Papers and Soy Inks

Hi All, I’m extremely new to the letterpress world, I have my Chandler and Price Old Style 10”x15” arrive next week and was hoping for some direction as to where to purchase soy based inks and some beautiful cotton paper. I’m based in Australia so any Australian suppliers would be fantastic but I am well aware that importing may be my best option. I am planning to be as eco friendly as I can possibly be so an tips and hints would be muchly appreciated.

Kindest Regards, thanks for your time and efforts in replying

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Hi Sam,

Most ink manufacturers have a Soy line. Gans, Van Son, etc… Best to contact an ink manufacturer locally and inquire. If you don’t know where to begin, you can either google “printing ink” or stop by a local job printing shop in your area and ask. If none exist, ask the local newspaper. You wouldn’t use the same ink as them, but they will give you the names of ink sellers.

As you’ll find in other threads on this site, There is considerable debate on the environmental value of soy ink. The reality is that most inks are made with linseed oil, a plant based oil as well. Others have vegetable oil based inks, including Tokyo Ink (Zipset) brand which is likely available there. I’m rather fond of zipset’s GP-1 ink which is a very dense black and is vegetable based and does not dry readily on the press but has excellent performance on paper.

In the past, there were problems with soy ink formulations damaging rollers, this is largely a non-issue these days. Soy inks dry harder than many, giving them an advantage on letterheads for example that may subsequently be laser printed. That said, they tend to be a bit runnier than other inks. There are ways to compensate for this, but that is another thread. The GP-1 ink has good tack and performs well. Shame it doesn’t come in Pantone mixing colors…

You will find local manufacturers, so don’t go to importing right away. Use the local resources I’ve noted above.

Oh, and post some of your work now and then!




I see that you haven’t received feedback on paper stock, suggest you check the following threads:

for the names of other Australian printers you can contact who have located local sources for supplied and can help you. You can email them by clicking on their user name on the thread, then on the upper left screen you’ll see a contact link where you can mail them through briarpress’ website.

Good Luck,


Thank you so much for your time and effort Allan in replying to me, I am thrilled hat my press is arriving next week and can’t wait to start, but I am planning to go do a course so I don’t lose any fingers! I think in doing that I will have a good chance to discuss papers/inks/suppliers also. Thanks for the links, they are saved in my favorites for future referral.

Once again, thanks for your comments.

ps. As soon as I have some piccys to post I will!

skip the soy inks, oil based prints so much better. try closing/going out of business print shops for ink-they will most likely practically give it away just to be rid of it.