Easy Silkscreen Steps for Unique Fabric Art

I've been playing with screen printing for fiber art a lot lately, in preparation for a surprise the Quilting Arts team has in store for you. (Trust me, you will love it.)

fabric art by ginny eckley
Fabric art using silkscreen and soy wax batik techniques,
by Ginny Eckley.

What I've learned is, the more you do screen printing, the easier it is to transition from one type to another. One might actually become obsessed with combining screen printing and textile art.

So, I've been eyeing silkscreens. Fiber art and surface design expert Ginny Eckley has an easy process for silkscreen printing that I like, and I thought I'd share it with you today.

Most of the materials you probably have on hand: paper towels, foam brushes, a squeegee or old credit card, small paintbrush for touch-up, plastic containers for paints, thick paints or silkscreen inks, low-tack tape, a container of soapy water, and a sponge for rinsing your screens. Plus you will need silkscreens and fabric or paper to print on.

Note: Ginny uses PhotoEZTM silkscreens made of nylon fabric with an emulsion.The emulsion side is the shiny, soft, smooth side. The other side is duller. When you use it, the shiny side goes down. Apply paint to the dull side


1. Cover a smooth, clean surface with plastic. Lay Pellon® Thermolam® Plus or another brand of washable fleece on your table, for cushioning and absorbing excess paints.

2. Use the low-tack (painter's) tape to position the silkscreen. Tape it on one side, making sure you don't cover any of the design. Be sure the shiny side is facing the paper or fabric, dull side is up.

3. Using either a brush or squeegee, firmly stroke over the silkscreen. Always move in one direction to prevent smearing. Don't paint outside the screen!

4. Before removing the tape, lift up a corner of the screen to see if you painted all the design. Place it carefully back down in the same place if you need to touch up part of the image.

fiber artist ginny eckley
Fiber artist Ginny Eckley

Ginny's tips for success:

  • Use a separate brush for each color, leave that brush with the paint cup, so paints and brushes don't get mixed up.
  • Keep your hands clean! Otherwise, you pass the paint from your hands onto your art.
  • Check the back of the screen for stray paint before using it to print a second tim

You can print several times before cleaning, but never let the screen sit with paint on it as the paint can dry in the screen. When you are done with a screen but want to keep printing with another screen, just lay it flat in you container of water and clean all the screens at the end.

That's all there is to it. Ginny creates complex, layered fabric art design by combining silkscreening with soy wax resist (another process that could could easily become an obsession). In her new Quilting Arts Workshop video, Surface Design with Silk Screens, Soy Wax Resist, & Fabric Manipulation, Ginny teaches you surface design techniques you can use to create beautiful textile art, from fabric postcards to mixed-media fiber art quilts.

P.S. What's your latest fabric art obsession? Tell me about it in the space below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Monoprinting & Screenprinting, Quilting Daily Blog

One thought on “Easy Silkscreen Steps for Unique Fabric Art

  1. I was interested to read about Eckley’s easy screen printing technique, but had to read it twice looking for info on designing the screen. Apparently instructions for creating a design on the screen is left out so we’ll need to buy her workshop. Or maybe there are significant gaps in the workshop’s instructions, too, and I won’t bother buying it.