What is 3D Puff Printing?
Puff ink is a special type of screen printing that uses specialty ink mixed with a heat-activated foaming agent. The ink gets printed just like a standard screen print. Then, as the garment goes through the dryer, the ink expands and begins to puff upward.
If you’ve ever baked a cup cake you will understand how puff screen printing works. The ink goes on wet like a batter. After “baking” the ink starts to rise, and eventually “crest over” the top. This puff method is especially effective on custom t-shirts, hoodies, and crew neck sweatshirts.
When you are considering a puff ink project, bigger and thicker as better. Puff is designed to be used in larger applications. Consider things like: chunky text with heavy lines, larger design elements, etc.
Puff screen printing offers unique opportunities for customizing your design. If you are designing a 2 or 3 color print, you can choose to print one or two colors in standard water based ink, and the other color in puff for emphasis and impact.
You can use puff inks for as many colors as you would like in your design, you are only limited based on the number of colors that your screen printing company can print with.
How Does Puff Ink Work?
Calling the product “Puff Ink” is actually a misnomer. Because standard screen printing inks are what are used for the base of a puff design. The puff aspect is really an additive that is mixed in with the traditional ink.
Puff additive can be mixed in a base white or mixed with colors and printed over a base. What’s nice about the process is that it is a low cure temperature product. This helps to minimize charring of the design or unnecessary shrinking of the garment.
Puff ink adds a unique 3 dimensional aspect to screen printing on fabrics and garments. One nuance to printing with puff ink is that it’s challenging to match the exact Pantone ink color. This is because the puff ink additive changes different colors in different ways. Lighter Pantone colors are easier to match than darker colors.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages Of Using Puff Inks
Advantages of Puff Inks
- Puff additive can be added to any ink color, giving you virtually limitless options
- Puff inks are less labor intensive than High Density Ink printing, resulting in lower costs
- You can use multiple puff ink colors in the one design
- Puff inks work well with large surface area prints
- Puff inks can be printed in conjunction with a wide selection of other inks and effects
- Puff inks are durable and hard wearing, will not crumble and flake off
Disadvantages of Puff Inks
- Puff inks are not good for use in fine detailed artwork. Only 1pt or greater can be used
- It is not advised to use Puff inks alongside, foil, flock or high density print effects
Puff Screen Printing
Puff screen printing can create an eye-popping designs to make you or your client stand out from the crowd. The process involves the same setups and processes as standard screen printing but it allows you to design using special 3D effects.
Uses of Puff Screen Printing
Puff screen printing is a very versatile printing techniques and so it works well with nearly all garment types. Most cotton garments are suitable for puff screen printing, if you have a unique garment that you would like a Puff design printed and you are unsure then please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with advice. Our experienced and friendly staff will answer you and offer advice on hot to proceed.
We can always screen print puff onto t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, polos, tote bags and many more products and so we will be able to find a solution that meets your needs.
Special Care Instructions For Puff Prints
Puff printed garments are more sensitive and need extra attention when it comes to washing. To preserve the puff print and the garment, it is recommended that you wash it inside out with cold water.
If possible, do not use a tumble-dryer and never iron over the puff print.
How To Get Started With A Puff Printing Project
Due to the complexities involved with a puff printed screen printing order, we recommend contacting us for a free consultation. We will walk you through the process and help you achieve your goals.
To connect with us, give us a call (908) 806-8337 or use our customer contact form.