JM
I just tried my first test of Solarfast, using the green dye to make a photogram.

I diluted the dye 1+1 with water, as described in the instructions, and applied it with a foam brush to a piece of white 100% cotton fabric. I created a photogram on this which I exposed for 24 minutes in sunlight, from shortly before until shortly after 12:00 noon, under a sheet of glass.

I then hand washed it in only hot water and a capful of Solarfast Wash, agitating continuously with my (alternating!) hands for 10 minutes.

The photogram is visible. The highlight areas are a light yellow, which I can live with. But the exposed areas area sort of yellowish gray-brown - a color that could hardly be called green even by a huge stretch of the imagination.

I washed it again, the same way, and it faded a little, but otherwise no change. (I live in a drought-prone area and just can't see running my washing machine - much less running it twice - for one little 8"x8" square of fabric).

I was really excited to discover Solarfast and really wanted it to work. (I have a project in mind!). I'm not finding anything else to try on this website as far as ways to troubleshoot this ... does anyone have any suggestions? Have others had this experience? What, if anything, worked? Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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CarrieH
Greens again...I don’t have an answer to this, but a related question re Cyanotype kit...some of the finished work I see has wonderful greens and blues but mine seems to stay solidly a rich and beautiful Prussian blue..can I modify my process in any way, or introduce anything to the rinsing or fixing water?..we are both after the greens....Carrie 
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JM
I looked this up in Christopher James's Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (for other ways to get green!) and he writes about using some pretty toxic stuff to tone a cyanotype, recommends using an exhaust hood in a chemistry lab. That put me off it. There's more info here:

http://www.christopherjames-studio.com/docs/chapter7-the-cyanotype-process.pdf

Also I've noticed that at least on paper (I have no idea about fabric), cyanotypes done wet sometimes produce some green tones. Here's a link - apparently she used the Jaquard cyanotype kit!

https://www.kristamccurdy.com/home/https/wwwkristamccurdycom/wetcyanotype
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CarrieH
JM - thank you for extensive and technical answer! I now know all there is to know…..except for all the experiments and trials behind and in front of me..
I had already looked at the Krista MacCurdy, and was fascinated that she got such light and delicate prints although they had been exposed for about 24 hours….
I just can’t get anything like that - mine are a study solid blue - very beautiful, but no colour variation or delicacy…
I wonder if I can send her an email…too far to go, to Portland USA from UK!
Thanks again - I will carry on enjoying the process…Carrie 
JM - thank you for extensive and technical answer! I now know all there is to know…..except for all the experiments and trials behind and in front of me..
I had already looked at the Krista MacCurdy, and was fascinated that she got such light and delicate prints although they had been exposed for about 24 hours….
I just can’t get anything like that - mine are a study solid blue - very beautiful, but no colour variation or delicacy…
I wonder if I can send her an email…too far to go, to Portland USA from UK!
Thanks again - I will carry on enjoying the process…Carrie 
JM Cyanotype1 1.jpeg 
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JM
Yes, too far to just drop by for a visit :-) I'd send an email if you can find her address.

Thanks for posting your print - it's lovely! I see some wavy streaks of a green/brown color in it ... I'm getting the impression that there is a LOT of experimentation in this!
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Hi,

Good info in here.  A couple of points about the solar fast first.  The yellow we have to make our green is really more of a golden yellow, we would love to have a lemon yellow which used to be available, but these dyes have fallen by the wayside as an industrial dye for the garment industry, so they don't make the "lemon" yellow anymore.  It's really a shame because it makes the green more of a forest green than grass or bright green.  

It does sound like not enough of your yellow is washing out and that makes sense as it is the most stubborn color.  I had a heck of a time with it when I first started.  I found that agitation is not really as important as dilution and heat.  So instead of roughing the fabric up so much, I would use the very hottest water I could get out of my tap and sometimes i would put in a kettle of boiling water with the solar fast wash and I would soak it for 45 min and change the water 2x.  Use as much water as you dare.  Soaking makes a big difference and it reduces the elbow grease.  

I get better whites with almost every color this way.  
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Ok, I have watched those videos of Krista doing her technique.  It appears she is pre-developing her cyanotype prints before hse exposes them.  That is how she gets those greens.  It is inherently unpredictable though.  I do think it has a lot to do with using 2 pieces of glass which is going to keep the water she put in between with her prints wet for a very long time.  She also exposes for many many hours.  You have to patient for that!

@carrieH it looks like you need to add water to your print before you expose.  Just get the film you use wet or drips some water on it.  
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Another thing about the solar fast green.  Diluting 1:1 with water works great for the pure colors, but mixtures like the green, are a little more in a delicate balance.  You might want to try full strength green first and then start diluting once you get the hang of it. 

An important distinction of solar fast as opposed to cyanotype is that Solar fast on't develop well at all after it is dry.  keeping glass over it is crucial in keeping it wet long enough.  Temperature is also more important.  The hotter the better.  It is difficult to get good color under 50 degrees.  
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CarrieH
Re cyanotype   Thanks so much for reply. What do you mean by pre developing? And why do mine go darker and darker blue the longer I leave them exposed?
Carrie
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
She is adding water which is the photo development step done after exposure, before she exposes them to light.  That introduces the blue color before it is exposed and I suspect it has something to do with the greens she gets.  

Cyanotype is supposed to get darker and darker blue the longer you expose, so that just makes sense.  I watched her video, and she says she gets really unpredictable results, so I think you have to be flexible with the results of that method.  
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JM
I've finally had a chance to implement your suggestions. Here are my first attempt (before writing) and my second.
IMG_9835 - crop.jpg As you can see, I'm getting a much better green now. Thank you for that! I'm encouraged.

However, the highlights are still not clearing.

I washed the 2nd piece immediately after exposure (24 minutes, sunny sky, 56°F, 11:15 – 11:39am) in 4 liters of the hottest water I could get out of my kitchen sink + 1 liter of water from a kettle, just as it was starting to boil. This proved too hot to put my hands into, in spite of wearing dishwashing gloves, so I waited a few minutes before agitating at all. I didn't agitate continuously, which was a nice break :-) My hands ended up quite red in spite of these precautions, and I felt the need for ice on one of them, so if I use this method in the future I think my agitation will have to be limited to stirring with a spoon :-)
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Yes much better.  The yellow is just really sticky. It is hard to get it out of the fabric.  

That looks really good.  Much better color development.  
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