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Opinions Wanted Printing on canvas

Discussion in 'Photography Issues' started by MichelleR., May 4, 2015.

  1. MichelleR.

    MichelleR. True Grumbler

    We just recently invested in an Epson 4900. Now we are able to offer printing services including canvas printing. Is anyone currently printing on canvas and would like to recommend the canvas and varnish they are using?
    We are primarily having issues with the ink rubbing off of the corners of the canvas (Epson exhibition matte) when we gallery wrap. We are allowing the prints to cure and then varnishing before stretching but that does not prevent the ink from lifting off the corners

    We are also having some issues with spray varnishing. Its quite hard to control the amount of varnish and its pooling in some places. Is roll on varnish much better?

    And finally has anybody worked with Breathing Color crystal or pre varnished canvas?
    We have just ordered a sample roll and are hopeful for better results when stretching.

    I had stretched many many giclee canvas prints before we invested in our printer and always had this issue. I was hoping that by properly allowing the prints to dry and varnishing them it would be less of an issue but so far I am disappointed.
    Thanks in advance for any tips.
  2. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Some Epson printers have a "heater" element on the outfeed that negates the need for varnish if used with the appropriate canvas and ink.
    Also, ink rubbing off in corners can be caused by abbrasion when stretching, try using soft foam on work table.
    Make sure you lightly sand sharp corners of joined stretcher frames (before stretching).
  3. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Laminating with film is the only true solution to the problem. I refuse to wrap any printed canvas for artists and customers 100% of the time. Be sure to check with Epson on the brand of film laminate since Satinex had a major problem with inks turning some colors to a nice urine color. It took a week in direct sunlight for the color to clear since it required extreme exposure to direct UV lighting to normalize.

    I have a large number of photographers who have tried all of the liquid laminates and they all have problems with cracked or broken corners on the printed canvas. I only mount printed canvas due to all of the problems since the failure rate in stretching is astronomical. I gladly give the names of my competitors to those who insist on stretching or wrapping printed canvas.

    You also allow a much larger printed canvas when mounting over stretching since you only have 17" of printing capabilities.
    Carmichael and jferrari like this.
  4. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    We don't do the printing, but we laminate then stretch almost all canvases. We use both matte and Satinex films.
    FM Framer likes this.
  5. Steve Collins

    Steve Collins SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We've used a variety of products, including Epson, but have settled on Lexjet's Sunset Reserve Mat canvas. We coat with Lexjet's liquid laminate, Sunset Satin. We use 2 coats with a roller.

    We've had consistent results 100% of the time, with no issues with ink loss on the edges or bleeding. We've always used a roller and have had problems with other coatings. For example, Eco PrintShield had unusual problems with settling out and getting lumpy. It also usually needed 3 coats to cover well, while the Lexjet coating could usually be fine with 1.

    We don't spray because of impact on air quality and the amount of waste.
    RuthCT likes this.
  6. jferrari

    jferrari Guest

    Jeff has the correct answer. Go from printing to stretching in about 6 minutes. No dirt, no hair, no lint, no messy sprays or rollers, no runs, no hits, no errors! - Jim
  7. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    its not worth the grief

    like everyone else, hot lamination is the way


    on a 4900 printer realistically 12" or maybe 14 at a massive push is the biggest print your gonna get
  8. Mark A. Wallenfang CPF

    Mark A. Wallenfang CPF CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I print and stretch quite a bit of canvas for all walks of life. I use two Epson 11880 printers. After testing many many canvas brands and liquid coatings, I have settled on Premier Art canvas and their liquid coating. I apply two coats with a FUJI HVLP gun. I have zero cracking when stretched and folding the corners. I have found rolling liquids on canvas can cause the ink on the canvas surface to pull off on the roller. Of course I also cut and join the strainer bars to size of the canvas for perfect mirrored edge wraps. I ship orders to customers across the U.S.

    Just a note here on the comments about laminating or coating a canvas immediately after printing...I was told a few years ago by someone from Epson and the same info came out at a seminar at WCAF several years ago on canvas stretching, that it is best to let the canvas "cure" to be sure the inks have out-gased before sealing the surface. Too soon can cause a "cloudy" surface to form. I've never had this problem as I also let my canvas prints sit 24 hours before spraying.
    John Mac likes this.
  9. mike

    mike CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    We print and stretch a lot of digital output and use Breathing Color Lyve Canvas and Timeless coating and get no rub off or cracking. I have tried the pre coated canvas and find that is has less true color and tends to have more rub off (which tends to happen if your profile is set to use photo black instead of matte black ink). We drymount any canvas that is not a gallery wrap using Kooltac and it works great.

