Finding a Canvas
I plan on purchasing a premade everyday/ handbag made from the material Jute.
Basic Printing Supplies
Most art stores carry the basic supplies for screen printing. Lucky for me I own most of the tools required already as I went through the DIY t-shirt stage a few years back. I’ll just need to restock on the right ink (see below) and possibly new silk for the screen.
The Right Ink
Most commercial garment screen printing processes use plastisol inks that contain the toxic component PVC and phthalates. Plastisol inks considered the least “green” ink option available as they are heavily manufactured, non-natural material and does not break down easily. These types of ink also require harmful solvents in the cleaning process. I found this really informative blog called nontoxicprint which has post about sustainable methods and materials for t-shirt printing. The writer Michael Beckham talks about the how the being more environmentally aware has become a “…mainstream, ongoing and important part of society and commerce” (1) and global companies are making an effort to become more sustainable in the product they offer, their manufacturing methods and materials to reflect the changing market. He also goes on to explain the advantaged and disadvantages of plastisol vs water-based solvent-free inks.
One company, based in Sydney, named Colormaker Industries has designed a 100% solvent-free textile screen printing ink called Permaset. On their website Colormaker Industries claim to be committed to reducing the environmental impact of their product and improving its environmental performance. They also acknowledge their responsibility to present and future generations both locally and internationally.
Permaset Aqua is a water based ink that does not contain PVC or phthalates as suggested by the name you can clean with water so do not need solvents therefore making it environmentally friendly. Some of the range has in fact received approval by the Soil Association in the UK for “…having successfully met the requirements of the Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for non-organic chemical inputs for use in organic textile processing.” (2) These colours include Permaset Aqua Process Cyan, Permaset Aqua Process Magenta, Permaset Aqua Process Yellow and Permaset Aqua Process Black.
Being an Australian company means that getting my hands on some Permaset Aqua supplies will be a lot easier than purchasing from overseas and the shipping costs are a lot less. After a bit of Google searching I’ve found the Eckersley’s Art & Craft Store stock this brand. I will check it out when I’m next in town