Frequently asked questions
What is Thermofax?
Thermo-Fax or Thermofax is an old office technology dating back to the 1950s. The machines generated the masters used to print mimeograph copies but became obsolete with the widespread use of photocopiers. The machine houses an infra-red bulb that heats to a very high temperature and burns the image onto a plastic coated mesh.
What sort of imagery is suitable?
The thermofax process is particularly good for reproducing fine lines, text and marks. These are just a few starting points for generating your own images:
Copyright: if you wish to use artwork that you do not own, please make sure that it is copyright free or that you have permission to use it.
What do I need to do before I sending my image(s) for processing?
Please check that your image:
If you are sending digital images, please check that they are:
If you are sending image(s) by post they should be photocopied before sending (please do not send original artwork). Alternatively, you can send a laser print (please note we are unable to process inkjet prints). You can download an order form to send with your images.
Can you check my image(s) for suitability before I order?
You can upload image(s) on the contact us page before you order. We will email you to let you know whether they are suitable and suggest minor changes if necessary.
How do I send my image(s) to you?
If your image(s) are digital, you can upload them from your computer when you place your order on the custom screen page. You can also do this at the checkout stage.
Do I need any special equipment apart from the thermofax screen?
You will need a suitable squeegee. Standard silkscreen squeegees are too aggressive for use with a thermofax screen. You can order specially designed lightweight squeegees from us to use with your thermofax screen(s).
You will also need ink or other print media. If you are printing on textiles or paper we can recommend our ranges of inks which are very easy to use and give excellent results. You can also use other types of media – our Print Media guide is supplied with your screen or you can download it from this site (pdf).
You will need to prepare a suitable surface for printing. Our guide, How to Use your Thermofax Screen, will be supplied with your screen or you can download it from this site (pdf).
How long do thermofax screens last?
With care you will get many hundreds of prints from a thermofax screen. However, they do not last forever. The media you use, how often you use them (eg repeatedly for long sessions or sporadically) and how carefully they are washed and dried will all affect their longevity and eventually the screen will break down.