Is Thermofax printing a mystery to you?

IMG_1574Update: And the Winner of the Thermofax 101 DVD is lucky #7 Cathy Ortelle!

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 10.18.53 AM

Thanks Cathy and Congratulations!!! ūüôā

and thank you to all the others who left a comment about what they are most interested in learning. Glad to see lots of interest in painting, surface design and mixed media techniques.



Well, my friend Lyric Kinard, just produced a brand new DVD that will answer any questions you may have about using Thermofax screens.

I’ve known Lyric, as a friend and fellow teacher, ordered Thermaofax screens to sell in my Tea &¬†Ephemera classes from her, for years, but have never been in one of her classes. Now, I know why all her students think she‚Äôs a great teacher. She is so personable and clear with her instruction, hands down this is a great DVD!

One of the things I found really interesting, is when Lyric explained how a thermofax is made, I didn’t know that it’s a different process than a traditional light exposed silkscreen.

Lyric discusses how she makes designs for her screens; showing her sketches and ideas, working with photo imagery that she finds or takes herself, and how to manipulate it in editing software. This will surely trigger new ideas for creating screens of your own.

Lyric also covers the ins and outs of successful printing techniques with different tools for screening, as well as inks and cleaning and caring for your screens.

The last section has great information on designing cloth; covering scale, color, transparency and opacity, unity, repetition, and placement. All good design essentials.

65 minutes of thorough instruction, Chapters include:

  • Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
  • Finding Images: find and design your own
  • How to Print: printing techniques and tools
  • Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Order a DVD of Thermofax 101 directly from Lyric.


One of my favorite things to use in a Thermofax screen is DeColourant.


You can find an article I wrote about using Decolourant, a type of discharge paste, in Quilting Arts magazine February/March 2012 issue.

The consistency of Decolourant is very gelatinous and¬†works fantastic with screening, since it doesn’t bleed the way paint can if it’s too thin. The other benefit of using Decolourant, is that it’s not bleach! which¬†has terrible fumes and can continue to eat away at the fibers of your fabric, if you don’t neutralize it enough.

decolourant floribunda

These are some examples of Thermofax screened DeCourant on various hand dyes. The first sample is using clear DeColourant and the other two are with yellow DeColourant.

Decolorant comes in a variety of colors, that removes the dyed fabric color and at the same time puts a new color in when heat is applied. This makes it great for printing light colored imagery on dark fabric. Also the different colors of Decolorant are also mixable.

To use DeCoulrant; apply it to fabric (brush, screen or stamp), let it dry and then use a hot iron with steam to activate the discharging process. Note:¬†dark blue fabrics are notorious for not discharging, it’s something to do with the particular dye formula for blue.

To win a free copy of Lyric’s DVD

Leave a comment, between now and May 5th, telling me

What kind of art or quilting techniques/skills are you most interested in learning?

On¬†May 6th, I’ll choose one¬†comment using¬†a random number generator to receive Lyrics DVD. ¬†FYI this is open to overseas comments as well ūüôā

Check out these blogs for more chances to win!

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez
April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison
April 28  Sue Bleiweiss
April 30  Judy Gula
May 1  Susan Price & Elizabeth Gibson
May 2  Me!
May 4  Linda Stokes
May 6  Jane Davila
May 6 Melanie Testa
May 7  Liz Kettle
May 8  Carol Sloan
May 9  Kathy York
May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 12  Desiree Habicht
May 13  Jamie Fingal
May 14  Deborah Boschert
May 15  Sarah Ann Smith

34 Responses to “Is Thermofax printing a mystery to you?”

  1. Ann says:

    Hands down the thing I want most to master are the skills you use in your quilting; acrylic inks, Tsukineko inks, paints and mixed media. Also, how you use abaca tissue paper. I keep watching your teaching schedule for a class that will work for me. Your work is fabulous!

  2. Clare Hunter says:

    i would like to be able to use color better. And of course, more more more painting on fabric! Judy’s last class at Hudson Valley was phenomenal, she’s a true artist who lives through her work, which is what makes them so outstanding and compelling.

  3. ssiefkin says:

    I am at SAQA’s Fiberlandia, where Lyric has led two terrific sessions…you are right about her presentation skills. In another session with Betty Busby we played with shiva paint sticks using our finger or thumb to move paint from stencil edge to fabric- I’d like to try more of that! Very cool. P.S.: Lisa Walton says “hello.”

  4. I’m most interested in surface design using mx procion dyes as well as other media like deColorant, thiox, fabric paints and inks. Lyric’s DVD looks like fun!

