Thermofax Screens

I had a commenter ask about where to get Thermofax screens made, so I decided to just do a post about it.

Thermofax screens are awesome to use if you don’t want to mess with the photo emusion process on silkscreens.  They are great to use to make prints on cloth or paper with your own photography.  I turn my photos into black and white and then darken the black as much as I can.  The copies of these need to be toner copies when you send them off for making Thermofax screens.  HOWEVER, I have an Epson CX4800 printer that uses Durabright inks.  Believe it or not, I accidentally send these prints to my screen maker and she was able to make screens that work perfectly from them, SO that means that the Durabright black ink has enough toner in them to burn a screen with.  I was amazed.  But for most of you out there using an inkject printer, this won’t work.  You need copies with toner in the ink, either from a laser printer or a copy machine.  I hear the copy machines with toner are getting rare.

So here is the list of people that I know from the quiltart list who make Thermofax screens for a small fee.  Get in touch with them!  Your other option is to spend tons of money purchasing one of the old machines that does this and spending money on supplies for it.  I find it easier just to make my designs or prepare my photos and just send them off to these gals.

Pam Relitz is in the Chicago area:

Bobbie Vance is in the Indianapolis area:

Lynn Krawczyk, I believe is in Michigan:

Construction fence rubbing

7/26/11 Update…I just received a comment asking to add this link to my list of Thermofax screen makers:

Check them out!


  1. Hello Katherine, here in Brazil and I subscribe to your blog with this post about thermofax can tell you that yes, any inkjet printer burn a thermofax acetate. I did my tests with laser and ink jet and all work similarly. What is bad is when you have an old copy laser, where the powder already compressed, so do not work. My printer is an HP with normal ink and always burn my transparencies printed on it. What you need is to have the image beautifully crafted and contrasted. Halftone and can not leave open any appearance of giving a more dirt than art and fashion. Well, that was it. Hope that helps.

  2. hi Simone…thanks for commenting. Your comments are very interesting. I have not tested other inkjet printers or laser printers, but I was only passing on the conventional information that is out there in the art community here in the states concerning this. Hmmm…I may have to post your comment to some lists and see what the “experts” say, because they say that you must have toner copies in order to burn the thermofax. Thanks so much for stopping by, reading and leaving your comments. I really appreciate it. And thanks for subscribing!

  3. Katherine, since you’re interested I can pass other information. There thermofax to sell in Brazil, soon imported the equipment and the acetates of the U.S. I read all about how to do, but I am a Brazilian stubborn and always do my experiments:
    So if you want a well-defined and very open, make a copy or a laser copy. With toner powder, which is nothing more than carbon, everything works. Use pencil carbon transfer does not work. Does not burn. What needs even in the case of inkjet printers is to have the image and black, contrasting, as well defined (speaking in terms of image resolution. mages are low-resolution pixels with undefined). If you do not burn enough in the first pass, the third is already good, for sure. Never use a photocopy or an old Laser old, because the dust has not dropped more. Inkjet Prints must be new, just like that, out of the printer and go for the burn. Not that this means is still wet. Not so! It is new. Well, once again I have helped. From here, in southern Brazil, where nobody knows what a Thermofax, but I am crazy because the things that make my life and my art.

  4. Thanks for this post, Kathy. I have a file of already-manipulated images on my computer, ready for laser print and screen making. I think this year I’ll really do it!

  5. Hi,Kathy, Thank you for an informative and entertaining site! We could wander here for hours…sigh.
    Please add us to the list of screen making services:
    We are committed to enabling the highest creativity, using the simplest & least toxic tools and materials.
    With thanks again,

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