So why buy SolarFast dye and how is it different from Inko Dye?
1. Way more colors (14) than Inko, which is now down to 3 colors, red, orange and blue.
2. More economical for price conscious artists!
3. In side by side tests, this product worked as well as Inko in every type of test. Some of the colors do take longer than Inko to develop to their full depth.
How is it the same?
1. Have to mix colors, dilute, and paint or squirt on the fabric in very low light, NO U.V. light! So a little fluorescent lighting is ok, or darkroom type lighting. But definately do in a room without sunlight. Pull the shades! This dye is photo-reactive, just like Inko.
2. It is a little thick right out of the bottle, just like Inko, so you can paint it on and it won't wick. You could stencil it too. You can buy the thickener for screen printing.
3. A true Vat dye, just like Inko, so permanent when washed! Does NOT fade like pigment dyes do.
How much do the bottles cover?
1. It varies by what technique you are doing and how much you want to thin it. For printing photos, you can use it straight out of the bottle or thin it some. For tie-dye, you want to thin it 50% or more, depending on how deep of color you want to get.
2. For printing photos, a 4 oz bottle should be enough to make at least 4 - 12"x12" prints, more if diluted.
3. For tie-dye, you are squirting onto a dry shirt that sucks a lot up. You don't want the tie-dye dripping wet though, as you have to untie it . Normally with a wet adult large t-shirt it takes 4 oz of dye to soak it. So 4 oz of DILUTED SolarFast should be more than enough on a dry shirt. Use less if you dont' mind a lot of white areas and want the project to be more economical. And of course, kids t-shirts will take way less, 1 - 2 oz of diluted dye.
Is the SolarFast Wash any different than Synthrapol or Dharma's Textile Detergent?
1. Yes! It is much more cationic, for you chemistry buffs. It has a charge that is opposite to the charge on the dye molecules, so it magnetically bonds to them and keeps them away from the fabric, so your white areas don't get muddied by the residual dye being washed off. Works great for tie-dye with Fiber Reactive dye too!
Here are some interesting, good to know facts:
1. Some of the reds and violets strike so fast in the light that they start to develop as you are walking out the door; Black on the other hand needs about 1.5 hours in the sun to get to a really dark black. Other colors are in between.
2. Good for small QUICK tie-dye events. Small, because so far, only comes in 4oz and 8oz bottles. Dilute it to tie-dye or do other dye-like effects. Tie up your garment, squirt it on (not too much, because you do NOT want the garment to be dripping wet), take out to sun, cut the ties, hang up on a hangar outside and let it develop, and you are DONE! No curing time!
3. Great projects for kids because it is so amazing to watch it develop in the sun. similar to sun painting with Setacolor, only much more advanced, especially if you are using photo negatives to sunprint with. The detail is just as good as what you get with the blue-printing (Cyanotype) fabrics!