A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Screen Printing, glue screens

If you've stayed with me during the whole of the month, thank you. I hope that you've found something to inspire you to experiment with. For my last post I am going to look at using glue to create a design for screening. It's basically exactly the same as using soy wax but using cheap glue that is readily available. 

The best glue to use is a basic craft glue, the kind that children might use. This is the kind that I used

And this is my selection of tools for making the first screen.

The first thing is to put some glue into the tray. As you can see, you don't need much.

Dip one of your mark making tools into the glue ...

... and then lay it on the bottom of the screen to transfer the glue

Do this printing with several of your tools to make a composition that you are happy with.

Old credit cards can be good mark making tools.

Let the glue dry completely before using the screen to print with.

Dried screen, ready for printing.

Print your fabric as normal using thickened dye. This is the fabric partially printed.

And ready for batching.

After washout. And a reminder that I need to make a stronger solution of charcoal!

One thing that I did discover is that glue screens disintegrate quite quickly. I used the screen to do a second piece of silk and you can see that not much of the design was left.

After washout there really wasn't much there at all.

I had intended to do an interfacing screen with glue but the glue glooped all over the place and so I had to revert to a couple of old screens that I had made while I was in Linda Maynard's class. These were made in the same way as the soy wax ones. Put the glue onto the interfacing in whatever design you like and then, when the glue is dry, give the whole piece of interfacing at least two coats of household emulsion, allowing each coat to dry before painting the next. When everything is dry, wash the interfacing in hot water to remove the glue. It's a good idea to let it soak for about 10 minutes before you start rubbing.

This was made by writing freely on the interfacing with the glue.

And this was just using the glue bottle to take a line for a walk.

The writing has completely disintegrated and so the screen only printed a texture and the more geometric design had also become far less clear than when I first made it.

Not something that cannot be worked on further but a good lesson in how ephemeral the glue screens are compared to those made with soy wax.

Once again, thank you for staying with me. I've had fun doing the posts and it's made me far more aware of the need for taking process photos. I also have a good stash of newly printed fabric to work with.  I hope too that I've answered all the questions that came through in the comments. I have appreciated the supportive comments too and, although I haven't answered each one, I can assure you that I have read them. If you have any queries, feel free to email me. 


  1. Maggi, I love the idea of using the glue, but was sorry to see that it washed out so easily. Wonder if using simple craft paint would do the job, using an applicator bottle?
    Thanks so much for all your great posts, it has been a very interesting month!

  2. What a wonderful month this has been and I did pick up a technique I have needed badly! Thanks for your work and generosity.

  3. Thank you for all the work you have put into preparing for these posts and the time taken to photograph and write up all the processes. I appreciate people like you who share your knowledge.

  4. This has been a great series. I've really enjoyed them and itmhas sparked lots of ideas. Thank you!

  5. Thank you Maggi for an enjoyable month learning new techniques and being reminded of those long forgotten! I realize how much work this has been for you….it’s much appreciated.

  6. I'm not sure about craft paint Judy. Is it acrylic? If it is then, once it has dried on the screen, it is there forever but that wouldn't matter if you were using it on interfacing.

  7. Thank you all for your encouraging comments.

  8. I loved this month's experiments. I love it when Artists "play" and then sharing it with the rest of us. :) Thank youxxx

  9. A great month of posts Maggi! I'll be trying out some of them for sure.

  10. Thank you for sharing your time and creativity with everyone. There are so many great techniques to learn from you and the other generous members of this blog. I really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into writing the posts.

  11. Hi Maggi, Thank you for sharing your processes, I am now looking forward to experimenting with some of the ideas you have described.

  12. Thanks Maggi, so much. You've certainly taken the mystery out of these processes, and I feel far more confident now on doing further experiments. Really inspirational.

  13. Hi Maggi,
    I loved this series! I am itching for time to do something with it. I need to do some experimenting soon!

    As for the glue. Rayna Gillman uses a clear glue. It doesn't wash out as easily as the PVA glue. It can be washed out, though, when you are ready.

    In America it is blue school glue by Elmer. I managed to get some when I was there. But I have recently found that Aldi carries some clear glue here in the UK. So, I have bought some in different formats to see how it works.
    Now I need to find some proper tape for making screens. The gaffer/duct tape I bought was a generic brand and was useless at sticking.
    Sandy in the UK

  14. What a terrific month of posts. I've been reading avidly. As I'm spending the summer on a boat, I haven't been able to try any of these techniques. Once I get back home, I'll be returning to these posts many times.

  15. Thank you , Maggi for all your efforts this month. I will keep a note of these posts and come back to them.


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