Step 1 – Lay down some newsprint or newspaper for easy clean up. Pigment inks typically have a binder and concentrated pigment. I like using pigment inks because they are more economical over time and allow for accurate PMS colors if a project requires it. Matsui makes an incredible water-based ink system that is eco-friendly and does a great job.
Step 2 – Read the instructions for your pigment ink to determine mixing ratios. The Matsui pigments can be mixed up to 10% with the binder. For truly accurate measurements you will need a gram scale and a PMS color guide (they have computer programs for this as well). Since I am somewhat lazy I just approximate using spoonfuls of pigment mixed with the binder (i.e. 1 spoonful of pigment to 20 spoonfuls of binder).
Step 3 – Mix thoroughly!
Step 4 – Your ink is ready for printing! Be sure to test the color first (either on newsprint or a test piece of fabric) through an old screen to make sure it is exactly what you want. Sometimes the color intensity of the ink can be deceptive (appearing more vibrant than what gets printed). It pays to test before you commit to inking up your screens.