What do I Need to do Carbon Printing?

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As I say elsewhere, these notes are primarily for me to capture information, but you may find them helpful - so don't expect a definitive list or detailed instructions. Here all I am trying to do is capture the list of equipment I will need to do the type of carbon transfer printing I want to do.


I have a well-setup set of areas for gum printing - I believe these will be perfect for carbon printing.The three areas I use are for: washing, drying, and printing.


  • Isopropanol (need to get - 100% readily available)
  • Ammonium and potassium dichromate
  • Gelatin (Bloom between 100 and 250)
  • Sugar
  • Pigments (powdered) - lamp black and titanium white
  • De-ionised or distilled water
  • Ice


  • Table - able to be levelled (need to get means of levelling - shims or screws)
  • Spirit level
  • Metallic whiteboard (need to get) NOW GOT
  • Magnetic strips (need to get) NOW GOT
  • Print frame
  • Safe light, red or yellow (need to get) NOW GOT
  • Light box
  • Squeegee
  • Rubber roller
  • Trays
  • Drying clips
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Weighing scales
  • Sponges
  • Disposable gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Timers
  • Lithographer's tape (need to get) NOW GOT
  • Sheets of glass or clear acrylic
  • Scissors
  • Mixing containers and measuring flasks
  • Sharp knife
  • Comb
  • Storage jars
  • Fine strainer


  • Temporary support material - Yupo (need to get)  NOW GOT
  • Final support material - (try my favourite Saunders Waterford with extra size, hardened gelatine)

References - Sources

Online Reading

Sandy King

Picto Benelux


Spirits of Salts: A working guide to old photographic processes, Randall Webb & Martin Reed, ISBN 1-902538-05-6 1999

The Carbon Print: The History, Theory, and Practice of Carbon Transfer Printing. Sandy King & John Lockhart (2017)

The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (3rd Ed.) Christopher James ISBN 978-285-09831-7 (2016)

Mode of Printing Photographs (Patent 61,368) Joseph Swan (download pdf)

Carbon Printing by René Smets (2010) (download pdf)


Andy O'Neill

Jim Fitzgerald

Sandy King

GPV Photography

John Lockhart Photography

Calvin Grier

Lessons Learnt

  1. This is a useful list one that I refer to regularly