Monday, January 12, 2009

Thermal Facts #2

As a follow up to my 12/10/08 post about thermal facts. I make my thermal fax silk screens using my nifty machine purchased from Welch Products.
I use duck tape around the screen as it is cheaper than the plastic frames you can buy. I use 2 or even 3 thickness on larger screens to keep them from buckling.
Secure 1/2 of the tape on one side, fold and continue.
Be sure to press firmly along the inner edge.
Pin, tape or spray your screen in position on your surface.
Lately, my daughter and I have been having fun screening motifs onto shirts and sweatshirts. I screen with a lighter color at first and continue using the screen with different colors, without worrying about the color too much. This often leads to nice spreads and delightful combinations.  I will either place a thin line on the duck tape 'well' or paint the paint right onto my squeegee. The squeegee can be anything- I have used old credit cards, dummies they send in the mail, paint spreaders found in your local Mart, to the real deal professional, ahem, squeegee. Squeegee the screen using somewhat fast even pressure, perhaps twice. Too much pressure or too slow a squeegee results in too much paint  though the screen, creating a bloated image. The surface you work on should be somewhat padded, like an ironing board. Be sure to wash your screen out before the paint dries in it. I usually throw it into a pan of water, and move on while it is soaking. The paint dissolves out like a dirty pan, then rinse and hang or blot to dry. Occasionally you'll need to scrub- do this gently with a soft brush.
I usually clean my squeegee's and other items used to direct the paint, onto a damp cloth. These have resulted in some unusual painted fabric. A good way to change your old stash. Have Fun!!


Mandi said...

So you're happy with your thermofax from Welsh? I have been thinking about getting one. It's a big decision and though I love the few silk screens I have, I'm concerned about how easy or hard it is to use the machine or if it will hold up (being that they're all old machines newly reconditioned).

Have you had any problems with it?

JJ said...

This looks like so much fun to me. I am hoping in the summer when things calm down a little that I can do some fabric printing. I am just itching to try it. Thanks for sharing, your result looks wonderful!

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