How to Make Rubberized Textile Ink

Written by mercedes valladares
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How to Make Rubberized Textile Ink
Make acrylic-based rubberised textile ink for home screen printing projects. (block printing ink smeers image by pdtnc from

Glossy and wet looks are two screen printing finishes achieved when using rubberised textile inks. Pre-made rubberised textile inks usually include a non-formaldehyde acrylic emulsion mixed into the water-based screen printing inks. The glossy texture also does not fade after multiple washes. Home crafters working with acrylic-based screen printing inks can recreate the same look with acrylic gloss medium and varnish. The mixed ink colour intensifies and appears glossy when screened onto the textile surface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Old newspapers
  • Protective mask
  • Protective gloves
  • Acrylic screen printing ink
  • Wooden craft sticks (2)
  • Acrylic gloss medium and varnish
  • Paint mixing container
  • Paintbrush
  • Fabric scrap

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  1. 1

    Spread old newspapers over your work table to keep the area free of paint. Keep in mind certain acrylic inks are permanent. Make sure your work space is well ventilated area. Wear a protective mask and gloves prior to opening the acrylic screen printing ink.

  2. 2

    Stir the acrylic screen printing ink with a wooden craft stick until it has a smooth consistency. Stir within the original ink container.

  3. 3

    Stir the acrylic gloss medium and varnish with another wooden craft stick until it has a smooth consistency. Stir within the original container.

  4. 4

    Pour one part acrylic gloss medium and varnish into four parts acrylic screen printing ink in a paint mixing container. Make sure the paint mixing container is free from previous paint or solutions. It is important to work with acrylic based inks and gloss mediums to ensure thorough mixing. It also results in a smoother feel after the inks have cured.

  5. 5

    Continue to mix the two parts until the gloss has thoroughly dissolved into the screen printing ink. Keep in mind, the gloss is clear. As the ink and gloss are stirred together, the clear texture disappears into the ink colour.

  6. 6

    Brush the rubberised textile ink with a paintbrush on a piece of fabric scrap prior to screening the project fabric. Allow the ink to cure a minimum of 24 hours to view the textured finish. Repeat steps 4 and 5 by mixing small parts of the acrylic gloss medium and varnish to the acrylic ink until you are satisfied with the textured finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Though water-based inks are eco-friendly, the screen has a natural matt finish. Acrylic inks have a natural sheen when dry.

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