Tag Archives: thermofax screens

Rags To Riches

One of my favorite surface design tools is thermofax screens. These screens are sort of like silk screens, but a lot easier to use. You need fabric paint or ink, fabric or paper, some kind of squeegee (an old credit card will do,) and a container of water large enough to hold your screen once you use it. If you clean the screen promptly it should last a while. If you don’t, it gets clogged and you can’t push ink through.

You can buy such screens online from several venders. You can also make them yourself IF you have a thermofax machine, an obsolete piece of technology used in schools a long time ago. The ones I used this month came from Susan Purney Mark. I like them because they are asemic writing, something I have struggled with doing. I printed on top of painted and dyed scraps (I think some were mop up cloths, aka rags) and old linen napkins. I also printed on tissue and paper, and found that works well.

Speedball fabric printing ink on a painted scrap and a painted napkin

More printing on painted scraps

Overlapping printing on a piece of dyed tablecloth

I branched out to use stencils for printing as well.

Stenciling on canvas scraps

And while the paint was out, I did gelli printing on Pellon 830 easy pattern with hand made stencils.

What happens to these experiments? Most wait patiently in the closet to be chosen for the right piece. Many are subjected to more surface design, which often improves them though some end up in the trash. One experiment with toilet paper roll printing has become a throw pillow after free motion quilting.

12″ by 18″ pillow that began with overdyed ticking

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.

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Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques