Fiber printing basics : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

I'm hunting for a web site that outlines the order of events for fiber-based printing -- times, washes, fixes, etc. I've only done RC printing and need an online crash course -- asap. can you help me? Thanks in advance, Taffy

-- taffy (, April 01, 2002


I have a couple of articles that might help you. One is entitled Archival Processing, and at the very bottom I list the steps I take when processing a print. The other is entitled Tips on Printing.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, April 05, 2002.

Thanks Ed. Very helpful. I'm on my way!! T

-- (, April 11, 2002.


You have probably started printing with fiber by now, but I thought I would just add a couple of comments.

Basically, fiber paper prints and develops the same way as RC. Its the fix and wash processes that are a little different.

First, fixing can be done with rapid fixes or the old Sodium Thiosulphate fixers. Unless you're mixing your own fixer, you are probably using a rapid fix. Most rapid fixes come with recommended fixing times for fiber papers. You should use them, but split the fix into two separate baths. half the time in the first bath, half the time in the second bath. Make sure to monitor the first bath with a hypo check. When the first bath shows signs of exhaustion, move the second bath to the first position and mix up a new batch of fixer for the second bath.

Use a hypo clearing agent. Perma wash is a good choice. Before moving fixed prints to the perma wash, wash them in running water for 5 minutes. Agitate in perma wash for at least another five minutes Then move the prints to a final wash bath.

There are a lot of different ways to wash fiber prints. If you have an archival washer, you're probably better off. But given the expense of these washers, many people opt for simpler wash methods. The things to remember about washing prints: Continue to replenshish the water Make sure both sides of the print receive consistent fresh water Wash for a sufficient length of time

Fiber prints casn take a lot more washing than RC prints. Let them wash for at least an hour. There are chemicals on the market that you can use to test prints for sufficient washing.

Once the print is washed, it can be toned. Fiber prints tend to tone more efficiently than RC. Standard toners like Selenium will stain the print if it is not sufficiently washed, so if you stick a print in the toner and the highlights start yellowing, you know there is still residual fixer in the emulsion.

Once the print has been toned to your satisfaction, return it to the wash bath and wash for another hour. It is good practice to keep separate wash baths for toned prints and untoned prints.

Hope this helps


-- Don Sigl (, May 30, 2002.

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