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Cyanotype Set Instructions

Contents: Part A (Potassium Ferricyanide) & Part B (Ferric Ammonium Citrate)

This set contains enough chemistry to make approximately sixty-five, 8"x10" prints on paper or forty, 8"x10" prints on fabric, depending on the absorbency of the substrate.


  1. Fill both containers with water to create Stock Solutions A & B. Shake until powder is fully dissolved. For best results, wait 24 hours before using. Stock Solutions have a long shelf life.
  2. In subdued lighting, mix equal parts SOLUTION A and SOLUTION B to create the cyanotype sensitizer. Mix only the amount you immediately need, as the sensitizer is stable just 2-4 hours.
  3. Coat paper or fabric with the sensitizer and allow to air dry in the dark.
  4. Once dry, make exposures in sunlight (1-30 minutes, depending on conditions) or under a UV light source, placing objects or a film negative on the coated surface to create an image. (Note: over-exposure is generally preferred to under-exposure. The print should look bronze in color after an adequate exposure).
  5. Process prints in a tray of cool water. Wash for at least 5 minutes and allow to air dry. During washing and drying, cyanotypes will slowly oxidize to their final, deep blue color. To quicken this process, submerge washed prints in a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide.


  • The cyanotype process was developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. Jacquard's Cyanotype Set utilizes the exact same formula Herschel used.
  • The cyanotype reaction produces a cyan-blue pigment, ferric ferricyanide (also known as Prussian blue), a pigment found in many high-end watercolors, oil & acrylic paints.
  • Cyanotype prints are archival. If exposed to phosphates or high pH environments, however, yellowing may occur. Cyanotype fabrics should always be laundered using non-phosphate detergents, therefore, and prints should be handled with care, as sweat and hand oils may also cause discoloration.
  • There are many methods for toning and altering cyanotype prints using simple post treatments and common household reagents such as baking soda or black tea. For more information, visit

CAUTION: May cause skin, eye, or respiratory track irritation. Avoid contact with skin, clothing, or inhaling dust. If inhaled move to fresh air. In case of contact with skin or eyes rinse with water for 15 minutes.

Pretreated Fabric Instructions

CONTENTS ARE LIGHT-SENSITIVE: do not remove from bag until you are ready to make a cyanotype print or mural!

Here's how it works: when the cyanotype fabric is exposed to sunlight (3-15 minutes), a chemical reaction occurs. It won't reveal itself, though, until you put the fabric into water. Then it instantly turns blue! So how do you make a print or mural? Place objects on the fabric to block the light: anywhere the sunlight doesn't touch will remain white and leave an impression on the fabric.

Instructions: To prepare the print or mural for exposure, there are two options: either get it ready indoors and then carry it carefully into sunlight, or spread the fabric out in sunlight and lay the objects on top as quickly as possible. Anything that casts a shadow will produce an image: plants or leaves, toys, tools, stencils, stones, sand, feathers, paper cutouts, string, lace or doilies. You can even make prints of your hands by placing them on the fabric or full body prints by lying on the fabric for the duration of the exposure (be careful not to move!).

Exposures should be made during the middle of the day in direct sunlight. Exposure times may vary with conditions but are generally between 3 and 15 minutes. (Note: over-exposure is almost always preferable to under-exposure. The print should look bronze in color after an adequate exposure.)

After exposure, remove the objects as quickly as you can and submerge the fabric in water. This is when the magic happens: in water, the fabric will turn blue! To instantly develop the cyanotype to its final, deep blue color, add a splash of hydrogen peroxide to the water. Wash for at least 5 minutes, changing the water periodically, and then allow to air dry.

Cyanotype prints and murals are archival. Yellowing may occur, however, if the fabric is exposed to phosphates or high pH environments. Cyanotype printed fabrics should always be laundered in cold water using non-phosphate detergents. Use care while handling, as sweat and hand oils may also cause discoloration.

More Info

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