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Thread: drying fiber prints at home

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  1. #1

    drying fiber prints at home

    Hello.
    I recently printed on fiber paper and didn't realize the color from the cardboard where I lay the prints to dry seeped into my fiber prints!!
    After all those hours in the darkroom...it was a real shock.
    I don't really have the space to use screens to dry fiber prints. Does anyone have any suggestions for drying fiber prints? After a day, I then put the prints between two flat surfaces and put heavy weights on them and leave for about 2 days. It really flattens them out.
    I thought my cardboard method worked until I saw faint brown marks on the back of the prints.

    I appreciate any advice.

    Kind Regards,

    y. takeuchi

  2. #2
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
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    drying fiber prints at home

    There are photographic blotter books available that allow you to dry prints in this way without danger of staining. The only caution is that unless your prints are absolutely washed clean (and this is more difficult to do than most people believe), traces of chemicals in the print will be absorbed into the blotters and after a time, will transfer the contamination to the next series of prints you dry. Screens are best, but if you have to, a blotter book will work and so long as you change it from time to time, you should be in good shape. Good luck to you.

  3. #3
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    drying fiber prints at home

    Blotter books work well for me. These should be available at a well-stocked camera store. They are basically large books of acid-free, thick, absorbent paper with a different, thinner paper interleaving. You'll need a couple of them at least but if you're careful to completely wash your prints they'll last years.

    The books I use are about 10" by 16" or so: I can lay two 8x10 prints side by side on each page. Load a book up and put something heavy on top (those ugly coffee table books which sell for $5 or so at discount book retailers work well!) and let them sit for a couple of hours, then take them out and put them in the second book with weight on top and let them sit overnight. The first book soaks up most of the water; the second book gets them very dry and very flat. Set the books upright with the pages fanned out and they'll dry out in a day or so. Of course, your mileage may vary (depending on ambient temperature and humidity, I suppose.)

    Blotter paper is also available as loose sheets but my local store carries the books instead, so that's what I use. Good luck!
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  4. #4

    drying fiber prints at home

    I do in a weird way. I squegee both sides of the prints on a large piece of glass and then I lay them on kitchen paper towels on a counter and even the carpeted floor sometimes when I ran out of space.

  5. #5

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    drying fiber prints at home

    I use the floor method combined with screens. Get a one-size-makes-all window screen kit from the hardware store. cut the frames to the size you want. I left mine 36"x 36" and they will hold twelve 8x10s. Lay the screens on the floor or table, prop them up a few inches with some books or something.

    Only problem I've had with this method is with the household pets. The dog and cat had no regard for my prints at all, so I put the screens in a spare room where they won't get trampled on.

  6. #6

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    drying fiber prints at home

    I just hang wet prints from one corner with a wood clothspin. They curl up, then I put them in the dry mount press to flatten.

  7. #7

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    drying fiber prints at home

    Screens over the bathtub works. At times I've had the tub covered as well as the kitchen and bathroom sinks. One problem with blotter books is that a new one will sometimes leave fibers on the prints. Then you either have to CAREFULLY buff the fibers off or rewash. When I was using a communal darkroom I used the book to get prints back home. Though the darkrooms had drying racks, I always felt they were safer at home.

    Mike

  8. #8

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    drying fiber prints at home

    I second Brooks suggestion, I do the same and it works really well for me.

  9. #9

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    drying fiber prints at home

    Trying to get rid of paper curl once it's happened is nothing like as easy as preventing it in the first place. I use a method adopted by watercolour painters for flattening their paper after pre-soaking. Use a larger piece of paper than you otherwise need, so you have a border which can be cut off later. Rinse the print in dilute wetting solution, then lay it face up on an oversized piece of thick glass. Stick the edges down using half-inch masking tape all round. Leave for 24 hours, then remove the print and trim the border. Works like a dream.

  10. #10

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    drying fiber prints at home

    After the final wash, I soak the prints in Edwal Super-Flat 1:15 for two minutes, then hang by a corner to dry. When the prints are dry to the touch, they get placed under the dry mount press for 48 hours. No curling, pops or buckles.

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