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 10, 2015

Soy Wax and Screen Printing, using resists

Before beginning to use resists I just wanted to show the result of the screen that I made using the tjanting. The printing is a little patchy (operator error) but it does show clearly how you can get very fine lines by using this tool. If it is a look that you want to achieve than I really would recommend purchasing one. 

And in case you are wondering whether the horizontal line is a design element, it isn't - I dropped the tjanting!

The first resist that I want to take a look at is the adhesive film (the kind that you cover books with). Because it has a paper backing you could make quite an elaborate design if you wanted to. Wouldn't something like this Notan design look great? 

However, time is short so, I have gone for simple squares and a rectangle. Cut out your design from a piece of the adhesive film, large enough to cover the printing area of your screen. Keep the sheet of paper intact except for the cutouts. If you are doing a complicated design use a craft knife to do the cutting so that you get a  clean edge. Don't remove the backing paper at this stage.

And keep your cutouts.

When you are ready, remove the backing paper and stick the adhesive film to the bottom of one of your  screens that has a soy wax design on it. Make sure that you get a good bond at the edges of the areas that you have cut out and that the film covers the whole of the print area. The film acts as a resist so the only thing that will be printed is the area that you cut away. Then just go ahead and print. You could be quite careful in where you place the cutout areas but I like the surprise that you get when you cut them out randomly.
For this I decided to go with an undyed fabric, silk noil, so that I could see the effect more clearly. and I just printed randomly over the fabric

I also did the same thing again but cut circles from the film this time.

Both these pieces need more doing to them but have a lot of potential.

Remember I said to keep the cut out pieces? Don't forget to remove the first piece of film from your screen, if you are going to use the same one. This time, take your cut out pieces, (I used the circles), and place them on the bottom of your screen. I used a piece of dyed cotton for this one.

And this is what it looked like after printing.

You could spend hours playing with this technique. Try it with different screens, with dyed or undyed fabric. Endless permutations.

I do hope that you are enjoying your journey with me so far. More on resists coming up on Friday.


  1. How interesting! I got a little confused until I realized you were putting a resist on the soy wax screen you showed prints of in the beginning. This is something I have not seen before, and certainly is worth trying! Thanks, Maggi!

  2. This is a screen printing technique blog but it seems like your idea of using the adhesive film to cut out designs could easily also be used to make one's own stencils. It would cut easily and if I didn't remove the paper backing it would remain quite stable. anyway, I'm enjoying your postings. Love that cotton fabric before and after you printed it. And the accident of dropping the tjanting turned out to be an interesting feature of the print!

  3. This is neat but I'm kinda of confused. What type of film are you using as a resist over your design? So you cut out this film and then adhere it to the back of the screen? Then print? This is something I want to try. Thanks.

  4. I've sorted through my dyes and other bits today, and I actually found an unused, unopened bag of soya wax! Anyway, I've soda soaked some fabric, and made up my manutex paste, so I'm planning on a bit of a play day tomorrow. Your blog has been really inspiring Maggi, so thanks for getting me going!!

  5. Oh I love the rectangles! I love the effect on the plain fabric, too. It could easily become the basis of a Modern quilt inspired piece.
    Sandy in the UK

  6. Sorry Judy. I didn't make that clear did I. Will go back in and edit the post.

    Lynda, the adhesive film is the kind you use to cover books with. I mentioned it in the very first post but perhaps should have explained again.

  7. Glad to have inspired you Cath, hope you post the results on your blog.

  8. Lynda, take a look here - it shows you what the adhesive film is. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adhesive-Cover-photos-Sticky-Plastic/dp/B008KZ4IHS

  9. Maggie, loving all these ideas!

  10. Maggi, how very interesting combining the adhesive film with the waxed screen. I appreciate that you showed some completed examples to show how far you can go with the technique.

  11. Excellent post Maggi! I can't wait to try this!


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