Printing Techniques

To read more information on our printing techniques then please click on each of the categories below.

Screen printing is our primary method of printing glass. The premise itself is in fact one of the earliest methods of printing. That doesn’t mean to say that it has been surpassed. With the recent advancements within the industry screen printing is the most effective and accurate way to print glass containers.

The process is relatively simple, but does require an experienced team. Mesh is stretched over a frame, and a highly accurate stencil is applied. The openings within the stencil allow the ink to pass through the mesh, which determines the image printed. Our machines follow the same process, the substrate used in this instance is the glass product. Our printers rotate the glass at the correct speed, and pressure is applied by the squeegee which drags the ink along the screen to create the design  impression upon the glass.
(Please refer to diagram)

Pad printing is the process that is generally used on flat surfaced glass. The chosen design is precisely etched into a printing plate, and printed on one of our specialist semi-automatic pad printing machines. Low Fire organic inks are typically used for Pad Printing, therefore the durability of the print is compromised. Low Fire Pad Printing inks are available in most pantone references.

A new method recently introduced, Foil Stamping is a process which allows the application of foil to glass. An adhesive ink is screen printed onto the bottle and part cured. Our Foil Stamping machine then adheres the foil to the glass. The process achieves extremely fine detail, and creates a finish unachievable using inks and transfers.

Foil Stamping allows us to offer many different effects, a few are listed below:

  • Wood Grains
  • Pearls
  • Antique Effects
  • Metallics

Our most popular method of printing, and one that provides great results in every area. The term high fire relates to the temperature at which the bottles are fired. These high fire ceramic inks are cured at 600°c, in a process that takes over two hours in an oven type kiln called a Lehr. Once cured, these inks are highly durable and resistant to industrial dishwashers, pasteurisation and most substances. Ideal for bottles and glass intended for reuse. Ceramic inks are available in most pantone references, precious metals as well as imitation golds, silvers and coppers.

As with the previous method, the term Low Fire relates to the temperature at which our bottles are fired. Low fire printing is most commonly carried out upon coated or frosted bottles. These inks cure at a much lower temperature, 180 °c in a quicker process that takes only 20 – 40 minutes. The organic inks used create a beautifully vibrant gloss or matte finish, however they are not as durable as the ceramic High Fire inks. Therefore they are not suitable for dishwashers or heavy use. Low Fire is a necessity when printing coated bottles, as it prevents any damage to the exterior coating. Organic inks are available in most pantone references.

Transfers are primarily used when 3 or more colours are required within a design. Or when an extremely precise registration between colours is present. Transfers are an ideal option for complex logos or unusually shaped glass where screen printing would be impossible. Both High Fire Ceramic and Low Fire Organic transfers are available, therefore we can offer this option for both coated and uncoated glass. Transfers are typically applied individually to the glass by hand, quality checks by our production team assures that each bottle turns out spot on.

Ceramic and Organic transfers are available in all pantone references, as well gold and platinum colours.

3D Raised Decoration – This is a very unique ink that, when cured, gives the effect of an embossed bottle. The process creates a depth to the design which no other method of printing can achieve. 3D decoration is only available to bolder designs, fine details cannot be achieved with this type of ink. Our 3D inks are durable and resistant to industrial dishwashers, and are therefore suitable for any industry.

Etch – Currently a popular choice within the glass decoration industry, our etch inks create a wonderfully subtle, tactile finish. Ideal to offset another colour, these inks are the perfect solution for a premium product. Durable and resistant to industrial dishwashers etch inks are suitable for any industry.

Metallic – We stock and source a large range of metallic inks. From precious metal inks containing real gold, to imitation metallics. The imitation inks are the recommended types for durability and cost. The precious metals whilst durable do come at a higher cost due to the elements they contain to give a premium shine.

Spray coating is the perfect way to differentiate your product from the competition. This is the process of spraying bottles with a coating of ink, either transparent, translucent or opaque to reach a desired effect. Matte or Gloss coatings can also be stipulated. Spray coated bottles yet durable, cannot withstand heavy use or dishwashers.

Spray Coating Inks come in a countless range of pantone references.