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    A Spotlight on 5 Colour Changing Screen Printing Inks

    If you’re looking for ways to incorporate intrigue and uniqueness to your screen-printed garments, then adding some colour-changing effects can be a great option. There’s a wide variety of options available in the MagnaPrint range of water-based inks, each offering a colour shift response to different environmental conditions.

Responding to sunlight, heat, water, UV light and darkness, these specialist ink ranges can offer surprising and magical effects to your prints. In this blog post, we’ve highlighted five of the ranges that can bring these properties to garments and textiles, alongside some key usage guidelines to help you achieve the best results.

1. Heat Sensitive Thermochromic Effects with the MagnaPrint® Variotherm Range

The Variotherm range consists of heat sensitive pigments that lose their standard colour as the temperature they become exposed to rises. These pigments will retain their colour up to 22°C (72°F), and progressively begin to lose it as temperatures builds up to 31°C (88°F) – at which point the ink has essentially disappeared! You can add it to our base inks such as MagnaPrint AquaFlex V2 at quantities of up to 15% and by adding a standard Eco Pigment to the ink, you can create a tone-on-tone shade change under reaction to heat. Check out the full range of available colours the MagnaPrint® Variotherm product page.

thermochromic ink

2. Shining a Light on Photochromic Inks with MagnaPrint® Uvisenz RFU Inks

If reaction to heat isn’t quite what you’re looking for, how about a light-sensitive, photochromic ink? Uvisenz RFU inks provide a fully reversible colour change when exposed to UV light and sunlight. In this almost magical effect, the light being applied to the surface of the ink causes the molecular structure of the colourant to change, allowing it to exhibit a hidden colour. Once the light source is removed, the printed ink will slowly return to its original state which is almost invisible on the garment. As the name suggest, the Uvisenz RFU range are ready-for-use inks available in four colours: yellow, blue, purple and red.

photochromic ink

3. MagnaPrint® Invisible Ink for Stunning Black Light Effects

Yes, you guessed it, Invisible Ink initially appears to be… invisible… when printed. However, this high solids clear ink hides a secret that only long-wave ultraviolet (or black) light can reveal. Under exposure, the printed areas will glow bright blue, allowing for some bold, dramatic effects in the right environment. MagnaPrint Invisible Ink can be printed as a clear top coat ink to add invisible effects to certain print areas of your design.

invisible ink

4. Uncover Hidden Print Layers with MagnaPrint® Wet Reveal

We’ve looked at inks that react to both light and heat, so what about water? MagnaPrint Wet Reveal is a form of hydrochromic opaque ink that turns transparent when it comes into contact with water. It was developed to be printed as white top coat ink able to hide other printed layers and colours underneath. When water is applied to garment, the Wet Reveal ink slowly fades, allowing you to incorporate hidden effects. Once it dries, the ink returns to its opaque state. We recommend printing this ink over AquaFlex V2 and using two print layers of Wet Reveal for stronger opacity.

wet reveal

5. Turn Off the Lights for the Vibrant MagnaPrint® Glow FX Range

This range of water-based phosphorescent inks provides intense glow-in-the-dark print effects. MagnaPrint Glow FX is available in three colours; green, light blue and aqua – although the base ink is colourless and remains invisible under natural light. When in the dark, however, a charged-up print will glow brightly for up to 15 minutes without any additional exposure to natural or ultraviolet light. Perfect for spooky, seasonal prints!

glow in the dark ink

Embrace the (Colour) Change!

We hope you enjoyed reading this overview of the key colour-changing inks available in the MagnaPrint range. The Magna technical team is always on hand to help with any support or questions you have about using these products.

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