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Thread: Drying HUGE fibre prints

  1. #1

    Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking for a solution to a problem I have: what is the best way to dry a fiber print that is anywhere from a 30x40" up to 5x7'.
    I've been told hanging it will cause a distortion in the image at this size, so it must be dried flat. Is this true? Can I hang it dry initially and then place on a surface to finish drying? If so, what surface? 316SS mesh?

    Any help with this would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Here are my thoughts though I've never done anything that large... Get a big nylon window screen or screen door. Lay the wet print face up (or you will get mesh pattern embossed on print surface which will look like inkjet). Lean it to drain at first. Then lay out flat.

  3. #3

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Squegee, lay on fiberglass window screen in frames mounted on an angle. Image side down. I've never gotten embossed patterns on glossy or matt fiber.

  4. #4

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    I have gotten screen pattern in one case. But I'll explain what I did and maybe the steps I followed led to my problem: For a while I was drying prints face down on nylon screen. Later, long after they were already dry, I decided to Selenium-tone recent prints in my portfolio. So I immersed the dry prints in KRST 1:20. It is possible the surface of my emulsion had "hardened" into an invisible screen pattern, which then was made visible by different rates of toning.

    Maybe this will never happen to you.

  5. #5

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Hang them to dry on a clothsline like a bedsheet with weights on the bottom ! (Preferably inside a house.)

  6. #6
    funkadelic
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Gudmundur Ingolfsson View Post
    Hang them to dry on a clothsline like a bedsheet with weights on the bottom ! (Preferably inside a house.)
    Easier said than done!
    I hang mine after washing, but 5x7 and 8x10 prints are easy. 12x20 prints slip away from the clips unless I clip them just right. I don't even think punching holes would do amy good. Wouldn't hanging anything that big fail under the weight of wet paper unless it's in some sort of frame?

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    I used to lay up to 11x14 damp prints on a bed in a Navy barracks and cover them with a sheet and blanket. They dried fairly flat. Any lint the emulsion picked up would brush off when dry.

  8. #8

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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Some 20 odd years ago, I dried some 16x20 inch FB prints on my pick-up truck windshield. It was a hot spring day, so the windshield was very hot.

    I was printing at school, and it was taking too long to air dry the prints. The lab tech suggested the windshield drying tip. I thought he was pulling my leg, but he suggested I dry a print just to test it out. You just have to make sure the glass is very clean.

    I was amazed at how quickly the prints dried and didn't curl up. If a windshield is out of the question. Try using a large piece of glass, such as the type used for desktops.

  9. #9

    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    Quote Originally Posted by joselsgil View Post
    Some 20 odd years ago, I dried some 16x20 inch FB prints on my pick-up truck windshield. It was a hot spring day, so the windshield was very hot.

    I was printing at school, and it was taking too long to air dry the prints. The lab tech suggested the windshield drying tip. I thought he was pulling my leg, but he suggested I dry a print just to test it out. You just have to make sure the glass is very clean.

    I was amazed at how quickly the prints dried and didn't curl up. If a windshield is out of the question. Try using a large piece of glass, such as the type used for desktops.
    Thanks for everyone's thoughts. Just to clarify, these prints are up to 5x7 ft. Does anyone have any experience drying large (30x40" and above) prints by hanging them? I've seen Clyde Butcher use a similar method on his website but I'm unsure about the effect this has on the image.
    Thanks again for everyone's help regarding this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Drying HUGE fibre prints

    I wish I knew how big 7ft is in matric.....

    BUT I'd dry them as I always dry my fiberbased papers:

    Put them on a big flat surface (Glass is best) - image up.
    Squegee the surface water off.

    Then you use a special tape.. (And here I have the problem, that I have NO idea what that is called in english..). A tape made of paper - comes in big rolls. tape is dry until you put the glue in contact with water.
    Make this glue wet - but not soaking wet. And only the tape side!
    Then tape the image down with this tape. Make sure it is in good contact (no air pockets) with both the paper and the glass.
    Use about 1 cm (or in this case maybe more due to the size) of the photopaper to give good contact.
    Leave this to dry. Leave it horizontally which makes the drying it safer..

    This tape is looking so fragile and thin, but it is really strong and holds papers (thick ones too) in place without problems. (I have only tried up to 20x24" but suspect it will work with larger sizes too - why not..)

    I'll see if I can find a link to the tape type I am referring to.

    EDIT:
    image added.
    It comes in brown or white (I have the feeling the brown is strongest)

    This drying method is great, as it gives the surface such a nice glow. And I always keep the tape on the border after drying, as it gives strength to the paper, and you also will have a place to hold the image without damaging it...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tape.jpg  

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