  5. missy says:

    Love to learn more surface design techniques to incorporate in my art quilts

  6. gaylemontayo says:

    Any mixed media type quilts are my fave!

  7. Cathy Ortelle says:

    I’d love to finally learn how to use my Thermofax machine and prints. And I really like your posts!

  8. Pam Gonzalez says:

    I have always wanted to learn to use the thermofax’s. I’ve just been too afraid. Afraid right? I don’t want to ruin the 2 I bought. So I hope I win it! Thanks, Pam

  9. Joanie says:

    I would LOVE to learn about thermofax printing. I love your work and Lyric’s too. I have never tried thermofax printing because I don’t know enough about it, so this DVD would be a great addition to my learning library. Thank you for all your inspiration!

  10. Linda says:

    I am intrigued with muti media fabric art. There are so many techniques and I am exploring to find a niche for me

  11. Sophie says:

    Surface design techniques are the most interesting to me now. I have only played with Thermofax screens in a limited way and would love to spend more time with them.

  12. Gayle says:

    Anything with paint or inks!

  13. I,m interested in drawing and painting on fabric

  14. Sandra Towey says:

    The technique I most want to learn is actually how to use thermofax screens – how to make them and then how to use them. I know you can use old fax machines or old mimeo machines but then I am clueless. I love, love the screen you used for your example with the Decolourant with the clear and the yellow. That is a beautiful screen. Is it one you made or purchased? I have the Decolourant but have not tried it yet.

  15. Ways to use thermofax prints as a background element effectively.

  16. Linda Hall says:

    I would like to learn more about composition and flow.

  17. Penny Munson says:

    I have taken a class from both you and Lyric – both are exceptional teachers and fun people too. Love to learn more about fabric dying and different fabric manipulations with inks and paints, and what to do with the fabric. I have played around with thermofax screens, but need more practise and direction.

  18. I want to work on figurative painting on fabric. I have little drawing skill but the desire to paint on fabric. thanks for the review and giveaway

  19. Norma Mosso says:

    This is great info. I live in a place that doesn’t have too many resources for embellished fabrics, art quilts, new techniques, etc It is 32 miles from the Mexican border. I will be getting this DVD. Thank you so much for your blog.

  20. Linda in NC says:

    Design – how to get the idea formed enough to transfer from brain to textiles. And controlling color, making it do what you want.

  21. Barb B says:

    Been playing with gels and mediums recently… Would love to know which might work with screens. DVD sounds interesting.

  22. Judy Cooper says:

    I’ve been playing around with Inktense Pencils and blocks here lately and would like to learn more about them. Thanks for the giveaway. Sure would like to do screen printing too!

  23. avoconnor22 says:

    Love your decolorant examples! Thanks for being a part of the giveaway.

  24. I really want to learn all about screen printing and natural indigo dyeing too. I would love to watch this DVD.

  25. nmcreatrix says:

    Surface designnon fabric is my first love…

  26. Holly Burger says:

    I am interested in all mixed-media ideas. Bringing quilting into the art world as a legitimate contender appeals to me, and I intend to participate vividly!

  27. mjkasz says:

    I would love to learn more about using thermofax screen printing. I was fortunate enough to take a class in Houston with Lyric and she is a great teacher with much inspiration.

  28. Susan S says:

    I would like to learn more about fabric painting and mono printing

  29. Surface design in general interests me, especially printing using various means, and stamping. I also would like to explore thread sketching.

  30. patty says:

    I want to learn more about printing. I recently took a workshop, but that just was the tip of the iceberg!

  31. Mary couch says:

    You and Lyric both are so talented. I very much appreciate all the ideas you share. Winning the DVD would be so wonderful and useful!

  32. grace says:

    I’d have to say monoprinting and screenpritning, and free-motion quilting – I’ve never managed to get that right!

  33. mizkath says:

    Hey Judy- I think you can relate to this! I managed to destroy my beautiful collection of thermofax screens. Having stored them nice & flat in plastic sleeves bound in a photo/scrapbook album, I neglected to put the album away in the cupboard one hot summer day. The mylar panels directly overhead on the roof didn’t only flood the studio space with sunlight, but also concentrated the heat, especially on objects placed on the work table directly below them. The result was that my screens, after being subjected to 100 degree heat for hours, were shrivelled into useless lumpy wavy rectangles. So take care, particularly if you live here in Perth, Western Australia! Next project, sun dyeing!! LOL
    PS Love your new book, I bought it as an ebook found some Art Spectrum acrylic inks on sale.

    • Oh no, crazy about your screens, one doesn’t always think about stuff like that! good to know!

      thanks for buying my book! I think you are going to have fun experimenting with the inks! I love painting with them ūüôā

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