Part 1

Cyanotype printing has a history spanning over 181 years, and it’s a technique that combines both simplicity and complexity. Below are some of the typical challenges you might encounter.

Common & Potential Issues

Sample 1

Having days like this? Extend time exposure!

Underexposed, Unequal chemicals.

Sample 2


1) The chemicals were washed off after sun or UV lamp exposure.


i.) Under UV light exposure. It can be sunny yet intermittent clouds hence the UV rays were weakened.

ii.) The chemicals were not in equal parts.


i.) If there are clouds, be sure to extend the time for UV exposure. Always test print before proceeding with the actual work.

Too much of either parts of Ferric Ammonium Citrate (Solution A) or Potassium Ferricyanide (Solution B) in the mixture will not work under any lights.

ii.) Use separate pipettes or measuring cups.

2) Trouble absorbing the chemicals


i.) Fabric – The medium maybe mixed with nylon or polyester or anything that is inorganic. We would not advise to work with any materials that is synthetic as it is quite difficult to absorb the chemicals.

ii.) Paper – A high degree of water resistance paper may need time to absorb


ii.) Ensure to check the mixture in your medium.

ii.) Let the paper absorb naturally, try not to use hairdryer because it may evaporate the chemicals before it is even absorbed by the paper.

Sample 3

Canson 300 gsm watercolour paper

Sample 4

Underexposed, Partially dried prior to UV exposure, Unequal chemicals

3) Yellow Stains or Mottled Prints


i.) Unsuitable paper

ii.) Inadequate Wash

iii.) The chemicals were not in equal parts.

The yellow stains shows that there were too much iron compounds due to Ferric Ammonium Citrate (Solution A) in the mixture.


i) Try using a different type of paper.

ii.) Ensure that the water in the tub is clear. Gently agitate your prints.

iii.) Use separate pipettes or measuring cups.