A Brief History
Since 1964 Derivan has been committed to providing the arts community with the world's finest-quality artist acrylic colours and mediums. The founders of the company had a vision "to make available to artists worldwide a premium paint, whilst remaining environmentally and socially responsible". This was to be achieved while still...
A Brief History
Since 1964 Derivan has been committed to providing the arts community with the world's finest-quality artist acrylic colours and mediums. The founders of the company had a vision "to make available to artists worldwide a premium paint, whilst remaining environmentally and socially responsible". This was to be achieved while still maintaining the quality and personal touch that only a family company can provide. We have succeeded in just that, and Derivan has consequently grown from a tiny affair (operating out of stables in Sydney's inner city) to the multinational operation that it is today. With manufacturing sites spanning 3 continents, we have not lost sight of the fact that at the end of the day, we are here to provide the finest products that can be made, guided by the requirements of our customers. This is our promise to you, the artist, and is realised in our Matisse range of premium acrylics and mediums, all made to the highest standards to ensure not only the most brilliant and pure results, but a safety in the knowledge that your work will not crack, fade, or change over time in any way.
In the Derivan range of school products, we produced a world-first in the 1960s - "student grade acrylic" - then successfully introduced completely non-toxic screen inks and block inks where previously inks containing toxic solvents were the only choice.
In the 1970s it came to our attention that our children's paint was being used to paint children's faces at fairs and school fetes. Although the paint was non-toxic, it was not formulated for prolonged use on the skin, so Derivan set about formulating another world-first: Face and Body Paint, which has seen increasing sales ever since!
Into the 21st century Derivan is as committed to new and exciting innovations as ever. Our Liquid Pencil formula is completely unique, and offers a number of advantages over traditional pencils and inks. Our brand-new Dry Mediums range provides a new and flexible way for artists to experiment with a practically unlimited variety of textural effects.
Derivan is an equal opportunities employer. Derivan is constantly involved with and supports both local community and charity, and art promotion projects across Australia and the world. Derivan is at the forefront of employing environmentally sound practices both in the manufacturing of the products and in the products themselves.
See also our dedicated Sustainability web page.
What's In A Name?
The name Derivan originated from an early period in our history, in the mid 1960’s, when the company entrusted with registering our initial trademark name returned to us and explained that the originally chosen name was “unavailable” in some countries, in other words a similar name was already registered or in some cases patent laws in place prevented it from being registered. They suggested that it would be prudent to choose a few “derivatives” to give their company some lee-way in the patent registration process.
To satisfy the trademark attorneys - the initials of the team in the office at that time were put in a “hat” and from it drew out the letters that would inspire them to come up with a distinctively individual (and registrar-able) name. That name became “Derivan” – a word that meant or had reference to nothing in particular, neither someone’s nor a place’s name; in essence, a unique and without comparison word.
A word that would conform with the restrictions of patent laws encountered in the process. A word that would echo the creative nature of that initial vision shared by a group of artists to make available a high grade of paint products, manufactured by artists for artists.
The name "Matisse" itself was originally only the project name for a product range in development at the time, which came about because one of the first people to get involved was obsessed with the work of Henri Matisse - the name stuck!
Derivan Screen Ink is a totally water-based silk screen printing ink.
Derivan Screen Ink has been formulated as a safe, non-toxic silk screen printing ink for fabric and Tie Dyeing. It can be used in the classroom or at home safely without the worry of being exposed to harmful solvents such as white spirits, turps or thinners. Derivan Screen Ink is water-based and washes up in water (before it is heat set) but has excellent rub resistance and lightfastness once heat set.
All the colours may be intermixed to form bright secondary and tertiary colours. White (Opaque) may be mixed if pale pastel opaque prints are desired on dark coloured fabrics.
This is a thick milky coloured paste which dries colourless and transparent. It is used for intermixing with standard printing colours in order to extend deep colours into pale or lighter transparent shades (Red into transparent pink, etc.). Mainly for White or pale fabrics.
Wash all utensils, brushes and hands with soap and water to clean up.
It is important to make sure the silk screen blockout or stencil system that is to be used is compatible with water-based products (some are completely resistant to many solvents but water will destroy them).
Generally speaking, the best mesh size for fabric printing is 10T to 25T (monofilament). A coarser mesh screen is required for fabric than for paper; more ink is required as fabric tends to be more absorbent.
Best results are obtained from absorbent fabrics; avoid waterproof fabrics as they tend to inhibit penetration and repel the water-based colours. Fabrics containing starch, size, fillers, softeners or crease-proof treatments should be washed prior to printing. Fabrics containing waterproofing treatments may not accept the paints and may result in mottling, poor colour adhesion or patchy printing and may not remain washproof.
It is necessary to heat fix the image if it is to be washproof. Heat fixing can take many forms. The main points to be observed are:
The image must be air dried before it is heat fixed.
Ensure the heat is applied evenly over the image.
Ensure the heat is applied continuously for the required time over the image.
Be sure not to scorch or burn the image or garment.
Any type of heat can be used. Heat tunnels, ovens, even the humble household iron can all be used. If using contact heat (for instance an iron), use a tea towel or another piece of cotton cloth over the image to iron on. Do not iron directly over the print.
Heat fixing times and temperatures vary. However, a guide is as follows:
Cotton, calico, linen, rayon - 4-5 mins at 140-180°C
Synthetics, nylon, polyester, tetron, acrylic - 5-8 mins at 115-130°C. .
Important projects warrant testing to determine maximum temperature to make image fast and avoid scorching. Test by heat-fixing a test strip and washing in a heavy duty cycle.