It is worth taking a little time to consider how best to protect a gicleè print.
Prints are vulnerable objects, easily bent or creased and prone to atmospheric pollution and UV light.
Care and handling of your paper giclee print
- Remove all tape that was used for packaging. Even the smallest piece can find its way to your print and damage the surface.
- To remove a print from a tube, start by uncapping the top end and carefully removing the packing t if we shipped it to you. Your print(s) will be rolled against the inside wall of the tube. Make sure you have enough space for your print(s) to uncurl. Gently reach in for the corner of your print(s) on the inside most curl. Very gently move the corner in the direction of the curl (you’re making your rolled up print slightly smaller to get it out easily) and slowly pull the print out of the tube.
- Handle the print only by the edges, preferably with clean white cotton gloves. The oils from you hands can affect the PH of the paper and reduce the archival qualities. Fingerprints on dark areas will show up as sheen.
- Use two hands to support the print, so it will not bend. A crease in the print is permanent.
- Do not use your hands to wipe off any dust, this can scratch the surface. Use canned air gently and always keep the can upright so no Freon comes out.
- Be gentle. Our fine art papers are a fibrous media. if you rub your print, it will scuff, and the ink on the surface can scratch off.
- Keep moisture or condensation from getting on the paper print. Although the ink is somewhat water resistant, water can still cause damage. A water drop on the paper print surface will be permanently visible when dry.
- If possible, allow a few days for your print to breathe before framing so the inks can completely set and any outgassing can escape.
- When framing, use only archival (acid-free) supplies. Wood frames treated with chemicals or paints can emit harmful gases that can attack the ink and paper. Giclee prints have a light fastness in excess of 100 years in normal lighting conditions and are printed on acid free paper or artist’s canvas. This means that they are not subject to attack from acid bearing ingredients, which cause browning, or foxing of the paper. So any mount (matt) placed directly on the print paper should also be acid free either in the form of Conservation board or even better Museum board. The life of these boards range from 70 to 200 years. Ordinary standard board is not acid free and may actively attack the paper within a few months, leaving brown staining which creeps into the paper.Similarly, the backing barrier should also be acid free. The print should never be glued down or dry mounted. Any adhesive tapes stuck to the back of the print should also be acid free. The paper prints are on 300+gsm acid free cotton rag which is quite thick, so there is no need for bonding, gluing or dry mounting.
- DO NOT USE the cardboard materials we package our jobs in or the cardboard tubes for long-time storage of your print, they are NOT archival. However, the clear plastic sleeves we use are archival. Tubes and hard envelopes can be reused and/or recycled.
- Use common sense–storing or exhibiting a print in sunlight, or in a setting that might have chemical outgassing (from freshly painted walls, new rugs, and other fumes) may cause fading or discoloration. Never hang a print in direct sunlight or opposite a large bright window. Sunlight will inevitably fade colours. Giclee prints use pigments rather than dyes and the papers are specially coated giving them additional longevity. However, care should be taken in hanging them. It is advised to hang framed prints away from heat sources such as radiators, open fires and away from damp stone outer walls.
- Finally, prints will suffer if hung in kitchens, bathrooms or conservatories. There are many ways around this including hermetically sealing the frames.
Care and handling of your canvas giclee print
- Because canvas prints are usually stretched and not framed behind glass, they are more in need of a protective coating. The coating can protect the print from minor scratches, oils from the skin, and environmental pollutants. Applying a coating to the canvas prints also has the added benefit of making the print look a little bit richer in color. All of the canvas prints offered by us will arrive coated with an archival UV blocking liquid laminate.
- For canvas that has been stretched on wooden stretcher frames, changes in relative humidity and temperature can cause minor sagging or rippling. Ideal environmental conditions are 21 degrees and 55% humidity. You may notice that in the winter your canvas may be a tad loose – especially during a time of cold dry weather when the air is dry and the heater has been on. You can mist the back of your canvas with water – do not saturate the print or wood just a gentle mist – usually that is all that it takes. The stretcher bars are made from wood and it is natural for them to expand and contract.
- Clean your canvas giclee print with a dry, lint free cloth. Never use a wet or moist cloth to clean your giclée canvas print. DO NOT wash printed surfaces with water or solvents and make sure the cloth is clean. Avoid touching the canvas surface with bare hands as the oils in your skin can leave marks – we recommend wearing cotton gloves to handle all artwork.
- Hanging you canvas: It is recommended that you DO NOT keep your giclée prints in direct sunlight. Storing or exhibiting a canvas print in sunlight, or in a setting that might have chemical outgassing (from freshly painted walls, new rugs, and other fumes) may cause fading or discoloration. Never hang any print in direct sunlight or opposite a large bright window. Sunlight will inevitably fade colours. Gicleè prints use pigments rather than dyes and the canvas is specially coated giving it additional longevity. However, care should be taken in hanging them. It is advised to hang canvas prints away from heat sources such as radiators, open fires and away from damp stone outer walls.
- Storage: Please store your final canvas in an environment controlled for both humidity and temperature. Ideal environmental conditions are 21 degrees and 55% humidity. High humidity can cause yellowing. Keep all giclée prints away from solvent-based materials such as oil paints and linseed oil, as the vapors can cause yellowing. Stretched pieces should be stored upright, not stacked and all prints should be interleaved with archival paper dividers and never stored with any weight on top of them. Avoid tape coming in contact with the coated print as it can peel. Do not store canvas in cardboard – use the archival cellophane that your stretched canvas came in.