Not All Water Based Inks Are Equal

We only use water based textile inks.  No discharge printing, no transfers, no PVC and no phthalates.

No compromise. 

Eco-Friendly Ink Pioneers

We were the first screen printers in the UK to exclusively use 100% solvent-free water-based inks for paper and garment printing. We provide free support to print studios around the world to help them make the switch too.  Read more about our waterbased inks.

The Permaset Aqua inks that we use for screen printing do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFC’s and HCFC’s, aromatic hydrocarbons or any volatile solvents. They don’t contain lead or any heavy metals. In fact, Permaset Aqua inks do not contain any toxic chemicals at all! Not even white spirits like other water based inks on the market. These inks passed the Oekotex Class 1 standard (with 60% to spare!) and are safe to use on underwear, swimwear and even baby clothes.  The Permatone range of inks (for printing onto white garments or a white underbase) are also certified organic with the Soil Association.

The DTG inks we use are also GOTS-certified organic and Oeko-Tex certified as free from toxic levels of more than 100 substances known to be harmful to human health.

If the Quality is the same, why doesn't everyone use water based inks?

Good question. Water based inks can be difficult to use. They air dry and can clog up the screen during printing. It takes a bit of getting used to but it’s worth it. Traditionally water based inks were not as hard-wearing and durable as plastisol inks and weren’t as opaque but things are different now.


Permaset Aqua was developed with this in mind and is highly durable to wash, wear and even to dry clean. We recommend washing up to 30°C but don’t recommend tumble drying. The inks contain a superior pigment colour for brightness and opacity, which means that you can use water based inks on dark colours without having to resort to bleaching the fabric using harmful discharge printing. 

Don’t believe those that tell you that discharge printing is the only way to print onto dark garments and don’t believe that it’s eco-friendly either.

Water based inks have the added benefit that they don’t have a rubbery feel like plastisol inks or transfer printing and are softer to the touch.


The newly formulated Brother inks that we use for Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing are also water based.  They are GOTS-certified organic and Oeko Tex accredited.

They scored highly on the AATCC wash test, showing that they are fully washable and durable, unlike many of the cheaper DTG set-ups.

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