Flattening Agent

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by George Collier, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Someone pretty serious about archival processing mentioned to me that his last bath before drying prints (fiber, glossy) is a flattener. There are two I know of, Superflat and Photoflat, I think, one by Edwal and one by Kodak. This would be after selenium toning and final wash. I dry prints from plastic clothes pins back to back, and they are relatively flat, depending upon the humidity. I often have to press them in a dry mount press, set low, then left till cool. This is for matting and framing without dry mounting the prints.
    The question: Someone on a photo.net thread said once that these flatteners are not considered archival, a real problem considering it is the last thing before drying. I called Edwal about their product, and the best I could get from tech support was that the inventor, in his original notes (goes back aways, as you might imagine) said there was no evidence that it was not archival, not too much of an endorsment.
    Does anyone out there know about this?
     
  2. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Flatening agents somehow increase papers ability to retain moisture thereby reducing curl and wrinkles. This in theory can invite mildew and spoting from uneven moisture. The idea behind archival processing is to remove unwanted elements from a print so dont add another one to sit there and suck up water. flatten with a press or weights.
     
  3. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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    Another product which has been around for many moons is Pakosol, distributed by the manufacturer of Pako dryers. Sort of a cross between water softener and Photo-flo. I have used many gallons over the decades to assist in the ferrotyping process with fiber paper.

    Doubt that it is archival. But then in forty years of commercial photography I have never shot anything that people will want around for a hundred years after my death. I suspect my prints will all be in the city dump the day after my funeral.

    But just in case, I take better care of my negatives. Any prints which fade or become damaged can always be freshly reprinted every fifty years or so...