Fibre Based Postcard Stock?
I am wondering if anybody knows of any currently made FB postcard stock. I use a fair amount of the Ilford RC postcard material, and I also make some postcards by cutting down larger sized FB papers, but I am hoping to find a source of something like the Ilford Postcard paper which is FB.
DIY method for FB postcards
I pilfer 'card stock' from the photocopier supply room at work - it goes on report covers, etc, and is thicker than regular photo copy paper, but still goes though the machine.
I make up the photo description, technical information, etc in Word, on the 'right sized' page, to fill half of the slightly under 5x7 limit for the maximum postcard/letter mailings here in Canada. I then print this onto regular letter sized sheets.
I draw on the vertical divider between the text and adress section on the 'master' by hand, becuse I am not motivated to figure how to have the word processor do it for me. I then photo copy this 3 more times, and stick them together to make a composite that fills the photocopier, and blast the information onto the 11x17 card stock.
Photgraphs are exposed on 5x7 sized paper, with a four bladed easel set to show the area that is allowed to fit in a s the largest standard post card size, with an allowance made for 1/4 inch borders.
I cut these down the card stock to slightly oversized 5x7 inches and use them as a sort of mount board, and dry mount the fibre based picture onto this mount. Put an extra board on the bottom next to the foam, and put the photcopied text next to this; if you put the photcopy lside ont eh top next to the platten, then you risk melting the toner off, and believe you me, it is a pain in the ass and a mess to recover from that only made once mistake.
I then trim the photo for regular 1/4 inch width borders.
On the card stock side of the picture I hand write the destination address, hand affix the postage stamp, and then off to the letter box I go.
This method allows me to use up whatever fibre that I have hanging around in the freezer. It can even be single weight using this method.
Kodak used to make some, but discontinued it many years ago.
Agfa likewise made some but they are now gone.
Ilford (Harmon) makes an RC paper that is still available, but finding it is a challenge.
Frankly, my experience is that RC stock is better. The issue is curl - FB paper has a much greater tendency to curl, and that is a problem if postcards are actually mailed. The curl factor is far less on RC paper.
But there's nothing that says you can't make your own postcard stock from FB paper. It used to be possible to purchase a rubber stamp of the imprint on the back (Porter's Camera Store carried stamps) but I haven't seen one in years. But you can still buy kits that allow you to make up your own rubber stamps.
We did do FB postcard many years ago, sales dwindled to nothing, it obviously will not be made again, RC Postcard in Gloss and Pearl is still made and we have plenty of stock, and its in stock in our US distributor.
Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited.
Also, I would think that FB paper in itself would not stand up to the abuse the post office gives a postcard nearly as well as an RC postcard would. FB is more prone to bending, wrinkling and folding if you poke it funny on a corner. Which happens a lot in the sorting machines I would imagine.
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I haven't done a serious count from the four or five APUG postcard exchanges (usually dominated by RC Ilford Postcard stock but a fair number send out homemade FB cards) in which I've participated but FB seems to hold up a as well as RC. The most destructive damage suffered by a postcard of either type paper is to have the emulsion rubbed off in small spots I presume by sorting machines. I try to flatten my FB cards for some time in a book to avoid some of the other bending. folding, wrinkling issues you mentioned. I also spray mount a single sheet of bond paper to the backside to alliviate some of the curling.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
I sent my first fibre postcard the last round. I just stuck a couple of Avery labels on for the address and text. I haven't heard from anyone yet that the cards were badly damaged in the post. James' fibre prints have all reached me in near perfect condition. Maybe the corners are slightly bent, but that's about it. Whereas the Ilford RC cards usually have a few marks and the odd bit of emulsion rubbed off.
Simon, any chance of switching the Peal finish to Satin in the future? It is a far more pleasant surface, more approximating the look of fibre. The Peal has that textured 1970's minilab look...
P.S. The fibre postcards I've received have all made it in one piece. Putting a full size label on the back probably helps stiffen them enormously.
The FB postcards seem to hold up pretty well in the exchanges. Some people have also sent out Azo and alt-process cards mounted to heavier stock or sometimes just with a large label stuck to the back for a little more body.
For making a large batch of cards, lately, I've just used a Saunders proofing easel, which makes it easy to print four 4x5" images quickly on an 8x10" sheet. The easel has a 12x15" tray where the paper rests and a heavy metal mask with a 4x5" window in the center that sits on top of the paper. The 8x10" sheet is placed into each corner of the tray with the mask on top of the sheet for each exposure, and the prints are trimmed to size when they're dry.
Cannot switch to the satin I am afraid :
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN tcehnology Limited :