tea toner

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Does anybody have experience using tea as a toner? I need to create a pale yellow tone on FB (imagine a faded, yellowed book jacket). I don't like the look of the Berg toners and thiourea toners are to rich in tone for what I'm doing. That said, which teas should I try, should I use a ferri/bromide bleach prior to toning and will a sodium chloride bath help clear the highlights? Yes, I know it isn't stable.

Thanks in advance!

-- Steve Wiley (wiley@mail.accesshub.net), February 27, 2001


Tea toning is actually a misleading term because it's not a real silver-toning process. Tea just dyes the gelatin and base. It is therefore clear, that no bleach whatsoever shall be used. Just immerse the print to be toned in pretty strong tea. Depending on the tone you wish to obtain, use either Darjeeling (for pale yellow) or Sri Lanka for darker brown. The silver image is not toned at all this way.

Usually, tea toning gives the best reults when used together with brown toning. If you find the commercial toners too strong, try partial toning. To this end, dilute the bleach way beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer. (Using the working solution prepared as prescribed by the manufacturer at 20% is a good starting point.) The bleach affects the highlights first. Pull the print well before it is fully bleached. Then tone as prescribed. This should give you more control.

Regards, Thomas Wollstein

-- Thomas Wollstein (thomas_wollstein@web.de), February 27, 2001.

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