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What is a Thermal Screen?

What is a Thermal Screen?

Thermal Screens or Thermofaxes are a great alternative to exposed silkscreens. They are made using a Perspex frame stretched with RISO digital screen mesh. The design is transferred to the mesh by passing it through a MiScreen machine that is connected to a computer. They are printed with a squeegee in a similar way to screen printing.

These screens are perfect for printing finely detailed designs onto fabric, paper and many other surfaces and are easy to work with. However, they are not as robust as an aluminium screen and need to be kept flat to prevent the 2mm thick Perspex frame from snapping.

You can use a Thermal Screen with a variety of mediums including Screen Printing Inks and our Handprinted Fabric Paints.

Digital and hand-drawn designs work great for these screens. Both fine lines and solid areas can be achieved, making them ideal for creating your own fabrics with spontaneous scattered printing or layered textures. Perfect for creating detailed designs for quilting, surface design, logos and labels.

Similarly, to our exposed screens service when ordering a Custom Thermal Screen we need your artwork sent in a particular way. We offer two sizes of Thermofax screen – Medium and Large. For a large Thermofax screen we need the artwork to be sent centred on an A4 PDF and for our medium screens, it needs to be sent on a 210mm x 105mm landscape document. Artwork for medium screens can also be sent on an A4 PDF landscape but please make sure that your design fits within a 210mm x 105mm area. Your artwork should be sent solid black with no grey tones and at the size you wish it to be printed.

If your design is hand-drawn and being scanned, we recommend using photoshop or the photo app on your phone or tablet to up the contrast to remove any grey tones.

If you would like us to make a thermal screen for you, you can email your artwork to or make your own screens at home with the MiScreen machine and kit!

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