Which Emulsion to use? - Screen Print Direct

If you are looking for a quick way to distinguish which emulsion you need take our emulsion quiz! This will help you decipher which emulsion you should be using for the project at hand :) Take the quiz now. 

However if you are thirsty for some knowledge and want to learn a little about the different types of emulsion, read on. 

One of the most frustrating things when you start printing is emulsions, there are so many! How are you supposed to know which one is best?

You have no idea how many people contact us and say I need to buy more emulsion. Cool, not a problem which one do you normally use? We like to know the previous emulsion you worked with so we have a starting point and can suggest something you will be comfortable with. Guess what they say next? “I use the blue one,” “pink,” “I need the purple one.” Oh ok, awesome... in all honesty the color of the emulsion does very little to help us help you! 

What matters when it comes down to it is the different types of emulsion, not the color. The most popular types of emulsions you will come across are Diazo Emulsion and Pre Sensitized Emulsion.

So which emulsion is right for you? Ask yourself a few questions to get started:

1. What are you printing, textiles or graphics?

2. What type of exposure unit are you using?

3. What inks do you plan on printing with, plastisol ink or water-based ink?

Take a look below to see which one checks most of the boxes on your list.


  • Two-part meaning you will mix diazo into your emulsion
  • Has a much shorter life span
  • A bit more user-friendly (forgiving if you under/ over expose)
  • Will generally be much more water-resistant than pre-sensitized
  • Can be purchased for a bit cheaper than pre-sensitized

Pre Sensitized

  • No need to mix diazo
  • Has a very long life span
  • Not very water-resistant compared to a diazo based emulsion
  • Very sensitive (not recommended for units without timers)
  • Costs a little more than your 2 part diazo emulsions.

Let's Talk 

Remember, we are here to help! Drop a comment below or email our support team at info@screenprintdirect.com