View Full Version : Washing the emulsion question

05-22-2010, 12:37 PM
Hi, I'm Alex. Long time lurker and first time poster. Just graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. I have a question about washing dry plate emulsions. I'm gearing up for my first production.

According to The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James, when washing the noodled emulsion you should bundle the noodles in a sheer nylon fabric bound at the top by cotton string. Would a cotton cheesecloth be ok instead of nylon?

PS. I've been a HUGE fan of PE and dwross's lightfarm. Between you guys and my book I think I can pull this off.

Rick A
05-22-2010, 12:45 PM
Hi Alex and welcome to Apug. I dont do those processes, but my pea brain sez, nylon won't retain any residue, while cotton does retain chemical residues in the fibers. Thats just an uneducated guess on my part, I'm sure others will have the scientifically correct response.

Photo Engineer
05-22-2010, 01:14 PM

I have used both and they both work, provided that they are rinsed beforehand in distilled water so that you remove any residue from them. I suggest about 12" of the foot section of used panty hose. They are quite good. And, with them hanging to dry in the darkroom, you always get puzzled questions from visitors. :D

Thanks for your comment. Just let us know if we can help.


05-22-2010, 01:36 PM
Thanks PE

I bought the cheesecloth already, so I'll use that for now. Great idea with the panty hose, I'll be sure to remember that. Another question, Should I photoflo my plates after developing? I've always done it with film, well... Almost always ;) How critical is it with plates?


Photo Engineer
05-22-2010, 02:01 PM
Photoflo should not hurt plates at all. In fact, it should help just as in film processing. Just watch for frilling. Plates are subject to frilling and separation unless well hardened. If you have a problem, preharden in 10% Chrome Alum for 5 minutes, then washing for 5 minutes before developing.


05-22-2010, 02:42 PM
Thanks again!