    I agree that canvas should cure at least 24 hours before coating, even if it appears to be dry it takes time for the ink to cure thoroughly in the texture of the canvas....you will especially notice movement of your black ink if you rush the curing time.

  10. UzZx32QU

    UzZx32QU Administrator Staff Member

    I also use the 4900 and have found it better to dry mount the canvas because the 17 inch size would make the finished size about 12-13 inches wide stretching. I'm in the selling frame business so gallery wrapping has less value to me. If I had a 24 inch or larger printer I might do different.

    I'm using the Epson exhibition gloss canvas with photo black ink.

    j Paul likes this.
  11. MichelleR.

    MichelleR. True Grumbler

    Thanks to all for the feedback
    Despite our 17 inch size limitation we have gotten quite a few orders for printing on canvas. Of course we would LOVE to dry mount the prints and often do but many customers want the photo stretched and floating in a floater frame. Most of the photographers that request printing on canvas would not allow us to laminate. We will try out a few of these suggestions and also consider limiting what we offer. Thanks again.
  12. DanGray

    DanGray MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I use Preserve Your Memories to spray my canvas prints. It put a UV protection and water proof on it
  13. mccoyh

    mccoyh Grumbler

    I use a Canon ipf8300 and ipf8400 to print on Breathing Color Lyve and Crystalline canvas. I've used Lyve canvas the longest but I'm tired of varnishing afterwards. I've since switched to only using Crystalline canvas. I can print and stretch immediately. I had issues getting the Crystalline to not crack when stretched or folded, but we finally dialed in the settings on the printer.
  14. jferrari

    jferrari Guest

    So your customer hangs their print in the hallway near the kitchen and after 6 months or so discovers that the print has a light film of grease from all of the food preparation in the nearby kitchen. So Mrs. Homer Owner grabs her trusty Formula 409 spray bottle and spritzes the print lightly. She then attempts to remove the grimy, greasy residue with a microfiber cloth. Question! Will your print - {A) Look as good as new} or {B) Whoops, that was a mistake}?
  15. mccoyh

    mccoyh Grumbler

    Oh she'll ruin it, but who cleans canvas with 409? We educate our customers how to take care of their prints. We've tried laminating the prints but our customers didn't like the look of it.
  16. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    So right here!

    You can "teach" your customer how to treat their prints correctly but you don't live with them. Either they will forget or the goop on the print will not come off so they use something "just a little bit stronger"..

    And besides who remembers everything they were taught at school? 13rd week in 2nd grade do you remember anything besides how to make a turkey from your handprint? Nope, she will use the 409 or her husband will in an attempt to "surprise" her.

    That said gallery wrapped canvas prints can be just great for what they are, decorative art. They'll ruin it when they clean it, but hey, print out another copy and stretch that for them later.
  17. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I actually enjoy varnishing canvas prints with a high density roller, I use permajet canvas varnish, it takes practice but the results are outstanding, I got my technique from this video.

    FramerInTraining likes this.
  18. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are other benefits of this method.
    Speed, you can see how fast this method is on the video, I usually varnish around ten at a time, it's done in minuets, the drying time is not much longer.
    Cheaper than laminating with film.
    Better finished product than film. this will be controversial, here is why I think this, the liquid bonds with the inks and canvas, penetrating the fibers and becomes part of it, it doesn't just sit on top waiting to eventually delaminate, I have seen the film peeling on canvases on several occasions, even from large publishers.
    Last is using the roller there is no fumes, less equipment and less preparation than spraying.

    The down side is it takes time to perfect , also not all liquid varnish products give the desired finish, you would need to test and practice, you also need a clean work area and don't wear clothing that sheds! Once you get the knack it rarely goes wrong, it's been well over a year since I messed one up.
  19. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I like the idea of varnishing with a roller. I have only done it with a fome brush, and that in a world outside of framing! A roller would be so fast and easy. How many coats do you typically do for prints? What brand varnish?
  20. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Usually two coats, sometimes it's perfect first coat, I use permajet canvas varnish, it comes in satin, mat and gloss, my preference is satin, it comes in a metal paint can, I transfer it into a plastic container that I can pour as in the video.
    It is very important to use a high density foam roller not a normal paint roller.
  21. Eric Guenther

    Eric Guenther Guest

    Michelle, We have used Breathing Color canvas for at least 5 years with out any issues. We print using a Canon IPF6100, which I like better that the Epson. We used to have the issue or wrap crack when we had prints done by someone with an Epson. Since we go the Canon, we have never had the problem.

