Cyanotype formulas

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Cyanotype solutions

Modern Cyanotype

Part A

  • Distilled water - 100ml
  • Ammonium Ferric citrate (green) - 20g
  • Formalin or Glyoxal to act as a preservative - 2 drops

Part B

  • Distilled water - 100ml
  • Potassium Ferricyanide - 8g

Mix enough of each solution for the amount of paper to be coated, once mixed the solution does not keep.

Classic Herschel Cyanotype

Part A

  • Distilled water - 100ml
  • Ammonium Ferric citrate (green) - 20g
  • Formalin or Glyoxal to act as a preservative - 2 drops

Part B

  • Distilled water - 100ml
  • Potassium Ferricyanide - 2g

The paper is coated with Part A only and left to dry. The image is then exposed for 3/4 orf the time of other cyanotype processes. Part B is then poured over the exposed paper before washing and drying.

Other solutions

Brightening developer

  • Distilled water - 100ml
  • Potassium dichromate - 3g

To use, add 10ml of the mixed solution to 1000ml of water and develop the print until the desired contrast is achieved. Wash the print under running water for 15 minutes before drying.

Darkening developer

  • Distilled water - 1000ml
  • Glacial acetic acid - 20ml

To use, develop the print until the desired result is achieved. Wash the print under running water for 20 minutes before drying.

Black toner - coffee

  • Boiling water - 1000ml
  • 5 large spoons of instant coffee (or ground coffe can also be used)

To use, allow to cool and filter to remove any unsoluble elements. Soak print until the desired effect is achieved.

Black/Brown toner - Tea

  • Boiling water - 1000ml
  • 5 large spoons of tea leaves (or 5 tea bags)

To use, allow to cool for an hour and then filter to remove any unsoluble elements. Soak print until the desired effect is achieved.

Purple toner

  • Water - 1000ml
  • Tannin - 40g

To use,dissolve tannin in water (will take some time!). Once dissolved, filter the solution and then soak the print until the desired effect is acheived. Use intermediate washes of water during to monitor the effect on the print.

Green toner

  • Water - 1000ml
  • Sodium chloride - 5g
  • Potassium permanganate - 2g

Dissolve the sodium chloride (or common table salt) in 1000ml of water, once dissolved add the potassium permanganate and stir well. To use immerse the print fpor a few seconds in the solution and then wash immediately, repeat the process until the desired effect is acheived. Wash in running water for 15 minutes.

Green/Blue toner

  • Water - 1000ml
  • Ferrous sulphate - 100g

After bleaching a finished print the print in then immersed in the solution for a few seconds. Once the desired effect is acheived the print is then washed in running water for 15 minutes.