Thursday, July 5, 2012
The Great Print Paste Experiment
There are a lot of recipes for making print paste, the seaweed-based mixture used to thicken dyes. I have always made mine from scratch, using some combination of sodium alginate, soda ash, urea and water. I've been frustrated over the years because it seems to go bad quickly. By "bad", I mean that it becomes thin and watery. I'm lucky if mine lasts for a month in the refrigerator. So how come people talk about it lasting indefinitely?
While in New Jersey, I was discussing print paste with a friend who says that hers lasts months at room temperature. I asked how she makes it, and found that she uses the Print Paste Mix from ProChemical and Dye that includes calgon and metaphos. Hmmm - could those other ingredients make a difference? I decided to find out. I'm going to do a side-by-side comparison. Today I will mix up my usual recipe and a batch of the ProChem print mix and see how long they maintain the right consistency. I plan to check them every week to see how they are holding up. I'll report back as soon as I have the results.
How do you make your print paste, and how long does it last?