  22. shewhorn

    shewhorn True Grumbler

    Breathing Color Lyve with their Timeless Satin coating (also more than 5 years with a Canon ipf8300). The matte was a bit of a pita... cracking corners as mentioned. What I'd do if customers ordered the matte coating would be to first... charge them more... and then do a coat of satin followed by a coat of matte. The satin base addressed the problems with the corners cracking. Forget about the gloss, if your clients are photographers they will HATE it. I surveyed a bunch of photographers showing them samples of the matte, satin, and gloss coatings. They were split between matte and satin but 100% of them made a horrible face as if someone had just let off a sulfur bomb in their face with they saw the gloss. :)
  23. echavez123

    echavez123 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Breathing color glamour varnish with breathing color or lexjet canvas - no problems. 9 years with this combo. Using a roller to spread the glamour. Dries to nice finish and makes the image pop.
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  24. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am assuming you have an Epson printer, right? Can one use a non Epson media on Epson printers? I have an Epson 9890.
  25. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have a 9890 and other epson printer's, I have never used epson ink or epson media in the 9890, I have done 10's of thousands of prints without issue, and had no more clogging than ones running on epson inks, so long as you use good quality inks and media and get the correct profile you're good to go, cheap ink and papers will produce expected results.
    FM Framer and FramerInTraining like this.
  26. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Thank you. I did not know that.
    What is the advantage of using non Epson products?
  27. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are not many paper mills in the world, we use permajet for most of our media, on the odd occasion I have found hahnemuhle leaflets inside the permajet box, same product. I am a permajet stockist and get a very god reseller discount on permajet products, it is the same with Epson, they do not make their own media, they just stick a massive premium on it, there are several ink manufacturers that make very good ink with the same blue wool scale 6 rating, I have tested In my south facing window for several years, prints with genuine and with Lyson ink and found no difference in fading, in fact I could not tell if either had faded at all, this was back in the days when my printers were 7600's..
    I was told non genuine ink may ruin the print head, I have saved enough money on my 9890 in the cost of ink to buy two brand new 9890's and found no difference in print quality or head blockages.

    Do you have the 9890 with the spectro proofer or have your own separate proofer? I have found this to be essential for accurate colour reproduction, whether using genuine or not.
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  28. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    I just got into the printing side of things very recently and I have a lot to learn. I had to look up what spectra proofer is to be honest with you. I am taking a couple of classes at the WCAF Expo to educate myself more.
  29. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Printing is a great addition to a framing business, you are right there is a lot to learn, from colour space to print RIP's, I added printing in 2004 with a epson 7600, like anything it takes time to get going, the print side of our business could stand alone without the framing these days, a few years ago I bought a 7880, I made a chart with incoming and outgoing sound for that one printer, I was curious to see how long it would take to recover the cost of the machine plus the media used and be in profit, it took 12 weeks :).
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  30. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    i came from a multimedia background (sound engineer then design and video) into printing. then added framing to it

    i use epson printers, but NEVER use anything but genuine inks, its not worth it financially, the first time a customer has something fade i printed using no proper inks will kill my reputation and then kill my business. epson inksets have a massive R&D budget behind them (bigger than the turn over of most 3rd party ink companies) and for good reason. yep epson inks are not perfect (for example the yellow in the 9900/9890 inset isn't the most stable) but there is advanced testing and diagnostic data available to help support and sell your print services.

    as for permajet producing hanemuhle product, my understanding is this is not factually correct, hanemuhle does NOT manufacture for anyone else, apart from the big three printer manufacturers, where they badge paper as canon X by hanemuhle for example

    I primarily use hanemuhle papers, for 2 reasons.

    1. they produce some of the best handling / finishes available.
    2. its a selling point, people (like artists) don't know about other paper brands and ask for hanemuhle just like hoover for vacuum. so why confuse them

    my business is slightly different in that my main customers are photographers not retail, so recently a big gain in business has been photographers not bothering to print themselves anymore and just electronically send me files and collect finished frames
  31. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I never said Hanemulhe make permajet papers, they are made in the same mill, just like Arqadia and Simons have some of the same mouldings, made in the same factory with different codes on them, you can check data sheets of any 3rd party inks for gamut and lightfastness.
  32. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    hanemuhle own the mill though. just like canson own their own mill.
  33. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So where the Hanemulhe leaflet come from? Could well be a plot by Permajet?
    Fotospeed and permajet have the same stamp on the cardbord core, it would be interesting to see if Hanemulhe has the same one.
  34. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    permajet and fotospeed were basically the same guys, who split up and went their own ways

    not sure about where leaflet came from.

    yea they all have batch numbers on stickers in the rolls etc

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