Making a Fabric Printing Pad
Having a fabric printing pad makes a huge difference when you’re printing at home or in the studio. When screen printing or block printing onto fabrics, it helps to have slight padding underneath your printing surface to ensure you get an even print. You can also pin out fabric to the pad. We use these in the studio to print lengths of fabric, t-shirts and tote bags. They’re also fantastic to use when printing with Thermofax Screens. They’re really easy to make. Here’s how:
You’ll need a piece of board – MDF works very well. These can be made in any size you like but we like to be able to fit our A2 screens on ours. Cut a rectangle out of a blanket. Make sure it is large enough to wrap around the edges of the board to the back. Army surplus blankets work very well or you can often find these in charity shops.
Smooth our the blanket on a table and place the board in the centre. Start by wrapping the top of the blanket over an edge of the board. Staple it in place. Pull the bottom of the blanket tightly and staple. Repeat this on the left and right sides, tugging slightly on the blanket before you staple each time – we don’t want any wrinkles in the surface.
Continue to staple the blanket all the way around the board.
To staple the corners, fold the excess fabric over and pull tightly. This doesn’t have to be too neat on the back but we want to make sure we get a flat surface on the front. Trim away any excess bulk if necessary.
Next, cover the board in a layer of thick cotton. White is preferable as it will provide a blank printing surface for printing projects. We like to use our Heavyweight Cotton as it’s sturdy, crisp white and smooth enough so doesn’t leave unwanted texture on any prints.
Staple the cotton in the same way as the blanket, pulling slightly to ensure a smooth finish.
Staple the corners as flat as possible. The bulk here won’t matter too much as the board’s weight should hold it flat on a table.
The board can now be used for screen printing, thermofax printing, block printing and stamping!
To make your own Fabric Printing Pad you will need:
Thick MDF board