Cyanotype was developed in the mid-19th century and was quickly embraced as an inexpensive method for reproducing photographs, documents, maps and plans (hence the enduring architectural term “blueprint”). Cyanotype is an antique photographic process distinctive for producing Prussian blue monochromatic prints. Famously, it was also used by Ana Atkins and other field biologists for indexing plant specimens—the first photograms ever made!
The process has never been easier now that we have Jacquard’s Cyanotype Set. DIY cyanotype printing is a remarkably simple process that employs two inexpensive chemicals and sunlight/UV. Prints can be made on any natural fiber: paper, cotton, silk, wool, wood, etc.
This set contains enough chemistry to make approximately sixty-five 8.5”x11” prints on paper or fifty 8.5”x11” prints on fabric, depending on the absorbency of the paper or fabric. The chemistry comes premeasured in lightproof black bottles. Simply fill each bottle with water to create Stock Solutions A & B and mix the two in equal parts to create the cyanotype sensitizer.
Coat fabric or paper with the sensitizer and, once dry, create prints by exposing to sunlight or UV (3-15 minutes, depending on conditions), using objects or a film negative to create an image. After exposure, prints are processed in a tray of cool water and allowed to air dry over about 24 hours; prints will oxidize to their final deep blue color. To instantly oxidize the print to its final color, submerge in a dilute bath of hydrogen peroxide after washing, then rinse and dry.
Here are some more instructions. If you are not sure how to make an negative image on a transparency using your computer, use this handy NEGATIVE GENERATOR.