View Full Version : Curtain as a darkroom light seal??
Anyone uses a black curtain as a darkroom light seal?
I want a cheap and pratical way to seal a portion of my garage below the stairs, and a curtain came in mind.... is it possible? Does it works?
If you seal all around it and perhaps double or triple the thickness, depending on the material of the curtain, it should work. I've loaded film onto reels successfully in daylight while sitting in a closet and covered with a couple of blankets and I've printed many photos in a dark bathroom at night without any curtains.
My old basement darkroom I used two heavy black velour curtains as a light seal just make sure you have it carefully sealed at the top and sides, and with lots of extra length to prevent the bottom from leaking.
I had mine so the seams were offset, one open on the left, one on the right, so the light path was not straight.
Worked just fine, but it wasn't particularly cheap to get that much heavy black, light proof cloth.
I've also used dark plastic sheeting and taped-together dark plastic trash bags as effective light blocking. Might be less expensive than cloth.
Hummm, thinking again, maybe wood would be more sturdy, and possibly +- the same price as a good cloth. The big problem is i didnt wanted to "block" that part of the garage in a definity way..... hence the curtain. Back to the drawing board i guess....
In the UK there is a black plastic membrane called Visqueen sold in builders merchants, tough and lightproof
maybe if you built a light trap/rail for the top of the curtain - that would help seal up.
But I think to get enough dense cloth, you're going to be looking at a pretty good outlay of cash. Maybe not tho. There are often deals at decorators wholesale houses - especially on upholstry and drapery materials since they come in such quantities anyway.
You might even be able to get a large roll of heavy canvas and use a rubberizing black paint?
Like Roger, I've used black plastic rubbish bags. With curtains, whether or not you use a wooden frame, you must watch out for leakage through the weave (use more than one thickness, as Roger says) and around the edges.
Like the other guys, I have used a couple of layers of polythene sheeting as a blackout. It was the stuff you get from garden centres and I used to have two curtains/blinds - one each inside and outside the door. It worked, but wasn't very easy getting in and out to wash prints, because of the door !
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