Thermofax Screens FAQ
What is a Thermofax screen?
Thermofax refers to the name of the machine that is used to make the screens. The machines’ long name is a Thermal Imager and were used by offices to make overhead transparencies. It is not possible to make a Thermofax screen without a Thermofax machine.
The thermofax screen is just like a photo emulsion silkscreen (except the process is easier), if you are similar with that screen printing technique. If not, the screens are like stencils. With a Thermofax machine you can make stencils or screens of any image you like such a family photos, doodles, text or drawings. Any photo or drawing with high contrast will create the best thermofax screen. The machine likes pure black and white images.
The machine works with images from a copies that has carbon in the toner or drawings created with a carbon pencil. The images are printed on special screen material which is a fine mesh fabric covered with a thin film of plastic. Then the edges are covered with a strong tape such as Gorilla tape to provide some stability to the screen.
How can I use my thermofax screen?
Thermofax screens are designed to print images onto both fabric and paper. They are easier to use, less expensive and quicker to prepare than traditional silk screens. Dyes, discharge media, water based paints and adhesives can be used with the screens and that allows people who have them to make quilts, bags, clothing, home textiles and home furnishings among other things.
When printing with the thermofax screen you must print with the mesh side up. All of my screens come labeled with the correct side up, so you there is no confusion.
How do I care for my thermofax Screen?
1) The most important thing to know about caring for your thermofax screen is not to let any media dry in the screen. If this happens, the screen is ruined and unusable.
2) After finishing printing, wash screens in cool water, making sure the image area is fully clean. You can use a gentle soap if necessary. The non-image may be stained with ink, but as long as the image area is free from paint that is not a problem.
3) Do not scrub your screen or use harsh cleaning agents. Hang or lay flat on a towel to dry.
4) Let the screen dry completely before using it again. If you don’t you may end up with unwanted paint or other product on your project.
5) To store the screens, hang or store flat.
6) Only print with the mesh side up. If you print with the film side up you risk tearing the film away from the mesh.
7) Use a proper size squeegee. One designed for traditional screen printing is overkill for thermofax screens. We sell squeegees suitable for thermofax screens in our store.
How many prints can I get from my thermofax screen?
With proper care of your screens and using the right tools, you may be able to print 100’s of images.
Can you make a screen from my image?
Yes, absolutely! Please contact me if you are interested in this service.