Setting up Svelte & Integrating Tailwind CSS

Jack Whiting
Dec 4, 2019 · 4 min read

This article is part of a series of posts about Working with Svelte. The topics and articles we have (or will) cover are as follows:

  1. Setting up Svelte & Installing Tailwind CSS and PostCSS
  2. Setting up Routing with Page.js
  3. Optimising Our Router For Large Applications (Coming Soon)
  4. .. and more

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Svelte is an awesome underdog in JavaScript frameworks and is climbing the ranks currently due to the way it compiles your scripts and HTML. Svelte is inherently a compiler and all of your components files get compiled into pure JavaScript. You can find out more about Svelte through their website.

Install Svelte

Let’s create a copy of the base template provided by Svelte, and install all the necessary libraries with the following.

npx degit sveltejs/template my-svelte-project 
cd my-svelte-project
yarn # or npm install

To test everything is working properly, we can run yarn dev and we should be able to see the default page at https://localhost:5000. If you can't you may want to ensure nothing went wrong with the setup.

Set up Tailwind

Install Dependancies

yarn add --dev postcss postcss-load-config svelte-preprocess tailwindcss

If you want to make sure unused styles are removed when in production (keeping our file size lean), you can also add the following dependency.

yarn add @fullhuman/postcss-purgecss

Generate Tailwind Config

npx tailwind init

If you open up the file created you should see it looks similar to the below.

module.exports = {
theme: {
extend: {}
variants: {},
plugins: []

Creating our PostCSS Rules

touch postcss.config.js

Open the file in your favourite editor and copy in the following code.

const purgecss = require('@fullhuman/postcss-purgecss')({
content: ['./src/**/*.svelte', './src/**/*.html'],
whitelistPatterns: [/svelte-/],
defaultExtractor: content => content.match(/[A-Za-z0-9-_:/]+/g) || []

module.exports = {
plugins: [
...(!process.env.ROLLUP_WATCH ? [purgecss] : [])

To explain the above a little, we first create a ruleset for Purge CSS which will look through all Svelte and HTML files and remove any classes that do not match what is included. We’ll also add a whitelist pattern to ensure that any Svelte generated classes are not removed unnecessarily.

We then watch on whether the process.env.ROLLUP_WATCH equates to true, if not, we purge, if true then we are in development and we just compile the Tailwind classes.

Integrating with Svelte

<style global>
@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Then we’ll need to ensure Svelte runs the preprocessors on any code in our <style> tags. To do this, we'll need to open the rollup.config.js file in your editor and add the following at the top of the file.

import sveltePreprocess from 'svelte-preprocess'

Then modify the section which looks similar to the following

preprocess: sveltePreprocess({ postcss: true }),

We should now have Tailwind fully integrated into Svelte. If you rerun yarn dev in your terminal you should see it compile the styles before page load and you'll have a stripped back page to jump into.


<h1 class="font-bold">Title</h1>


h1 {
@apply font-bold text-2xl;

Originally published at can find more articles like these or about PHP, JavaScript, Vue, Svelte or Freelancing on my site.

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