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cutout device of oiled or shellacked tough and resistant paper, thin metal, or other material used in applying paint, dye, or ink to reproduce its design or lettering upon a surface. Designing an art stencil differs from ordinary drawing, since the design itself must be cut away, and ties must be arranged to hold the background together and to give definition to the pattern, somewhat in the manner of lines in mosaic or leaded glass. In a repeating border or design, registers are cut to coincide with some small detail or dot to enable the user to place the stencil accurately for each repetition. It is held securely upon the surface, while the stencil brush (with square-cut stiff bristles) is manipulated to work the medium over it (in a circular movement for fabrics) until every detail is evenly colored. The technique has been employed since ancient times for the decoration of walls and ceilings, pottery, furniture, textiles, leather, and small objects. It is also used in mimeographing, addressing, and lettering cases or cartons for shipping. The Chinese and Japanese employ a tough mulberry paper, making intricate stencils that are collected for their beauty. The silk-screen stencil, an innovation in silk-screen printingsilk-screen printing,
multiple printing technique, also known as serigraphy, involving the use of stencils to transfer the design. Paint is applied to a silk or nylon screen and penetrates areas of the screen not blocked by the stencil.
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, is used for posters, wallpapers and textiles. In handwork, silk fabric is stretched on a frame and then coated with glue or other impervious material; a stencil paste, rubbed on with a squeegee, passes through the uncoated portions. The method has been adapted by artists to make prints known as serigraphs.


See A. Bishop and C. Lord, The Art of Decorative Stenciling (rev. ed. 1985); L. LeGrice, The Art of Stenciling (1987).



a thin, flat rectangular plate in addressing machines used for the repeated printing of short addresses from texts of not more than 200 characters (for example, mailing lists and order forms).

Depending on the type of printing, distinctions are made between letterpress stencils made from metal or plastic and having punched-out letters, hectographic stencils made from art paper, and stencils made from a thin fabric coated with a waxlike substance. The last two types of stencils are held in plastic frames. There are projections or color indicators at the edges of stencils to enable rapid manual or automated retrieval. The application of a text on metal or plastic stencils is carried out by the stamping mechanism of the addressing machine. The text on a stencil for hectographic or stenciling addressing machines is typewritten.


Alferov, A. V., I. S. Reznik, and V. G. Shorin. Orgatekhnika. Moscow, 1973.



(graphic arts)
A template with either mechanically or hand cut openings.
A metal foil with openings made by chemically etching, laser cutting, or electroforming processes.
References in periodicals archive ?
To analyze the effectiveness of frame-mounted foil systems, an evaluation was conducted using two such technologies: one in standard tension similar to that of mesh-mounted stencils (FIGURE 2) and one in high tension to deliver greater tensioning force (FIGURE 3).
As the leading manufacturer of laser systems for stencil cutting, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG has investigated a large number of quality criteria within the scope of an extensive study.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies MATERIALS NEEDED: * Egg-shaped cookie cutter * Reusable stencils * Small stencil brushes * Shimmer Dust in bright colors DIRECTIONS: 1.
The advent of electroformed stencils has made it common to print apertures with area ratios down to 0.
tencils, Eyebrow stencils, PS16 by Anastasia Beverley Hills @ Net A Porter This cute brow kit is perfect for using with stencils, to darken and define the brows.
The stencils require a black on white image, and if from a computer, it should be of high resolution.
The company was recently involved in helping creative students from the Royal College of Art design a number of stencils for Crown Paints as part of its Crown Jewels range.
The company said that all of its heart stencils are available in sizes ranging from 5"x5" to 18"x18".
It placed 50 water stencils in 27 different locations within a 5-mile radius of the property in March.
In this instance, some assemblers order stencils in a foil with no frame as a way to cut costs (FIGURE 4).
EDWARD says: Stencils are widely available from craft to large DIY stores and come in many creative designs.
For the special needs students, these examples can become usable stencils to trace onto their background papers or to glue directly into place.