How to Clean and Care for a Thermofax Screen Printing Screen

20 Aug 2014

Thermofax screen printing is one of the easiest ways of printing on fabric. Once you had to have your own Thermofax machine to create your screens, but today you can design your own screen and send it off to a service to be made, or simply buy a screen design "off the rack" for a modest sum.

With proper care, a Thermofax screen will last for years and years. Here's how to clean, dry and store them so you can use them for Thermofax screen printing again and again:

1. Never let the paint dry on your screen printing screen. The ink or paint will dry in the holes and your design will be lost. If you are not making another print with the screen right away, wash the screen under cold running water, scrubbing it gently with an old toothbrush.
 

thermofax screen snowflake
You can keep your Thermofax screen printing screens in good,
usable condition for years with proper care.

2. If you're working with several screen printing screens in one session you might not want to take the time to thoroughly clean the screens before changing to the next. In that case, have a large plastic dishpan (or similar container) filled with cool water on hand, and submerge the screen in the water until it's time to wash up.

3. After gently scrubbing and rinsing the Thermofax screen, blot it as dry as possible with a paper towel. Then you can use it again with a different color ink or let it dry completely before storing.

4. Do not lay screens against each other as they dry. The emulsion on the screen (the shiny side) can stick to the next one and pull off of the mesh if you do so. Instead, hang your screens from a clothes line (make sure the clips are on the duct tape frame) or lay flat on a dish towel or paper towel.

5. To store, place each screen within a file folder and slide into a zipper bag.

screen printing on fabric beaded snowflake picture
Make beaded snowflake pictures like these by Lyric Kinard with our
kit and directions, featured in Quilting Arts Holiday magazine.

Now that you know how to care for your Thermofax screens, how about doing some home screen printing?

Our exclusive Beaded Snowflake Kit, featured in Quilting Arts Holiday magazine, includes two snowflake Thermofax screens designed by Lyric Montgomery Kinard, a beading needle, beading thread, assorted beads, and instructions. Get yours now!

P.S. Have you done any screen printing on fabric? Do you use your prints as central motifs or do you go for an all-over pattern on fabric? Leave your comment below.


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