BlockPrinting FAQs

Here are a few questions that I’ve been asked time and again about my process. I will add more as they occur.

Q: What kind/type/brand of ink/paint do you use?

A: I use just about any kind of ink/paint. When I first started printing, I was of the belief, based on information I read, that I had to use “Textile Paint” only. I have since learned, based on my experiments, that I can use almost any type of paint, as long as it is modified to be wash-fast. The following is a breakdown of what I like to use.

Textile Screen Printing Ink

I started with Speedball brand. It is ok. Pro: It’s opaque, so it shows up well on dark fabric. It is also widely accessible Con: It’s kind of stiff and leaves a hand. ‘Hand’ refers to the change in feel/texture of a fabric where it has been printed.

I love Permaset brand inks. Pro: Super creamy and yummy looking, and leaves virtually no ‘hand’, Con: Expensive, and you have to buy the ‘Supercover’ version if you want to print on darker fabric. Also not readily accessible.

Versatex Metallic Screen Printing Ink. I did not love this one. I expected a nice metallic sheen, but there was barely any hint of metals. It also stunk really bad.

Craft Store Fabric Paint

When I first started, there was virtually no fabric paint in the craft stores. You had to mix ‘Textile Medium’ with acrylic paint to make the fabric paint. That trick still works, but it’s not really necessary anymore.

The new Multi-Surface Paints I have found to work very well. I love all the Delta, Plaid, and other craft store brands.

It also seems like every time I set foot in a craft store, there is some obscure new line of Fabric Paint. They’re all pretty good, but just don’t come in large enough sizes for large volume work.

Q: What Kind of materials do you use for your stamps?

A: Short answer, anything that will cut/carve and transfer ink/paint well. Here are a few of my favorites:

Soft Kut Rubber: My favorite. It cuts like butter.
Craft Foam: The kind with the adhesive on the back. These are a little thin so I like to stack two pieces together before cutting it into shapes.
Plain Vinyl Ceiling Tiles: Yup, you read that right. This can be found in your local home improvement store. I use the smooth kind that has no design on it. It also carves like butter.
Linoleum: I don’t like this that much but it works. Can be hard to cut
Basswood: It works, but I don’t care too much for it.

Q: What Kind of Sewing Machine do you use?

A: I currently have a Singer Classic. It’s not heavy duty, but it works. I also have access to a Sewing Collaborative in my town where I can use industrial sewing machines if needed.

I will be adding more q&a’s as I find them, so check back often. If there is a question you want answered, email me.