The return of puff printing

If you are lucky enough to have been around in the ’80s, you will remember puff printing being a big deal, and here at 1WorldPrint, we are delighted to see puff ink making a comeback in the screen printing world. Fortunately these days, due to advanced technology, puff printing has a much more elegant look and is proving a very popular option with our clients.

How Does Puff Ink Work?

Puff printing is created by a combination of plastisol ink mixed with a puff print additive. As the name suggests, puff ink literally expands on the t-shirts and creates a raised print.  We apply the puff ink through a standard mesh screen. The more puff additive that is added, the more the print will be elevated. 

The print will look exactly the same as a standard plastisol print when it comes off the press, and the puff print is formed when the garments go under the dryer and are exposed to heat. 

An example of puff printing | Available now at 1WorldPrint

When the puff ink additive is mixed with plastisol ink it slightly dilutes the colour, which makes the plastisol ink have a muted look compared to how it would look alone. To help the print to obtain an exact Pantone match, and allow for the colours to look alive, an additional layer of plastisol ink is required. So the first layer of ink should consist of 90% puff additive and 10% plastisol ink, and then a second layer of the plastisol ink in the Pantone colour you are looking to achieve.

Puff Printing Ink about to be mixed | Available now at 1WorldPrint

Getting Creative:

Some of our most eye-catching prints have included a mixture of puff print with standard plastisol print. It is a great way to add effect and can really stand out. Adding puff additive to just one colour on a multi colour print allows you to be really creative and has produced some amazing results. 

An example of puff printing | Available now at 1WorldPrint

Tricks Of The Trade:

Puff printing is not recommended for designs which contain a lot of detail as when the ink expands, the fine details will blur together. 

It is essential to cure the garments at temperatures between 150° – 160° C. If the garments are cured at a higher temperature the puff will simply collapse.

It is essential the curing process is performed correctly with puff ink

If you are creating your own brand, why not personalize your garments with your own neck label or print? The print will help you stand out from the crowd, so why have a manufacturer’s label in the neck when you can have your own branded label in there?

Puff Ink is becoming more and more popular with our retail clients and fashion brands, and you will notice more and more t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies with puff print on the high street. 
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or to ask for a quote. The difference in price between a standard plastisol print and a puff print (or combined print) is remarkably small, and almost not noticeable if you are printing in bulk.

Please get in touch with one of our team if you have any questions or require any more information, and we will be happy to help.You can get a quote by clicking the Get A Quote button at the bottom. You can also email at: or call us on: 0208 064 1315.

Helen Anderton

Content Writer @1WorldPrint