Positive and Negative images in Screen Printing

Posted by Shirley on 28 January 2015 | 2 Comments


Today Shirley Goodwin share a snip-it of her Screen Printing class. If you have never screen printed before, it is easier than you think and you really do not need much to get started. Check out what Shirley has to tell us about Positive and Negative images.


You may have used this sort of thing in your fiber art. You can make a single image, or multiple images. Either way, you need to cut the shape out carefully so that the piece you cut out is in good condition. It is easier if you print both images at the same time.

For my example, I freehand cut a fish on freezer paper with my craft knife. It is an odd looking fish, but never mind. I then ironed both positive and negative pieces to the screen alongside one another.

screen printing PandN2 screen printing PandN1

When you are doing a positive/negative print like this, there are two important things to note.

  • use plenty of paint - and I mean plenty. It has to cover the whole background of the positive print.
  • use extra protection on your printing surface because of the extra ink. It has a tendency to bleed through the fabric onto your surface, which will cause problems for the next thing you print. I found I needed to use several layers of newspaper under mine. You can peel off the top page and throw it away as required.

... Shirley Goodwin


More About Screen Printing for Quilters: Create your own designs and discover the joys of being able to screen print your own fabric. Explore how screen printing can provide color and texture to your quilting and textiles without the need to use traditional methods. This is a fun and easy class, suitable for all levels. Please note: This class is NOT about printing t-shirts and does not cover traditional commercial-type screen printing methods. Read more...


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  • Thanks Nina-Marie - definitely share with you. See you on the other side!

    Posted by Ruth, 30/01/2015 10:07pm (5 years ago)

  • ohhh this is great! I remember when I first started screen printing and stamping - positive and negative images gave me fits! I hope you'll share this on my blog link up - Off The Wall Friday!

    Posted by Nina-Marie, 29/01/2015 8:39pm (5 years ago)

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