If you hang around Cedar Canyon for more than a day or two, you’ll quickly learn that I am a huge fan of “sticky” tools. In particular, no slip mats have been on my must-have list since I published Paintstiks on Fabric back in 2005.
For the last 10+ years, I’ve been singing the praises of the Grip-n-Grip mats from Bear Threads Designs. Today, I want to introduce a larger no slip mat from Jack Richeson & Co, the folks that make Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks.
Because I do most of my fabric painting with Paintstiks, no slip mats fit into my workflow in two important ways. They keep rubbing plates from moving around on my work table, and they keep fabric from shifting when I’m stenciling.
While the Grip-n-Grip has been my go-to tool for over a decade, the mat is smaller than most of my projects. It’s not the end of the world, by any means. But it does mean that I end up moving my fabric and/or the mat a lot when I’m working on yardage.
For large projects, I have lined up two or three of the Grip-n-Grip mats on my work surface. This work fine for rubbings. Rubbing plates work the same whether they span two mats or run off the edge of a single mat.
But… Stenciling over a gap in the mat is a problem. If my stencil spans a gap between two mats – or runs off the edge of a mat, I wind up with unwanted lines in the stenciled image. I can “fix” the lines if I’m planning a dark, opaque image by adding more paint. If I want a sheer layer of paint, I’m pretty much out of luck.
And that’s why I’m excited to tell you about the big oversize Lino Grip from my friends at Jack Richeson and Co!
The large Lino Grip is just over three times the size of a Grip-n-Grip. When I’m working on a small project, I can fit both the project and my palette paper – which makes it easier to add paint to the paper with one hand. When I’m stenciling on large panels, I don’t have to worry about dodging the gaps.
I’ve been “lusting” after a table size no slip mat for years. The Lino Grip isn’t quite that big, but it’s a lot more convenient for big projects. (I confess that I have two of these wonders. One for my home studio and one for the Chapala studio!)
Cleaning a No Slip Mat
The only downside to a no slip mat is that everything wants to stick to it. And I mean everything. Lint, dust, cat hair — it all wants to stick to a grippy mat. And once it gets dirty, it’s not very “grippy” any more.
Over the years, I have found several ways to clean these no slip wonders:
Option 1: My favorite method for cleaning these mats is to use a masking-tape lint roller like a rolling pin. I put pressure on both ends as I roll over the mat. The roller picks up the crud and my mat is restored to its original grippy state. I like using the roller because it will pick up lint, dirt — even paint off my mat. (And I can carry a lint roller in my suitcase for quilt market without having it confiscated by our TSA friends…)
Option 2: In a pinch, I’ve found that a good scrubbing with a damp lint-free cloth will remove quite a bit of the crud. Lint-free is the operative word here. Don’t even think about using a paper towel!
Option 3: When all else fails, read the instructions! The sheet that comes with the Grip-n-Grip mat says “Sheet may be cleaned with a sponge and alcohol if necessary. Do not submerge, just wipe with damp sponge.” I don’t keep alcohol around the office or in my art supplies (and I can’t take it on a plane), so I usually opt for the first 2 methods to clean my mats.
If you have one of these mats and actually use it, there’s no question that a good cleaning will be necessary from time to time. Chose your method, clean up your mat, and restore it to its original “grippy” glory!
Lino Grip vs. Grip-n-Grip
Here are my thoughts on the two mats:
Material: The mats come from different companies, but they appear to be made of the same material – silicone with some type of woven material in the middle. There is a very small texture to the mat, but it does not appear when I stencil on fabric.
Size: The Grip-n-Grip mat is 12 ½” x 17” in size, making it very portable. The Lino Grip is 22” x 30” in size, about three times the size of the Grip-n-Grip.
The large size of the Lino is taller when it is rolled up, but it fits nicely in my art suitcase. It can also be folded for transport. (I wouldn’t leave it folded for long periods of time.) However, the large size is a blessing for those of us who work on large projects!
Price: The retail price of the Grip-n-Grip mat is $15.99, about $10.89 per square foot. The Lino Grip is $29.95, which is about $6.55 per square foot, making it a less expensive alternative to purchasing multiple Grip-n-Grip mats.
Choosing the best mat comes down to the size of your projects.
Laura Murray keeps Grip-n-Grip mats in stock for her online store. You can purchase one here.
For a limited time, you can order the large Lino Grip via Cedar Canyon Textiles. (Your mat will ship directly from the company. Please note that the offer is only good for US addresses in the lower 48 states.)
Got a question or comment about no slip mats? Leave one below!