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Framing Tips for "Big Prints"

The following article is taken from the Epson web site and is only meant for the "Big Prints" category on our website as we use Epson 9900 Pro printer for printing "big prints".


Ink jet printer users may occasionally notice that an ink jet photo framed behind glass has

fogged the inside of the glass surface. This fog, which may look like a ghost image, is a film

caused by ink solvents that have not completely “cured.” This can happen on any “barrier”-type

paper using any type of ink from any manufacturer if you do not allow the print to properly dry

before framing. A “barrier” paper is one with coatings designed to prevent ink from being

absorbed completely into the paper, thus producing a brighter or glossier image (e.g. RC papers).

Because there has been some confusion about the causes and the solutions for this occurrence,

we wanted to clarify the steps to either prevent this from happening or fix the situation if your

photos have already been affected.

In order to accelerate the curing process and prevent the ghost image from forming on the glass,

the following drying procedure is recommended:

1. After printing, let the print rest for 15 minutes.

2. After 15 minutes, place a sheet of plain paper (not photo paper) on top of the print and let

    dry for 24 hours. The paper acts like a sponge to absorb the gasses and accelerate the

    outgassing. (You may stack the prints if you are printing more than one. Be sure to

    interleave each print with a sheet of plain paper.)

3. After 24 hours, remove the plain paper. You may notice the plain paper is wavy. If it is,

    repeat the procedure again with a new sheet of paper for another 24 hours, after which the

    print should be ready for framing. If it is not wavy, this indicates that the solvents in the

    print should now be completely dry and the print should be ready for framing

    immediately.


If you already have the ghosting, simply remove and clean the glass, use the procedures outlined

above to cure the image, and reframe the print.


Questions and Answers


Q. What is this phenomenon called?

A. This has often been referred to as gas ghosting in the printing industry.



Q. What causes this residue?

A. Solvents dry at a slower rate than water. Even though the print feels dry to the touch, the

     solvents have not fully dissipated right away. If a print has been framed before the

     solvents have completely dried, you may see a residue inside the frame that is caused by

     the trapped gasses that have been released from the solvents. That is why we recommend

     an accelerated drying process using paper to absorb the solvents.


Q. Epson claims their inks and papers are instant dry. Why is more drying necessary?


A. The print is dry to the touch upon exiting the printer; the water in the prints fully

     evaporates in about 15 minutes. The solvents, while dry to the touch, do take longer to

     cure. This creates a potential problem only when the image is printed on a barrier paper

     and framed.



Q. Which papers will exhibit this phenomenon?


A. All barrier papers, such as RC photo papers, are most susceptible to this gas ghosting.

     The barrier yields brighter, glossier prints, but also keeps the solvents from penetrating

     into the paper base where they can dissipate. Conversely, matte, fine art, watercolor or

     cotton rag-type papers absorb residual gas and thus do not have this problem.



Q. I understand this is a problem with your new Ultrachrome ink in the 2200 and

     7600?


A. It is not a particular problem with Epson’s Ultrachrome inks. It can occur with all inks,

    whether pigment or dye, from any manufacturers.



Q. I have heard that I need to laminate or seal my prints. Is that correct?


A. No, this is not a problem with longevity or durability of the print. To address this

    problem there is no need to laminate or seal your prints prior to framing. In fact, if you want to

    laminate your prints, you should still follow the drying procedure outlined above.



Q. Does this affect the longevity of my prints?


A. No.



Q. Won’t this problem ruin my prints?


A. No damage is caused to your prints. Only the glass over the print is fogged. All you need

    to do is take out the glass, wipe it clean, cure the print with a plain sheet of paper and put

    it back behind the glass.



Q. I have a framed print with this ghost image. What can I do?


A. The glass can be wiped clean and reused. Before reframing the print, place a piece of

     paper on it for24 hours to ensure it is cured. Repeat the process with a new piece of

     paper if the first piece is wavy after 24 hours.



Q. Will any paper work for curing the print?


A. Any low cost plain paper will work. Coated papers should not be used because they may

     restrict the absorption of the solvents.

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