Monday, 29 June 2015

Solar Fast Dyes - Catching some rays

Dyes to Print using the Sun
Need something fun to do in the sun? Make the most of the bright sunshine to create detailed prints without a camera!

Jacquard Solar Fast dyes are used to create photograms, continuous tone photographs, shadow prints, and ombr├Ęs on fabric and paper. They develop their colour and become permanent upon exposure to UV light, most easily sourced from the summer sun.

How do Solar Fast Dyes work?

The dyes are activated when exposed to sunlight, this means that anything that blocks the light from reaching the fabric or paper will cause no colour change in the dye, much like the Cyanotype Blue Printing.

Designs do not have to be complex in order to achieve a brilliant effect. Children will have fun printing anything from keys and leaves, to nuts and bolts. The Solar Fast dyes are available in a wide range of colours, and when painted onto different tones of material can produce interesting results. Please note; anything placed on top of the Solar Fast dye must be as flat and level as possible. If printing in the early hours or in the evening, the sun will create a long shadow from the object and create a distorted, or blurry print.

Printing photographs with Solar Fast


Print photographs from negatives
It is possible to make a print from a photograph using Solar Fast Film. This helpful product is inkjet printable and gives you the option to print photos from a computer. The film is transparent and will allow different levels of light through to the dye beneath, depending on how dark or light the image is. To create a good copy you will need to choose an image with good tonal variety, and for the purist a negative of the image can be produced with photo editing software.

Screen Printing with Solar Fast

Jacquard also offer a Solar Fast Thickener which when mixed with Solar Fast dye increases its viscosity to a point where it can be used with a printing screen. Experienced screen printers will love the different effects they can achieve using this in conjunction with other types of media.

Finishing your Print

Prints are permanent on both paper and fabric but textiles will need to be washed before they are worn or exposed to more sunlight. Use Solar Fast wash to remove the residue of undeveloped dye from prints to prevent the colours from running.  This is especially important for preserving white areas and highlights.

You can learn more about how to use the Jacquard Solar Fast dyes from this PDF created by the manufacturer, and results for light exposure times for each colour can be viewed here.


Please visit the Light Sensitive Printing section of the George Weil website to get started with Solar Fast printing.


2 comments:

Red2thread said...

The link to the Light Sensitive Printing section does not work.

George Weil said...

Hi Red2thread, thanks for letting us know. Link now working :-)