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Thread: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

  1. #1

    Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Like a lot of y'all it seems, I'm in the process of kitting-up in anticipation of exploring a few alt-processes this Spring. Since I'm using in-camera negatives, I wanted to use a mylar sheet between the film and the sensitized paper as both a safety measure and to also to provide clean borders when taped with rubylith.

    A quick search turned up a lot of ~5 mil sheets that are advertised for stencil applications, while Sandy King once mentioned that there's a little thinner option available from Light Impressions. (I'm assuming that it's something like this:http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.co...tives-records/

    Which is all a round-about way of asking your help in sourcing, with any added insights into the process greatly appreciated as well.

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    16,538

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Large sheet of frosted mylar should be available from any large art supply store. The thicker 5-mil version will be a lot less subject to crinkle marks than the thinner 3-mil, but still should be carefully inspected for blemishes, sheet by sheet. That's why I prefer to buy large sheet brick n' mortar store style, where they're stored in big flat drawers, allowing me to pull my own sheets and inspect them, rather than receiving them roll up by someone else. I can't comment on the specific application you have in mind. But just realize that there is an important distinction between frosted mylar sheets and similar looking frosted acetate, which lacks the dimensional stability of mylar, yet is often sold in the same places at slightly lower price.

    Otherwise, I didn't know Light Impressions was still around. They seem to have largely collapsed years ago, ever since they sold out and moved from NYC to LA. If you do need an internet source for these sheets, there should be plenty of other options to choose from.

  3. #3

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    But just realize that there is an important distinction between frosted mylar sheets and similar looking frosted acetate, which lacks the dimensional stability of mylar, yet is often sold in the same places at slightly lower price.
    Excellent, that's very helpful--we do have a Jerry's Artarama here close to campus, so that will be my first stop to see what I can sift through.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    12

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    You do realize you can't use frosted mylar, it must be clear. 1 mil is best, some say 2 or 3 is okay. It usually comes in rolls and is not really reusable.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Seattle area, WA
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    1,068

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Yep thin as possible is very critical. Especially with any alt process where the image appears on a gelatin base (think Carbon Transfer or any Silver process with gelatin/albumen sized paper) since they are very inherently sharp processes, too thick of a piece of mylar would be noticeable.

  6. #6

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsydog View Post
    It usually comes in rolls and is not really reusable.
    Excellent, thanks for the insights, gents--I'm seeing a product called "drafting film" that might fill this need.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    12

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Drafting film is usually matte, you need clear mylar or you will end up with a blurry mess!

    Like this https://catalog.cshyde.com/viewitems...ester-pet-film
    Click the optically clear and 1 mil


    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Excellent, thanks for the insights, gents--I'm seeing a product called "drafting film" that might fill this need.

  8. #8

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsydog View Post
    you need clear mylar or you will end up with a blurry mess!
    Excellent, I appreciate the hand-holding for what appears to be a solution looking for a problem. That said, is this product closer to what I should be envisioning? https://www.amazon.com/Grafix-Dura-L..._hp_atf_m&th=1

    PS: just saw your link: very interesting!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Eastern Sierra
    Posts
    15

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    I bought this after ruining a negative with print out palladium. I would cut several pieces from the roll and store them in a print sleeve to lessen dust. Each sheet was good for several uses. Since then I have switched to develop out chemistry where holding moisture in the paper is not as critical...so I quit using this material.

    https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/it...x?itemid=40081

  10. #10

    Re: Mylar sheets for alt process printing

    Quote Originally Posted by jprofita View Post
    I bought this after ruining a negative with print out palladium. I would cut several pieces from the roll and store them in a print sleeve to lessen dust. Each sheet was good for several uses. Since then I have switched to develop out chemistry where holding moisture in the paper is not as critical...so I quit using this material.
    Excellent, thanks so much for the link and the pointers--like a lot of people I think, I'm a bit put off by the moisture issues with ziatypes so hopefully
    VDBs will be a less hectic intro to POPs.

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