SolarFast printing in Black and Teal
  • Just got a pack of the dyes and transparencies but of the three times I've tried to print they have both come out dark, blurry and with an intense yellow tint. Exposed the first two to about 1hr 30mins to a 155 watt blacklight and the last to an hour with some clouds. Seems pretty tricky, but I have figured that I might need to properly stretch and secure the white cloth down, make sure the glass is flush flat onto the image but still not sure what else can be done to at least get rid of that yellow stain.

    Anyone encounter the same problems or have any good tips?
  • HI Gregory,

    Sounds like you've got some of it figured out - one other thing I'd throw into the mix is the opacity of your negative - if you are finding that portions of your print are overexposed (blurry?) that could be part of the problem.
    As for the yellowing that you are getting - this is a function of rinsing - it is very important to rinse in quite hot water using the SolarFast Wash or similar dyers detergent (though we recommend our wash because it is especially formulated for these dyes) and rinse/wash until the water is very clear.
    Some of the dyes are particularly prone to holding onto the fabric (teal is one of these) so rinsing vigorously and thoroughly is very important.

    hope this helps
  • Gregory,
    Annette is right--the best way to get rid of the yellow tint is with HOT water (the hottest possible) and the SolarFast Wash detergent. You want to submerge the fabric in a lot of hot water and keep it flowing (soaking the fabric in a large amount of hot water can also be effective). That said, we have reformulated the SolarFast Black so that it no longer has the yellow component. It is much easier to work with now and you do not have to worry about the yellow staining. Exposure time is also much reduced--10 to 24 minutes instead of 30-60! If you continue to have trouble with the black dye, let us know via and we will swap it for the new stuff... The Teal, on the other hand, still has the yellow component, but with proper washing technique, I don't think you'll have much trouble... Blurry prints usually happen when the negative isn't flush with the fabric. Stretching the cotton and using glass should help. You may also be overexposing, or your negative might not be dense enough. Additionally, your fabric may be too wet--make sure to blot the dye so it is just damp (not sopping).
    If you have any other questions, let us know!
  • I have had the same yellowing problem on several shirts I dyed, so I'm looking forward to the newly formulated black dye. On a related note, how important is agitation when rinsing compared to temperature of the water? For example, would it work well to have a pot of boiling water standing by to put shirts into and then just swirl with a stick vs. using the hottest water my hands can stand and really agitating? Also, I often dye three or four shirts in one session, which means I have one shirt already dyed while I wait for the remaining shirts to be exposed. I want to wash them all at once in the washer with the SolarFast Wash when all of them are done. What is the best way to "preserve" the shirts that finish first while waiting for the others so I can put them all in the wash together?
  • Hi Plang,

    Temperature is important and your idea of having a pot of boiling water at hand for the first couple of rinses is a good one. What would work the best is a quick rinse with the boiling water, dump that then a second rinse with boiling water. You can probably leave the shirt sit in that water until your second and third shirts are ready, but to be on the safe side I'd dump the second rinse after the water has cooled a bit and refill with hot tap.
    The important thing is to get the excess dye away from the fabric. Even though the SolarFast Wash helps tremendously with back staining, the first couple of rinses can quickly overwhelm the available 'capture' molecules so you want to get that water away from your fabric.

    hope this helps