Screen Printing Tip of the Week: Puff Without Pucker

February 4, 2015

When incorporating puff to print a design, decorators often run into the “pucker effect.”

When large design areas are covered with puff ink, the ink can expand to the point where the fabric underneath gets pulled or puckered during the expansion process.

To combat this issue, decorators can modify artwork to accommodate the expansion. Instead of creating one solid area for larger ink coverage, create the artwork using dots or a similar pattern. The spacing will allow the puff ink to expand, minimizing the fabric’s pulling or puckering.

This technique works especially well if the fabric includes Lycra or is stretchy, as these materials tend to pucker more.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. For more information, visit and read the company’s blog at