Water-based ink manufacturer Magna Colours has launched its new MagnaPrint UV-reactive invisible ink range, kicking the range off with a dark blue.
After a development phase lasting around six months, the ink was launched earlier this month for sampling and is soon to go on commercial sale, priced at £15/kg. The idea was triggered from the work Magna was doing with a sports brand for garments at a football match.
Helen Parry, who replaced Tom Abbey as Magna managing director last Christmas, said the ink, intended for screen printers, was the only one of its kind to use water-based technology. The inks are designed to function either as a top coat or to be incorporated into a print.
“It’s fair to say that it was triggered by the concept of having a UV light at a sports event,” said Parry.
“It’s essentially an ink that is responsive under UV light only, the technology is used a lot in the security market, so we’ve kind of looked at that and extrapolated it into how you could use it in fashion.
“Blacklight is being used more and more in retailing and people are looking for different effects that are responsive to different lights.”
£10m-turnover Magna now plans on adding a pale blue and a strong red next year to the range, along with a number of new colours – red, blue, purple and yellow – to its photochromic UV range for outdoor use.
Distribution is carried out both by Magna and externally, with Stockport-based Screen Ink & Solvent Supplies (SISS) its main UK distributor, and it is looking to target the Central American and ASEAN markets, where a number of big brands have garment printing outposts.
In January, Magna will be presenting a ‘Make the switch’ initiative at the Imprinted Sportswear Show (ISS), California, informing attendees about the environmental benefits of switching from plastisol to water-based inks.
“PVC-based inks use plasticisers, which are very carcinogenic, it plasticises the PVC and makes it softer, so there is a massive massive drive now from customers wanting a greener solution,” added Parry.