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Thread: Opaque cloth for doors

  1. #1

    Opaque cloth for doors

    In another month or so, Ill be moving my "Darkroom" out of the bathroom and into my bedroom, which has 2 doors.. The easiest way I see to make the room light tight is to put some thick opaque cloth over the insides of each door. I dont want to use weatherstripping because it makes the doors harder to open/close.. Ive been absolutely everywhere looking for some good cloth to use for this project, but have found NOTHING.. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what kind of cloth I should use (a specific name I mean).. Ive found oodles of black cloth in a dozen stores, but none that doesnt look like cheesecloth when I hold it up to the light.. Sorry for such a beginner question

  2. #2
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Opaque cloth for doors

    At a previous location (an apartment years ago), I found some heavy black felt-like fabric at a sewing store, and made a double-thickness curtain that I suspended from a rod enclosed in a darkbox that I surface mounted above the door. The curtain was long enough so I could tuck it below the door. But, it was far from convenient, and I still had problems with light leaks around the door.

    In my current darkroom, I surface-mounted common felt weather stripping, and painted the inside of the door frame and the edge of the door black to create a light baffle. It's not air-tight, but it's light-tight. By closing the door before mounting the outside strips, I was able to snug those pieces up to the surface of the door without affecting the ease of opening and closing the door.




  3. #3

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    Opaque cloth for doors

    I think it's called black out cloth. Something like that. Might have been sold at photo shops in the old days. But I don't know if they still make/sell it. Instead look for lined drapes. You know like the old days. Or consider using multiple layers. Also you don't need black cloth. You just need something that won't let light in.

  4. #4

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    Opaque cloth for doors

    Hi John, i know that you will not welcome this post of mine , but i discourage you from using your bedroom as a darkroom . Unless you will be extremely disciplined in washing everything and using a fan to get rid of the fumes as they get released from the trays , to use the place where you sleep as a darkroom is a poor idea healthwise. This is one of the frustrations of young amateurs photographers , or beginners : not to have a proper darkroom . Good luck .

  5. #5
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Opaque cloth for doors

    http://www.blackoutcurtains.com/index.htm

    Works on my darkroom door, which gets sun at an oblique angle in the afternoons.

    Bruce Watson

  6. #6

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    Opaque cloth for doors

    I use that black plasticky stuff that Home Depot sells in the gardening section. It's been a long time since I bought it but I believe it came in a large roll for a couple dollars. It's very light tight, more so than most fabrics. I also cut a few pieces up and take them with me on trips to cover the windows in motel bathrooms when loading film.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7
    matthew blais's Avatar
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    Opaque cloth for doors

    Whether your door has an inset area or casing facing the darkroom side, make a simple pine frame (best to paint it black) that fits inside the jamb or over the casing. A support or two going across is nice; glue, tac or staple a large sheet of black foamboard to the frame. Add felt or other type weatherstrip to the inside of frame (if it fits over casing) or to outside of frame (if it fits inside jamb). Cheap, effective, and easy to remove and set aside. Also useful for windows. Don't have to mess up the door (or window) with anything this way.
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
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  8. #8

    Opaque cloth for doors

    I was facing the very task you are posting about and found a solution at the local fabric store. The material I found is actually white and is used by hotels to seal the light out of rooms. The good news is that it is relatively cheap, feels pretty thick and easy to get. The bad news is that it is not 100% light proof against mid day sun without some assistance.

    My wife used a specialty sewing machine (a surger) to sew a black cloth backing to the white light proof material that I put into the two window casings for my darkroom. I used a finish nail gun with a rubber strip on a piece of 1x2" wood to hold this in place.

    Over my main darkroom door I used the same double sided material and used a pneumatic stapler to affix velcro to the outside of the door frame and sewed the opposite side of the velcro to the material. When I want to go into the darkroom I push the two pieces together and I leave a tail on the floor and it works great. When I go out, I only have to pull a small portion of the material back while the remainder stays in place. Works like a champ.

    I was going to put something inside the frame and decided that I would have to store the damn frame while I can fold up the material and it takes literally no space.

    Cheers!

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