cavy82 cavy82

I primarily use fiber reactive dyes for my projects and am curious about trying SolarFast. I have been chatting with someone who uses SolarFast and have a few questions pertaining to one of her projects where she printed deer skull- Please see the attached picture of her work and the link to her website below.

My understanding of her process: She has dyed the fabric with fiber reactive dyes, then blotted her fabric with SolarFast, exposed the transparency of the dull skull and washed out after. The colors of deer skull that she achieved were a result of the dyeing with fiver reactive dyes first and then using Solarfast after.

My understanding of SolarFast: Per Paula Burch' website on hand dyeing, she mentions that SolarFast is a true vat dye. I also know from experience that when vat dyes are used on fabric that has already been dyed first with fiber reactive dyes, they tend to discharge the fiber reactive dye in certain areas due to the thiox in the vat dyes, and then replace that fiber reactive dye with the new vat dye color. This way you can get 2 complimentary dye colors on that 1 piece of fabric without the muddiness you would get if you had dyed 2 complimentary fiber reactive dye colors together.

My question given what i said above: if regular vat dyes discharge the base fiber reactive dyes as i know and have seen, why does the SolarFast vat dye not do the same thing IF SolarFast is ALSO a true vat dye? I do not see the same effects as you see when overdyeing vat dye on a previously dyed fabric (that was dyed with fiber reactive dye).

Please explain this to me. Once i have a better understanding of SolarFast, i will then decide to use it or not.

Thanks a ton!

Image reference:
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod

You are basically right on everything you say here.  There is one major difference between Solar Fast and most other vat dyes.  Solar Fast comes completely reduced and is stable in that form unless it is exposed to UV light.  Most vat dye are not, and you must use a reducer liek Sodium Hydrosulfite or thiox to reduce them and thus remove other dyes that were already there.  There is no actual reducer in the Solar Fast, so they do not "bleach" out the colros that were there previously.  

So, while they are vat dyes, they do not require the reducer as part of the formulation.  If there was thiox in the liquid solar fast dyes, it would work as you suggest.  
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cavy82 cavy82
Thank you ! This explains it! I just have a few more questions for you:

1. Does the image that I print onto transparency have to be a high res image?
2. If yes, what is the recommended resolution?
3. I would want to print an 11 X 17 inch image onto transparency. Would a regular copy shop be able to do this for me? My home printer cant do that size.
4. Do you recommend any online source that could ship me the printed negatives on transparency?
5. If I want to print an image 11 X 17 inches on the front of the sweatshirt and also something on the back , would I need to do the front first, wash with very hot water in sink, then wash in machine with your detergent, dry and then redo all this for step 2 printing on back too?

Thank you for your time!

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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
#1 It looks better if it is high res, but when they get that big it usually doesn't matter much.  
#2 I don't have an optimal resolution, but you can only get as good an image as the negative is good.  Make sure the contrast is higha dn the dark areas are opaque and not letting light through.  
#3 A regular copy shop can usually do this I have had it done.  You can also print on several sheets and cut and tape them together.  I do it for big images
You can do this with the poster printing option here:

This is 4 81/2 by 11" negatives taped together.  It looks pretty cool

#4 I don't know of this one.  
#5 actually I have done this a lot and you should expose one right after the other.  If it is face down it will not expose at all even in the sun.  Just coact both sides and leave one side against plastic or something so it doesn't get dirt on it.  Then take it into the shade, flip it over and expose the other side.  Wash both sides out at once.  It works great.  
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cavy82 cavy82
Ok Thank you!

You should make a video while doing a tshirt or sweatshirt both sides- esp with 4 8.5X11 inch negatives taped together. It would be very cool and informative. Just a suggestion for whenever you have more time to do this. But come back here and let me know if and when you do it.
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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
Yeah it is a good idea.  I have a long list of cool videos to make!
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