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Thermofax Printing

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Thermofaxes are made using photocopy technology from the 1950s. They create a light weight type of silk screen without any chemicals just infared light and Riso silk screen fabric. We can make your own design into a Thermofax screen - have a look at this quick film to see how speedy the process is.

 

There is much confusion around the differences between Photographic Silk Screens and Thermofaxes. Thermofaxes are most suited to textural, light weight lines without large solid areas. They are not as hard wearing as a Silk Screen but much cheaper. We really like them as they can be used very spontaneously to print a tossed design on fabric. You can use a Thermofax with a variety of mediums including thickened Procion Dyes, Screen Printing Inks or as we have used here: Handprinted Fabric Paints.

We started by drawing our image onto a piece of standard (80gsm) photocopy paper using a carbon pencil.  

 

We then made our drawing into a Thermofax screen - we can make your design into a Thermofax for you just order online and then email the image over to us and we will do the rest.

We pinned our fabric to a slightly padded table top - we use a blanket with a sheet over - it helps to get a good print. We put a strip of fabric ink of along the top of the screen.            

 

We printed in a similar way to screen printing except using much less pressure and just one pull - a Thermofax squeegee is much softer.  

 

Because the Thermofax screen is so small (we used the medium size) you can print images quite close together.    

 

When we had printed enough of the Turquoise we washed out the screen in cold running water and then dried it with a soft towel. You must be much more gentle with a Thermofax when cleaning.

Then we dried the printed areas using a hairdryer so we could carry on printing.

 

We kept layering up the colours using the same motif. You can have more than one image on a Thermofax like we have but you need to be careful not to print the second image.

 

When the ink was dry we ironed it using a hot, dry iron to fix the paints.  

 

The finished print!

 

You will need:

Thermofax screen

Thermofax squeegee

Fabric paints - we used Yellow, Kiwi, Orange, Dark Turquoise, Pink, Wine Red and Plum.

An iron

Something to print - we used Prima Cotton

 

If you are local to us we are running a introductory class in Thermofax Printing on 24th June 1.30-4.30 - £15 for more details click here.  

Two other prints taken from the same screen.