FAQs – Flash Ink

Flash Ink reversibly changes upon exposure to a beam of direct white light, becoming bright white. It disappears instantly the light source is removed.

What is ‘Flash ink’?

Flash ink reacts to a direct beam of white light, changing suddenly from virtually invisible to a bright visible white. It can be applied to papers and boards or to textiles.

How does it work?

When a beam of white light such as a mobile phone camera flash is directed at the ink it reflects the light back again, but disappears as soon as the light source is removed. The image printed in flash ink is then only visible when captured and viewed on the mobile phone.

It is also particularly bright when in contrast to dark surroundings, especially at night, for instance in car headlights..

It can provide reflective properties to textile garment, signs, posters and printed items.

What colours are available?

Only white

Does the ink start ‘invisible’ and then the colour appears?

Yes, the ink will start virtually clear, and upon exposure to a beam of white light it becomes white.

What type Flash ink do you sell?

•             Inks –  For screen printing onto papers, plastics and textiles

•             Labels –  Used on finished products

Are only Screen printing inks available?

Yes, due to the particle size.

I need to print a flash effect onto papers and boards – which ink should I use?

For papers and boards we make a one-part plastisol flat bed screen ink.

I want to print onto t-shirts – how can I create an effect like this?

Flash ink is a one-part plastisol ink and can be applied to fabrics through conventional screen printing and curing methods.

Suitable for cottons and polyester fabrics, and blends.

What are ‘plastisol’ inks?

Plastisol is used as ink for screen-printing on to textiles. Plastisols are the most commonly used inks for printing designs on to garments, and are particularly useful for printing opaque graphics on dark fabrics.

Plastisol inks are not water-soluble. The ink is composed of PVC particles suspended in a plasticizing emulsion, and will not dry if left in the screen for extended periods. Because of the convenience of not needing to wash a screen after printing, plastisol inks can be used without a source of running water. Plastisol inks are recommended for printing on coloured fabric. On lighter fabric, plastisol is extremely opaque and can retain a bright image for many years with proper care.

Plastisol inks will not dry, but must be cured. Curing can be done with a flash dryer, or more inexpensively, a home oven. Most plastisols need to reach a temperature of about 165-180°C (330-350°F) for full curing. Plastisol tends to sit atop the threads instead of soaking into them, giving the print a raised, plasticized texture. Water-based inks can produce a softer feel.

How do I print onto a black or dark T shirt?

Flash ink reflects best from a white or lighter background or fabric. However, it will also reflect if printed onto black or other dark colours.

Or you can first print a white base or ‘discharge white ink’ in the normal way

Is Flash ink formaldehyde free?


How can I try some of this ink?

We can supply a small sample or plastisol screen ink, at a small charge.

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