Puff Ink T Shirt Printing

Puff ink adds a three-dimensional aspect to t shirt printing and helps your custom design pop off the garment. We use the same t shirt printing process and set-up as what we do with our standard waterbased inks, but our puff ink additive comes to life when it goes through our tunnel dryer to cure. Our puff ink is one of our speciality waterbased inks that we offer and is famous for streetwear, brewery merch, and designers wanting to create a bold, lifted t shirt print. 

How can puff ink be used for t shirt printing? 

You can use puff ink across the entire artwork, or you can choose specific elements or colours of the design to give it the desired effect to bring more attention or 'pop' to a particular part of the artwork. There are no fundamental limitations when using puff ink for t shirt printing, apart from when your design has small details that are less than 1 - 2mm wide. We advise customers to ensure the smallest detail used with puff is 5mm wide or larger. 

As you can see from the image below, you can create different looks when using puff ink for t shirt printing by the width of puff ink in the design. The thinner parts of the artwork create a very rigid look, whereas larger areas have a waffle look when using puff ink for t shirt printing. 

The Puff ink we use for t shirt printing is created by mixing a foaming agent to our waterbased ink base that expands when heat is applied to the printed t shirt. 

T Shirt Printing NZ | Puff Ink
Take your t shirt printing to the next level with puff ink!

Can Puff ink be used for t shirt printing and hoodie printing? 

Yes! Our puff ink works really well on both t shirt printing and hoodie printing. If you were to screen print the same artwork on a hoodie and a t shirt, you would get similar results. We can screen print t shirts and hoodies in the same run as long as the artwork stays the same; this is not priced as another setup. As well as t shirt printing with puff ink, we can print puff ink on tote bags, sweaters, hoodies, aprons, and more.

Can you Pantone match using Puff ink for t shirt printing? 

One of the downsides to printing with puff ink is that we cannot exactly Pantone match ink colours like we can with our regular waterbased ink. This is because the puff ink additive changes different colours in different ways. Usually, lighter Pantone colours are easier to match than darker colours when using puff ink for t shirt printing. We can do our best to add more pigment of a colour but cannot match the exact colour. However, we can send a photo of the printed sample to get your approval before going ahead with the job. 

T Shirt Printing NZ | Puff Ink

Different widths of puff ink will puff differently as you can see on this 

Does Puff print last as long as normal ink when used for t shirt printing? 

Puff ink will last as long as our regular waterbased inks if your garment is cared for correctly. These steps can be taken to ensure your screen printed t shirt last as long as the t shirt itself. Washing your garment as little as possible is number one on the list of caring for your printed t shirt; only wash it when it is super dirty! Next is to wash it inside out (so the print us on the inside) with like colours. Always opt for a cold wash, ensure you use the right detergent (we highly recommend using an environmentally approved product), and do not tumble dry or iron the t shirt print. For more information on how to care for your printed t shirt, check out our blog post here. 

Is Puff ink more expensive for t shirt printing? 

Adding puff ink to your design does come at an added cost because the raw materials to create the expanding foam agent are more expensive than our regular inks. The cost will depend on the area of the print that is puff ink and the number of units you are ordering. Our friendly team will be able to provide you with a quote within 1 hour of submitting it; click here to get your free quote started. 

T Shirt Printing NZ | Puff Ink
We designed & printed this t shirt using puff ink.

What are the pros to using puff ink for t shirt printing? 

Puff ink can create an x-factor to your design to ensure that it pops off the shelf and catches the eye of your potential customers. We find that a t shirt that is printed with puff inks draws customers to it as they want to feel and touch the print with their hands. If you are a designer, you can design your artwork with puff ink in mind; like using the puff ink for the body of an animal or insect, like a spider. 

Screen print is a very economical way to screen print large volumes of t shirts, whether it be 20 t shirts that you need to be printed or 2000, t shirt printing is the most affordable way to decorate t shirts and hoodies. We can use puff ink on most fabric types, but we find it works best on 100% cotton t shirts, 100% cotton hoodies and 80% cotton and 20% polyester hoodies. 

T Shirt Printing NZ | Puff Ink
A close-up shot of t shirt printing using puff inks.

What are the cons of t shirt printing with puff ink? 

The main downside to t shirt printing with waterbased puff inks is that we cannot exactly Pantone match colours, although we can get really close. The other limitation is trying to print small detail with puff ink as there is only a small amount of ink going down; therefore it is less likely to puff as much. 

Are you ready to get your next t shirt printing job underway with puff ink? Submitting a quote is really easy; it only take 2 - 3 minutes and our friendly team will get back to you within an hour of your submission. Puff ink may not be right for your job, so check out our other speciality inks here. 


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