Thermofax FAQs

We frequently receive questions about thermofax printing through our Etsy shop and from students in classes.  Here is a list of frequently asked questions and our answers. 

What is the largest size of my image can be on a small, medium, and large screen? 
Small size is a maximum of 3.5 x 4 inches
                Medium size is a maximum of 5 x 7 inches
                Large size is a maximum of 7 x 9 inches
                Any dimensions that fall between these maximums falls under the next size up.

Can you burn me a screen if the image has grey areas? Or if the image is in color?  Images need to be high contrast black and white.  Grey areas do not burn.  If the image is in color, it needs to be converted to black and white.  We will do this for an additional fee of $5.00; add the Photoshop Adjustments item to your shopping cart.

What type of paint can I use?  Use paints formulated for textiles, or add a textile medium to acrylic craft paints.  These paints will give your finished product a softer “hand”; non-textile paints would leave fabrics stiff.  Of course, the intended purpose of your item should also be taken into consideration.  It is less critical in a piece of wall art that will not be worn or washed.  Some types of paint we use include: ProFab (made by, Speedball Fabric Printing Inks, Jacquard paints, Versatex paints (both Jacquard and Versatex are available from, Simply Screen made by Plaid, and SoSoft made by DecoArt. 

How do I send my image to you?  You may send your image as a .jpg or .png file to

Can I send you my image via mail instead of electronically?  The short answer is yes, if you want to send images via postal mail we can work with them.  The long answer is the reason we prefer digital images.  In order for an image to work with the thermofax machine, it has to contain carbon.  That means drawings must be done with either carbon pencil or pen.  Alternatively, a digital image must be printed with a laser printer or copy machine because the toner contains carbon.  So if you send drawings, unless they are done with carbon, we would scan them so they can be printed digitally with a laser printer in order to make the screen. 

Do you do the photo adjustments for me?  Yes, we have an option in the Etsy shop to do an adjustment for you for a fee.

Would my logo work for a screen?  That depends on the design of your logo.  If it is an image with a lot of solid areas this may not be the best choice for you.  You are welcome to send us an image file of the logo and we will let you know if we think it will work.

Can I send you something that is copyrighted by someone else?  No, images must be in the public domain or your own work (photos, drawings, etc), or images that you own the copyright to.  Just because you can download an image from the internet does not make it copyright free.  Please check the information for the particular site and image.

What is the largest size screen you can make?  The largest size image our machine can accommodate is 7” wide x 9” long, however, it is possible to go longer than 9”, as long as your image can fit on a sheet of paper that is either 8.5 x 11, or 8.5 x 14.  We have to allow enough space around the image for margins; the larger the image, the smaller the margins and the more challenging the printing becomes.  If you have a  special request, feel free to email us at

What is the difference between ink and paint?  For textiles, there’s not really a difference.   It just depends on the manufacturer.  Speedball, for example, calls their paint “ink”.  As long as it is designated for fabric, it should work just fine.

Can I use dye with thermofax screens?  Yes, you can use dye but it first must be thickened with an additive so that it is the consistency of paint.  Thickened dye works really well with thermofax screens and is actually easier to clean up than paint, but once mixed, must be used within short time constraints for the dye to bond with the fibers if the soda ash is added to the dye.  If the fabric has been pre-treated with soda ash, then the time constraints don’t apply.

What is the life/how many uses can you get from a screen?  With proper care you should be able to pull hundreds of prints with your thermofax screen.

Do you give discounts?  For multiple orders?  Occasionally we offer specials to subscribers of our newsletter, previous customers, and Facebook followers.

Do you sell screens wholesale?  Yes, we have separate pricing for wholesale customers.  Contact us at  for more information.

Do you use social media? Yes, we have an active blog, Facebook page, and Pinterest page,

as well as Instagram and Pinterest pages.

How do I subscribe to your newsletter?  On the top right side of our blog page ( is the place to subscribe to our mailing list and e-newsletter.  We send a newsletter a few times a year.

Are some images better to make into screens than others?  Images that contain heavily solid and also fine lines are the least likely to make successful screens.

How do I tell the size of my image in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements?  Under your image on the left it tells you at what percentage you are viewing the image and the dimensions.  There is a drop down menu that lets you choose “document dimensions” to see the size of your image.  You could also see the dimensions by going to the Image menu, then Resize, which will show you the current dimensions.

To help with cost, can I put two smaller images on a medium or large screen? Yes, just be sure to leave enough room around both images to have space for cutting apart and adding the duct tape.

What else can I print thermofax images on besides fabric?  Thermofax screens are suitable for use on fabric, paper, canvas, chipboard, clay, and polymer clay

Is the size listed in Etsy the size of the image or the size of the screen? The sizes listed for the custom screens are the maximum sizes for the image itself. It includes extra screen outside the image for the paint and taping. So the largest for a small screen is 3.5x4. Anything larger than that up to 5x7 is medium. Larger than 5x7 up to 7x9 is large. Think of an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. The whole page is a large; half a sheet horizontally is a medium; a quarter sheet is a small.

My screen arrived and it is all curled up, is that normal?  Yes, you can gently uncurl the screen and once you have duct taped the edges it should lay flat.

The screens I've ordered before were blue. Now they are white.  What's the difference? The manufacturer of the screen changed their formula for making the screen, which is why it has changed from blue to white.  The white screen should print no differently from the blue screen.  The only difference you might notice is that the white screen does not curl on the edges like the blue screen did.

How many prints can I get from a thermofax screen?  You can get many prints from one screen.  It really depends on how the screen is cared for.

Can you make me a screen for a “Save the date” card?  Yes, depending on the design.  Keep in mind that small font text does not always make a very crisp print, and varied sizes in one document can also be a problem.  If  the text is the most important thing, you may want a different type of printing process for this type of use.  Also, text within a solid black area does not work well.

Do screens come with the edges taped?  We sell our screens with edges untaped to keep the cost down.  However we do have an option to purchase pre-taped screens in the Etsy shop; purchase taping as a separate item.


No comments:

Post a Comment