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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Soy Wax and Screen Printing, tape resists

I really do think that creating resists with painters' tape is possibly my favourite method. It allows for the  creation of  organic shapes and also  gives  the opportunity to create  very precise grids, something for everyone. Combined with the simplicity of the soy wax design on the screen the results can often be very surprising. 

The simplest way to use the tape is to add lines to the bottom of the screen. You could just apply the tape as it is but, as I'm not  a fan of straight lines, I like to tear the tape in half first, as unevenly as possible. You can see the two halves of the torn tape below. 

I tape each half to the bottom of the screen, joining them at the straight edges. It's not necessary to join exactly, be adventurous but also be aware that if you leave a gap then dye will penetrate that gap. This could be exactly the effect that you want of course. I often overlap the straight edges to make the lines thinner. If you click on the image to enlarge you should be able to see where the two halves of the tape are joined or overlapped. Add additional lines until you are happy with the way that it looks.

If you are looking closely you may have noticed that I put the lines of tape onto the wrong side of the screen. My excuse is that I was concentrating on trying  to remember to take photos as I went along! This is how it should look, with the tape on the bottom of the screen.

Pin out your fabric and print.

If you are concerned about the bottom of your screen picking up dye from a previously printed area, you have two options to prevent this from transferring to the cloth, where you don't want it to be. You can either make sure that you carefully wipe the bottom of the frame of your screen or, you can put something across the previously printed area to stop that dye from being picked up. I normally use a paper towel. I prefer this to the wiping method because that is when I normally manage to drop my squeegee onto my work, as I'm juggling with a wipe cloth.

When you have finished all there is to do is to pull off the tape and wash the screen. If you want a much narrower line then it might be worth considering quilters 1/4" masking tape. You don't have to do lines, of course, as you can use the tape to make any shapes that you want.  I've got lots of ideas simmering away as I type, I just need to make sure that I make a note of them before I forget.

On Wednesday I'm going to be use a tape resist screen with discharge paste and also trying out commercial stencils and some found objects. I hope that you'll join me.


  1. I find torn strips of newspaper ideal for stopping transfer of paint onto the screen from the previous prints. Nice post.

  2. I'm enjoying your posts so much! I've used newspaper to make torn circles, strips, and rectangles. Nice effects, and I can use the dyed paper later for collage. The text on the paper shows through the dye just enough.

  3. Newspaper to protect is a good idea Irene.

  4. I hadn't thought of using the dyed paper to make collages with Cris - great idea to get text on there without it being too obvious..


Although this blog is no longer active, we will get your comments so please feel free to share them.