors, limiting your color options.
  • The packaging may not be suitable for those who prefer larger bottles of ink.
  • The ink may require more effort to clean up than some other water-based inks.

We were impressed with the Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink’s smooth and easy-flow consistency, which ensured flawless prints every time. The ink’s water-based formula also made it easy to clean up with just soap and water, making it an eco-friendly option for printmaking.

The ink’s excellent coverage and high opacity formula provided vivid and crisp results, even on darker fabrics. We also appreciated the ink’s long-lasting durability, which ensured that our prints remained vibrant and bold after multiple washes.

Overall, the Creative Nation Screen Printing Ink is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, water-based ink that provides excellent coverage and long-lasting results. Its value pack and convenient packaging make it a cost-effective option for small to large-size projects, and its non-toxic formula makes it a safe and eco-friendly choice for printmaking.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying the best screen printing ink, there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the right product for your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Ink Type

The type of ink you choose will depend on the material you are printing on. Some inks are designed for use on cotton, while others work better on synthetic fabrics. There are also inks that are suitable for use on paper and other surfaces. Be sure to choose an ink that is appropriate for the material you are printing on.

Color Options

Screen printing ink comes in a wide range of colors. Some inks are available in standard colors, while others can be mixed to create custom shades. Consider the color options available and choose an ink that will allow you to create the designs you want.

Drying Time

The drying time of the ink is an important factor to consider, especially if you are working on a tight deadline. Some inks dry quickly, while others take longer to dry. Choose an ink that will allow you to complete your project within your desired timeframe.

Opacity

The opacity of the ink refers to how well it covers the material you are printing on. Some inks are more opaque than others, which can affect the vibrancy of the colors in your design. Consider the opacity of the ink and choose a product that will give you the desired level of coverage.

Price

Screen printing ink can vary in price depending on the brand, color, and quantity. Consider your budget and choose an ink that offers the best value for your money.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best screen printing ink for your project and achieve the results you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ink is best for screen printing on dark fabric?

When printing on dark fabrics, we recommend using an opaque ink such as a high-opacity plastisol ink. This type of ink will provide the best coverage and prevent the fabric color from showing through.

What is the best ink for printing on canvas?

For printing on canvas, we recommend using a water-based ink. This type of ink will provide a softer feel and allow the ink to absorb into the fabric, resulting in a more vibrant print.

Is Speedball ink good for screen printing?

Speedball ink is a popular choice for screen printing, especially for beginners. However, it may not be the best option for all projects. It is important to consider the specific needs of your project and choose an ink that will provide the best results.

Why is plastisol commonly used for screen printing?

Plastisol ink is commonly used for screen printing because it is easy to work with, provides excellent coverage, and can be used on a variety of fabrics. It also has a long shelf life and can be easily stored for future use.

How do I choose the right screen printing ink for my project?

When choosing the right ink for your project, consider factors such as the type of fabric you are printing on, the desired finish of the print, and the specific needs of your project. It is also important to choose an ink that is compatible with your screen printing equipment.

Where can I find high-quality screen printing ink near me?

High-quality screen printing ink can be found at specialty art supply stores, screen printing supply companies, and online retailers. Be sure to research the specific brand and type of ink before making a purchase to ensure it meets the needs of your project.

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