How to customize your fabric: Lino printing

13. Mai 2006
this one´s a special for yours truly. she knows, why :)

the idea for doing some linocutting and -printing grew bigger when i visited jens blog and (how so often) admired her work. her posts about gocco and linoprinting were somehow inspiring and as i at this time don´t want to buy a gocco-machine i thought to give linoprinting a try. some years ago i did much linocutting for christmas-cards etc., so i already had the basic materials at home.


i wanted a small design, about 5 x 5 cm to print on t-shirts or onesies for my new nephew.
with the computer, i printed out a very simple skull-and-crossbones design and traced it to tracing paper and then traced it to the lino plate:

then, using different knifes specially for linocutting, i carved the outlines and then the background of my design.


with lino-paint and a brayer, i colored the template.


you can already see that the background isn´t "clean", but in my eyes that´s what makes a lino different from other prints. of course, you can clean it up completely.

i used a (clean) brayer to "roll" over the back of the printing template to make some testprints on paper (left) and then did some carving again to reduce the lines in the background. then i did another trial print (right).

abrollen nachgearbeitet

then i took a piece of muslin (what was once a sleeve), laid it on a "soft surface" (in my case one of those thick envelopes) and tried a print on fabric:


went out pretty well, if you ask me. in spite of this i will redo the background again, as now more lines can show because of the soft underlayer.

now i have to look for a fabric paint that is "creamy" enough to do some linos on fabric as i don´t know how the lino-paint will wash (or not...). normal fabric paint is wayyyy to thin to get good results.

or... maybe... do i want to have a gocco-kit? i will put this on my (way too long!) wishlist for christmas, i think. unfortunately screenprinting systems are not what you can call inexpensive. :o

so get crafty, everyone ;)


  1. yours truly08:42

    yours truly is really impressed!
    hope I can buy the little skull stamp in your etsyshop?

    i would prefer to have a handle on my stamp. do you glue it to a wooden block?

    the deka print colours are good. the black paint is a bit thin, but the shopowner told me, it would be good to pour a small amount on a plate and let it dry a little bit.

    and what are you doing now with the little skully?

  2. fun fun fun fun fun fun fun!

    but I guess my sis will kill me, if I was going to print a skull on dear nephews onesies!

  3. That's really fun. I still have some equipment for linocutting but I've never used it. Maybe I should give it a try. I've never realised that it's possible to do really cool things with it...
    Btw it feels really weird to write you in English :-)

  4. es darf sich jeder frei fühlen auch in deutsch zu schreiben, kein problem.
    spanisch bitte ich auf touristen-niveau zu betreiben, dann könnte ich da noch mithalten.
    nur mit französisch, da hab ich massiv probleme. *gg*

    joa, das teil ist irgendwie cool, find ich auch.
    am onesie sitz ich noch... keine druckknöpfe :o

  5. ton francais est ne pas bien?
    kein problem, meins war auch besser

    Jeg ogsa ikke snacker dansk god :)

    I think languages are a great thing to learn :)

  6. dänisch kann ich lesen und verstehen (na, sagen wir 80%), selber aber nicht sprechen.
    französisch habe ich zwar gelernt, aber wieder verdrängt. sorry, aber an der sprache find ich so GAR nichts, irgendwie.

    aber ansonsten fühl dich frei.... ;)

  7. keine ahnung...

    meine schwester steht sooo auf sudoku und alles was mit mathe zu tun hat und ich besuche jedes ähm 2 Jahr einen Sprachkurs... schwedisch bin ich auch angefangen... aber bei dänisch will ich beibleiben... eine std. von DK entfernt und spreche kein Dänisch...tss tss

  8. elfenundkampfzwerge23:27

    I am right now constructing a very conservative jacket in magenta and black. wouldn't it be nice to do another one in b/w with a row of little skulls. absolutely conservative, but with a little morbid border.

    you see: i have to have one. and I never shopped at etsy's...

  9. Gocco was so popular when I was in elementar school, and I hadn't seen them for a while here in Japan.
    Now it's getting very popular not only here in Japan but also in overseas!


  10. charlotte, i´ll make one just for you.
    do you want the same design or a different one?

  11. Ok, eigentlich schadet meinem Englisch ein bisschen Übung gar nicht. Meinem Französisch zweifellos auch nicht (ich werd jetzt nicht zugeben, dass ich das im Abi hatte und danach noch einen Monat Sprachkurs in Paris gemacht habe, alldieweil ich es mir nicht leisten kann, Leute zu vergraulen, die regelmäßig meine Blog-Einträge kommentieren :-)).
    Maybe one day I'll get used to writing English here. Because my Japanese is really bad...

  12. you don't know my japanese! it's konichiwa....and the name of my favourite sushi. *g* that's all.

    the little skull is just perfect the way he is.... ^^°^^

    by the way, I was shopping today *hint*

    yours truly

  13. And I don't even eat sushi :-)
    Seriously, I've studied Japanese at the university for about 3 weeks but well, umm... Maybe one day I'll give it another try.

    (and one day I'll write comments here that aren't completely offtopic...)

  14. onT:

    I recommend the Blauweisschen fabric paint very much!
    It is creamy and does not wash out, after ironing it!
    And the colour choices are great and you can always mix them!

  15. @kumi: i know, they even want to discontinue the production of gocco stuff. but there are some other possibilities of screenprinting, i think.

    @tini: thanks for the tip! i called blauweißchen for the colors, but they said they won´t show on black or dark fabrics. damn!
    i only use dark fabs, so there´s no use for colors that don´t show :(
    i´ll order some fabric-paint-thickener and new color especially made for black fabrics.


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