Screen printing shimmer and glitter inks can add unique value for consumers and customers who want special effects that sparkle and shine. Unfortunately, most ink manufacturers limit the amount of glitter ink colors available due to limited demand in the market, leaving screen printers with only a few color options out of the can. Fortunately, mixing your own colors of shimmer and glitter ink is actually very easy. Here’s how: There are three steps to making your own colors of shimmer and glitter ink. 1. Choose your base. 2. Choose your pigment color. 3. Mix your pigment.   Step 1: Choose your base. The base you choose for your glitter ink dictates the appearance of your final print. Here are your basic selections: Silver shimmer ink and pigment to make your own colored glitter ink Silver Shimmer Ink - Gives your ink a silvery metal look. Fine grit shimmer flake. Print through an 81-86 mesh screen. Typically the most popular shimmer base. Golden Shimmer - Gives your ink a golden shimmery look. Fine grit shimmer flake. Print through an 81-86 mesh screen. LB Shimmer Ink - ( Crystalline) Gives your ink a clear shimmer/iridescent look. Medium grit crystal/clear flake. Print through a 60 mesh screen. Silver glitter ink and pigment to make your own colored glitter ink Silver Glitter Ink – Gives your ink a silvery/metallic glitter look. Heavy grit glitter flake. Print through a 38 mesh screen.   Step 2. Choose your pigment. While you can use standard ink colors to mix with your chosen glitter ink base, it is best to use pure ink pigment for a more pure color. We recommend using a plastisol pigment, such as the UltraMix pigments from International Coatings.   Step 3. Mix your ink. These pigments are mixed at a 10%-15% ratio, by weight, to the base and can create any color effect you want. You can mix this pigment directly in, or even mix multiple pigments to get close to Pantone™ colors. International Coatings has an online mixing formula that can assist you in mixing a specific Pantone™ color. Mix your ink until the desired color is obtained. Be careful not to go over the 15% mark (glitter ink to pigment) as the pigment will not have enough carrier to hold the ink and might not fully cure. And there you have it. No more fussing about not being able to find a specific color of shimmer or glitter ink. You can always make your own colored glitter ink!
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