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What is SolarFast™?

SolarFast™ is a permanent and washable, sunlight-developed dye that is used to create photographic prints on fabric or paper using a film negative. Apply SolarFast™ to fabric, place your negative on top, expose it to sunlight for 10 to 20 minutes, wash it and that's it—creating photographs on fabric or paper is that easy!

What is this website for? is a negative generator used for turning photographic images into film negatives for use with SolarFast™ dyes. To create a film negative, upload any image, convert it to black and white, invert it to create a negative, and print it through an inkjet printer onto SolarFast™ Film or another transparent film. Using SolarFast™ dyes, you will be able to print this image onto any natural fabric or rag paper.

For more info, or to see videos of SolarFast™ in action, please see the tabs below, or visit


  1. Print your negative onto transparent film using a laser or inkjet printer.
    • For inkjet printing, we recommend using SolarFast™ Film, which is moisture resistant and specially coated to make the best negatives.
    • Higher contrast images work best.
    • Keep in mind that your SolarFast™ print will only be as good as your negative. To achieve truly white highlights on your print, for example, the darkest areas of your negative must be adequately opaque. Hold your negative up to a light source to make sure it is completely blocking light in its densest areas. Depending on your printer, you may need to print two negatives and layer them so the solid black areas are truly opaque. Alternatively, you may want to run the film through the printer a second time or adjust the printer settings to output more ink.
  2. Apply SolarFast™ to fabric or heavy artist paper with a brush, sponge or brayer.
    • For hard edges, use masking tape to create a window the size of your image.
    • Coat the print area evenly and completely but don't soak it. You want the dye to be damp, but not overly wet. Blot fabric with a rag or paper towel to remove excess dye before exposing.
    • When printing on a t-shirt or garment place a piece of paper or board between the layers to avoid bleed through.
  3. Place your negative, waterproof side down (print side up) directly on the wet surface.
    • The negative must be flush against the wet painted surface. For best results, place a piece of glass or acrylic over the negative. Alternately, you can hold the negative down with tape, pins, magnets or clips—just be sure the negative is pressed flat against the wet painted surface.
  4. Expose your coated paper or fabric to sunlight.
    • Different colors require different exposure times, ranging from 10 to 24 minutes, depending on the weather conditions and time of day.
    • See recommended exposure times below.
    • For indoor printing, we recommend using a 400 watt black light, such as the Eliminator EBK 400.
  5. Wash your print to complete the color development and wash out excess/undeveloped dye.
    • For textiles, machine wash on the hottest setting. Use SolarFast™ Wash for best results.
    • For paper prints, hand wash by submerging in the hottest tap water possible, add SolarFast™ Wash (1-2 capfuls or 10ml), and keep the water flowing for at least 10 minutes.

That's it—you've made your first SolarFast™ print! We'd love to see your work! Email pics to or post them to our Facebook page,

SolarFast™ dyes can also be used to create photograms, shadow prints and ombrès on fabric and paper, no film required. It can also be used for painting, tie dyeing, screen printing, stamping, batik and more. For detailed instructions, tips and techniques, FAQs and troubleshooting, go to

Exposure Times by Color
100 Golden Yellow
10-20 min.
101 Orange
10-20 min.
102 Burnt Orange
10-20 min.
103 Scarlet
10-20 min.
104 Red
10-20 min.
105 Violet
10-20 min.
106 Purple
12-24 min.
107 Blue
12-24 min.
108 Teal
12-24 min.
109 Green
12-24 min.
110 Avocado
12-24 min.
111 Sepia
10-20 min.
112 Brown
10-20 min.
113 Black
10-20 min.