Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ink

The last commercial print shop I worked for used oil based inks and solvents to clean up with and I have to say I didn't mind the smell. In fact I couldn't smell that much at all. I was around so many chemicals all day with dozens of screen printers that even with ventilation the dull headache and lack of smell just became routine. Yes if I went out after work people would comment on fumes that seemed to have permeated into my clothes and skin but that was just the way it was. Well that is not how I envisioned madder root.

When Janyce and I were first fleshing out our business we knew we wanted it to have as little environmental impact as possible and we also wanted it to be fun. Dull headaches are not fun. We wanted bright long lasting colors without having to use solvents. After doing some research we decided to go with Permaset Aqua Inks, which are water-based and completely solvent free. (Some inks that look water based are instead water-soluble and still are petroleum based). They provide both an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional inks and the vibrant colors we want to see on our organic linen tea towels and napkins.

In choosing colors for our designs, we have the option of using the Permaset Inks right out of the jar or of mixing our own, custom colors.
Some people hear “water-based” and think the colors might wash right off. Nope! After each tea towel or napkin is hand-printed, we heat set them. The inks sink into the fibers and provide long-lasting images.
Organic linen and the ink colors do soften with use. We recommend washing your tea towels or napkins in cold water and hanging them on the line to dry, but have tested them out in warmer temperatures and the dryer by throwing them in with our regular laundry.

We think you'll be thrilled with how these water-based, solvent free inks look and feel on your madder root tea towels or napkins.

To learn about our organic linen, please check out this blog post: The Linen


  1. i've always wondered about this -- thanks for the informative post !

  2. I love Permaset inks. Have been using them for years and we do custom-mix our colours. And yay! they're Australian too. x

  3. Thea,
    Got to love Australian inks. I got my start in screen printing at Edith Cowan. (Christina)