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  1. #1

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    Flattening Fiber Paper

    Is it OK to flatten fiber paper a week after it has been dried?

    I use a public darkroom (local college) to print on fiber paper then come back the next day to flatten the paper using a hot press (?). I am getting busy at work and can no longer go to the darkroom twice a week. I am thinking I can print one day, then come back next week to print and flatten.

    I understand RC paper is an option and I like Ilford's pearl. However, I am concerned about archival properties as I want to keep my prints for at least another 40 years

    Thanks much for any information you can send my way.

  2. #2
    David William White's Avatar
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    While still damp, I pull my prints over the edge of the table or counter. You can re-wash your prints to get them damp. You can also press them under books, sandwiched between blotting paper while they are still damp.

  3. #3
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    The general opinion from the manufacturers is that modern RC paper will last pretty much as long as fibre. The problems of previous decades have, they insist, been ironed out (no pun intended ).

    I often flatten fibre paper some days after it has dried in a press so I don't expect any problems with a week's delay. I would be careful if dampening previously dried warmtone paper as I have had MGIV-WT fibre paper stick to the coversheets when heated in a press if not dry...

  4. #4
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    I have successfully flattened some after a week or more by misting the backs with a squirt bottle -- lightly, not wet -- and weighting them, sandwiched between blotting papers for 24 hours or so.

    DaveT

  5. #5

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    Thank you so much for the info. I guess it is safe to try flattening after a week.

    As for RC paper, it is good to know that they will last for some time. I am not into the look of fiber, just its archival properties. I take photography classes on a part time basis and will print on fiber when the instructor insists. But personally, I am pretty much sold on the look of pearl RC paper.

  6. #6
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    Is it safe to leave your prints there for a week? I know students using the local college darkroom who will take their prints home wet (in some amazing ways) rather than leave them there, fearing theft or vandalism. I have no idea what the circumstances are where you are, but I would at least check.

    I have been using Kentmere Fine print VC FB for about three years for 7x17 contacts cut from 16x20 and 20x24 enlargements. If dried over night between two screens the prints rarely need much flattening. Last night I put them under a stack of prints for an hour rather than warm up the press.

    John Powers

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874 View Post
    Is it safe to leave your prints there for a week?

    I am planning to put the prints on blotter paper and dry at home (instead of using the drying screens in school), then come back the following week for pressing.

  8. #8
    reellis67's Avatar
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    I find that storing prints flat will flatten out them nicely in time. I keep my finished prints in 'archival' bags stacked in a small pile, and after a little while like this they end up quite flat. If in doubt, a stack of unused mats on top of the pile will flatten them all right out. When they come out of the last wash, I dry them by way of hanging from a clothes line in the shower, which leaves them fairly warped, yet all are now nice and flat. I have no idea how long specifically this process takes, it just sort of worked out that way and I keep doing it, but I do know that everything in the pile is quite flat after 3 or 4 weeks time.

    - Randy

  9. #9
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kycoo View Post
    I am planning to put the prints on blotter paper and dry at home (instead of using the drying screens in school), then come back the following week for pressing.
    Be sure that they are well washed (i.e. they didn't get stack up in the wash, or have fresh prints from the fixer tray dropped on top of them) before inserting them in the book. Once those pages get contaminated they can contaminate every other print they come in contact with.

    - Randy

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    What Randy just said. (whoops...what he said two posts up.)

    Drying them face down on a clean screen gets them to dry with minimum curl.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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