Speedball’s Flex Screen Printing Ink: Everything You Need to Know

Nov 1, 2023 | Ink, Screen Printing


This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.


This blog post is sponsored by Speedball, highlighting the key features and instructions for Speedball's Flex Ink. However, the tips and opinions I share in this post are based on my own testing and usage.

I'm thrilled to introduce you to Speedball's latest innovation in screen printing: Flex Screen Printing Ink.

The Flex Screen Printing Ink Advantage

speedball flex fabric ink Speedball's Flex Ink is an advanced water-based ink available in 11 rich and bold colors. What sets it apart is its remarkable flexibility, allowing your designs to move and stretch seamlessly with the fabric without cracking or peeling.

A New Dimension of Possibilities

flex stretch ink speedball no cracking

As someone who has been using Speedball's original screen printing inks for years, I was eager to put Flex Ink to the test. The creamy consistency of this ink makes it easy to spread across the screen, providing vibrant results every time.

screen printing speedball ink flex

Exploring Flex Ink on Different Fabric Colors

The Speedball Flex Ink colors pop nicely on all shirt colors and fabric types.

White on Dark Fabric

speedball white ink no cracking- flex

Screen printing light ink colors on dark fabric has always been a challenge for new screen printers, especially without any extra equipment like a screen printing press.

With Speedball Flex Ink, the colors are vibrant even when printed with a loose screen on your table. Because water-based inks soak into the fabric, there is just a bit of shirt color showing through. While this is a great result for beginners, you can take this ink to another level with the help of a screen printing press.

Elevate Your Printing with a Screen Printing Press

For those looking to take their screen printing to the next level, using a screen printing press provides precision and consistency. Speedball's Flex Ink can be layered to enhance its vibrancy.

NOTE: Speedball does not recommend using a heat gun or hair dryer to speed up the drying process of this ink. It may cause undercured ink, poor adhesion, or ink cracking after washing.

However, in order to get a brighter ink on dark fabric, I have found that you need to dry the ink just a little bit in order to add a second coat of ink on top. To do this, I adjust my heat gun setting to the lowest temperature so it is blowing cool air. I have found that 20 seconds on this setting is enough to dry the first layer of ink while not affecting the integrity of the stretch after washing.

With a second coat of ink on top, your color will be much brighter and even more opaque.

I love how this ink feels on the fabric of my favorite soft Bella+Canvas shirts. The ink is lightweight and smooth.

Cleanup and Maintenance

wash speeeball flex ink

Being a water-based ink, clean up does not require any special chemicals. However, be cautious as the ink is highly pigmented and can stain surfaces. Ensure you clean your screens, squeegees and spatulas promptly to minimize staining.

TIP: These inks stain my sink if not washed out immediately.  I recommend washing your screens outside to avoid any stains on your countertops, sink or floors.

You may not be able to completely avoid staining on the screen. This is normal and will not affect the performance of your screen on your next project.

Heat Settings for Speedball Flex Ink

Allow your prints to air dry overnight before applying heat for the final cure. 

Speedball advises against using a heat gun or hair dryer to speed up this drying time.

Rushing the drying process may lead to issues such as undercured ink, poor adhesion, or ink cracking after washing.”

Heat Press Method

heat cure speedball flex ink instructions time temp

Use a heat press set at 300 degrees for 1 minute to cure Speedball Flex Ink. Remember to place parchment paper between the design and the press to prevent any color transfer.

Iron Method

If you don’t have a heat press, a household iron set to the appropriate fabric setting can also be used. Apply even pressure for 2 minutes to cure the ink.

Endless Durability

With Speedball's Flex Ink, your designs are now bonded with the fabric, ensuring vibrant, long-lasting prints that withstand wash after wash. The ink's flexibility means your designs will move with the fabric, maintaining their integrity over time.

Get Started with Speedball's Flex Ink

screen-printing-vinyl-kit-ink

Ready to dive into screen printing with your vinyl cutter? Grab one of my recommended Speedball starter kits and a set of the new Flex Ink colors to unlock a new level of screen printing magic.

7 Comments

  1. How does the Speedball Flex compare to the Comet white you have blogged about in the past? Your posts are always informative. Thanks for putting them out there!

    Reply
    • The consistency is a lot thinner than Comet but the end result is similar. The Flex ink stretches nicely. Using a screen printing press will help you get the brightest white results. The curing of the 2 brands is different so be sure to read about both of those.

      Reply
  2. Can you layer a different color on top with the Speedball flex? I’ve had a request for a neon sign effect where there is a layer of white to mimic the “tube” of the neon sign. Wondering if the Flex is my best solution.

    Reply
  3. Hi there, I am new to screen printing and it’s just a hobby. Do you think the regular ink is better to start with or would you recommend this one? Also, do your mixing guides work for these as well?

    Reply
    • I’m excited for you to get started! You could start with Flex ink, but the original formula may be a better choice. It has a longer working time and is a little easier to clean up.
      I have a brand new Ink Recipe Guide just for Flex ink! Because these inks are so pigmented, the inks aren’t interchangeable and don’t work with the original guides.

      Reply
  4. I read on one of your posts that the ingredients to make the bleach gel was on your blog. I can’t find it. Help

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I’m Jennifer, your go-to for all things vinyl screen printing. I offer both in-person and online classes to help you craft better quality shirts. This blog is full of screen printing inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn all about screen printing with vinyl!

Stay in touch

Cart

Want to get the latest screen printing tips and tricks delivered to your inbox?

Join my email list and be the first to know about new techniques and project ideas!