What Is Puff Print?

What Is Puff Print

Since its invention, the screen printing technique has evolved in every aspect. The equipment has advanced, but so do the materials used in the process. One of those inventions is the specialized puff ink. But what is puff print, and why is it so popular?

As screen printing experts who have seen and implemented almost every innovation, we will reveal the secrets of puff prints. We will reveal what puff print is made of, how it works, its benefits, and its common application so you can choose the best technique for your project with us.

What Is Puff Print?

A puff print is a unique way of screen printing that uses special ink. When utilizing the puff printing process, we add a heat-sensitive foaming agent to the plastisol ink. The ink or puff paste gives the final print a two or three-dimensional look.

We make the puff ink by adding the puff additive before printing. Depending on the puff effect we want to achieve and the pain weight, we can use a puffing agent between a 5% and 15% ratio.

According to your desired outcome, we will also adjust the mesh count of the screen we will use. For instance, we will use a lower mesh count if you want a more puffy and rich print texture.

What Is Puff Print?
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: thaisign

How does the puff print work?

For you to understand what a puff print is, we must dig deeper and explain how it works. Generally, we don’t make any significant changes to the screen printing process with puff ink compared to the standard plastisol ink. The only difference is the secret ingredient: the puffing agent. So, what is puff print made of?

The puffing agent we add to the ink for wholesale t-shirt printing for resellers and businesses will expand once it is exposed to heat. The heat is applied during the curing process. In other words, the ink will rise evenly and will create the desired vibrant look and added dimension.

Now you might be wondering: what is a puff print machine? In fact, there is no significant difference between the puff print vs screen print machines. Both printing techniques can be done by using the same equipment.

Puff Ink Applications

Regarding the materials and types of garments, we can use puff ink without any large limitations. At Thrive, we can print on various appeals such as T-shirts, cap sleeves, accessories, hoodies, knit and tank tops, and much more.

We can also play around with the placement of the print puff. You are free to make your design with prints on the sleeves, front or back of the garment, or any other place.

Design-wise, puff ink can be used for both black and white and color artwork. However, it makes a slight difference if your design has multi-colors. In such cases, we prefer to add the additive only to one of the colors. It will create a more dynamic and better-looking print.

About the artwork itself, we recommend using the puff print technique for printing raised letters and texts with thick lines. The ink also gives an especially visually appealing look to larger design elements.

Pros and Cons of the Puff Print Technique

Screen printing with puff ink comes with a long list of benefits and a few limitations. The advantages of the puff print technique include:

  • Unique 3D textured appearance of the print.
  • It can be printed in combination with standard inks.
  • Easy to maintain without damaging the print.
  • It may be used on different fabrics, from cotton to polyester.
  • Highly durable prints that don’t crumble or flake off easily.
  • Cost-effective way to achieve a professional and visually appealing look.
  • Suitable for large-volume printing.

On the other hand, puff screen printing is not recommended for detailed artwork or image prints. If you choose puff prints, you should know that we can’t use flock or foil printing techniques.

Quick Tips for Taking Care of Puff Print Garments

While our job at Thrive Screen Printing is to make your puff prints according to the highest quality standards, we advise you to inform your end users about the importance of proper care. The rules for maintaining puff prints are simple and might increase their durability. They include:

  • Wash the puff print garments inside out on gentle cycles with mild detergent.
  • Air dry the garments when possible; use a dryer on a low heat setting when needed.
  • Iron the clothes using low to medium heat and turn while inside out.
  • Prefer to fold the puff print clothes and store them in cool and dry places.
Quick Tips for Taking Care of Puff Print Garments
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: GEORGIY MARTYNOV


What is puff print? Knowing about this will not only expand your knowledge of the printing technology but will also make your choice when printing easier. So, it is a special technique that uses a particular ink with a heat-sensitive puffing agent.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and create high-quality prints with rich texture, get in touch with us. Our experienced team will assist you with every question and lead you through the ordering process.